ON Tuesday evening, the WSRA Oxford Chargers powered by SD Timmo Car Sales became the eighth Oxford side to win a league title, following in the footsteps of the sides from 1950, 1964, 1985, 1986, 1989, 2001 and 2005.
Chargers secured the title with a 34-32 victory over Leicester Lion Cubs at Oxford Stadium, in a meeting cut short by four races, after heavy rain arrived, while medics were tending to Leicester’s Max Perry, who fell in a first bend incident in Heat 12.
Afterwards, the jubilant Chargers were interviewed on the centre green by presenter Richard Palmer and here’s what they had to say shortly after being presented with the league trophy and their gold medals by Bert Harkins, chairman of the World Speedway Riders’ Association, the title sponsors of the Oxford Chargers.
Skipper JORDAN JENKINS:
“A league title was something that we all wanted so much. We couldn’t get it with the Cheetahs, but we got it with the Chargers. It was unfortunate about the circumstances with Max (Perry), and we wish him well. The rain then came in and the track was no longer going to be unrideable. But it is what it is and we’re the champions.
“When I looked at the forecast this morning, I thought there’s no point in rolling out of bed. But fair play to Jamie (Courtney), Wayne (Hutt) and everyone else involved who helped with the track today. They turned it into something we could all get on with and there was some decent racing. The track has been great all year – they’ve done a great job with it.”
“I’m over the moon – we all dug deep and we pulled it off. I’m looking forward to going home to Australia tomorrow, but not looking forward to the long flight. I’ll do little pieces of racing while I’m over there to keep the bike time up ready for next season.”
“I’m speechless. It’s only my second season in the National League and I’ve got a gold medal. I don’t know what to say – I’m just really, really happy. I won’t do much racing over the winter – I’ll start again around February time.”
“It’s been a good season. I didn’t have the best of meetings tonight, but I’d have some good meetings around here this season and I’m pleased how it’s gone. It’s a big achievement for us all to win the league.”
“In my first ride, I had a problem with my chain. But it’s been good to finish the season with Oxford and great to end it with a winner’s medal. I want to keep the momentum over the winter, ready for next season.”
“I started the year thinking I wasn’t going get a team spot at all, so thanks to Peter (Schroeck) and Jamie for giving me the opportunity to show that I could still do it, following my injury last year. It’s been a cracking year for both teams. It’s been one of my favourite years in speedway and the trophy just tops it off.”
“We’ve put in the effort all year and we’ve succeeded and got what we deserved as a team. There’s been ups and downs over the year, such as when I crashed at Redcar when riding for the Cheetahs. But it’s been a successful year, I’ve progressed, and it’s been good riding for both teams and I’m happy how it’s gone, and thanks to the fans for all their support.”
PHOTO: Henry Atkins in action on Tuesday night (PIC: LES AUBREY)