Saturday, May 18, 2024
ChargersOxford Speedway

REACTION: “The Chargers are doing really well and we want to finish the season with some silverware. We’ve got great team bonding and communication – we’re like a family. We love it here and we’re all good mates.”

WSRA Oxford Chargers powered by SD Timmo Car Sales recorded their biggest win of the season with a huge 64-26 win over Kent Royals at Oxford Stadium last night (Wednesday), with 16-year-old Jody Scott collecting his first-ever paid maximum in British Speedway.

The emphatic result was Chargers’ ninth victory on the bounce and takes them five points clear at the top of the National League. Oxford are just one more victory away from claiming their place in the Grand Final, which will feature the top two teams in the table.

Staging its second meeting in 24 hours, the Oxford track held up exceedingly well despite the hot temperatures and produced some terrific racing during the night.

Chargers took a 18-12 lead, despite a couple of early mishaps. Skipper Jordan Jenkins suffered an early engine failure while leading Heat 1, and Jason Garrad lost control in Heat 4 while on a 5-1 with Henry Atkins. Garrad somehow remained onboard his bike after a 360-degree spin, but the damage to his machine forced him to pull out of the race.

Chargers then posted sixth maximum 5-1 results on the trot. That may sound a bit one-sided, but four of those 5-1s were won the hard way.

Jacob Clouting produced some brilliant speedway around the outside line to move from fourth to second in Heat 7 and then topped it by flying around Kent No 1 Ben Morley at the halfway stage of Heat 11.

An exciting Heat 8 saw a three-way battle between Garrad, Kent’s Ashton Vale and Scott that eventually saw Vale fall on the third bend of the final lap and Scott come through to join Garrad for the 5-1.

Kinsley came from nowhere to grab second place from Morley on the line in Heat 9, which again demonstrated how effective the outside line was. Luke Killeen took the second of three very impressive heat wins in this race – as he took the move up from No 6 to No 4 in his stride.

Atkins had bustled inside Morley after a lap in Heat 11, but missed out on a paid maximum when he made contact with the same opponent on the third bend of Heat 15 and earnt himself an exclusion. Jenkins had looked untouchable after his Heat 1 misfortune and won the re-run with ease.

With Nathan Ablitt forced out with a knee injury sustained during the previous night’s Oxford vs Scunthorpe Championship clash, Kent relied heavily on Morley. He rounded Kinsley to win Heat 5, but Morley was also on the wrong end of three 5-1s.

Scott (9+3) had started his evening with an impressive victory in Heat 1 when he held off Morley in fine style after Jenkins was out of the race, and he completed his paid maximum with a 5-1 with Jenkins in Heat 10.

Jody Scott said: “It feels amazing to collect a paid maximum – I’ve never got one before. When I crossed the line in my final ride, I was buzzing and just wanted to carry on riding. I was so excited – it’s just unreal.

“In Heat 1, I looked over my shoulder and I saw Jordan had packed up and then I knew I had to do the business. I kept focusing and could hear him [Ben Morley] on the inside of me, but I just held my line and I had the speed that I needed to win the race.

“I did have one ride where things didn’t go quite right. In my third ride [Heat 8], I lost my steel shoe just before the start and had to put it back on. I didn’t make a great start and kept on pushing as much as I could as I was a bit worried my steel shoe would come off again. I kept on putting Ashton (Vale) under pressure and, on the final bend, he came off and I took the second place and we got a 5-1.

“It’s a real boost to get a paid maximum – it really boasts my confidence and that’s important, because we’re on course to quality for the final. I don’t mind riding at No 2 – I enjoy the fresh track in Heat 1 and having a fresh starting gate. It also means I will ride regularly with Jordan and he will be looking out for me in races and hopefully we can get plenty more 5-1s before the end of the season.

“The Chargers are doing really well and we want to finish the season with some silverware. We’ve got great team bonding and communication – we’re like a family. We love it here and we’re all good mates.”

“I was born the year that when Oxford stopped riding, so I’ve never heard of them until the club returned last year. Peter (Schroeck, team manager) phoned me last season and I said yes to ride for Oxford. I’m really glad I did, because if I hadn’t, I’m not sure where I’d be or what I’d be doing now. Peter encourages us and gets the best out of us and it works really well.”

WSRA Oxford Chargers, powered by SD Timmo Car Sales 64: Jordan Jenkins 12, Jody Scott 9+3 (paid maximum), Ryan Kinsley 8+1, Luke Killeen 10+1, Henry Atkins 11+1, Jacob Clouting 8+2, Jason Garrad 6+1.

Kent Royals 26: Ben Morley 10, Nathan Hargrave 1+1, Freddy Hodder (guest) 5, Tom Woolley 6+1, Nathan Ablitt R/R, Ashton Vale 2, Connor King 2+1.

PHOTO: Jody Scott fends off Ben Morley in Heat 1 (PIC: STEVE EDMUNDS)