Monday, July 15, 2024
Oxford SpeedwaySpires

REPORT: Spires frustrated by weather

OXS Oxford Spires saw their ROWE Motor Oil Premiership clash with table-topping Ipswich Witches at Oxford Stadium halted yesterday evening (Thursday), after the arrival of a heavy downpour. At the time, Ipswich were 23-13 ahead after six races.

The result will not stand, as the completion of Heat 10 was not reached and the meeting will have to be re-run.

On a day when every forecast seemed to say something different, with many reporting only light rain, there was drizzle in the afternoon, but it died out around 5pm and promoter and track curator Jamie Courtney even needed to water the track before the start of proceedings.

Charles Wright led Heat 1, while Rohan Tungate was set to join him at the front, when the Australian caught the back of his team-mate and took an awkward tumble, and a potential 5-1 to Spires turned to a 4-2 to Ipswich in the re-run.

Erik Riss won Heat 2 in exciting style after bursting around Keynan Rew on the final bend, but it proved to be the only heat win for a Spire, as Emil Sayfutdinov and Adam Ellis dominated proceedings, winning five races between them.

The rain had reappeared and turned much heavier during Heat 6, a race in which Wright spun out in the first attempt to stage the race. Tungate had a couple of moments in the re-run, as the Sayfutdinov and Rew took a 5-1. It was notable the Russian Rocket Sayfutdinov, one of the best riders in the world, posted a time of 65.26 – over six seconds slower that the winning time of Heat 5.

Conditions were quickly deteriorating as the rain continued and referee Christina Turnbull made the only sensible decision – to call a halt before any riders were injured.

Oxford team manager Peter Schroeck said: “It was the right decision by the referee to call the meeting off.

“The club did its best to put on the meeting, as we always do. The entertainment at Oxford this season has been second to none, but by the end, thanks to the weather, it wasn’t racing or pretty to watch.

“Ipswich wanted to carry on, for obvious reasons. They wanted to get to Heat 10 and get a result and pick up the points.

“But the right decision was made for rider safety. That is of the upmost importance and the referee called it based on that.”

Ticket holders will be contacted within the next 48 hours with details of what will happen for the re-staging.

Meanwhile, the next action at Oxford Stadium takes place on Sunday (3pm) when the unbeaten Real Mini Company Oxford Chargers powered by SD Timmo Car Sales entertain the Belle Vue Colts in WSRA National League action.

Tickets are already on sale on the Oxford Speedway website at

Admission is available at the early bird price of just £12 for all adults, which increases to £14 on Race Day. All under-16s go free. A reminder that Oxford Speedway is online ticket sales only – tickets remain on sale on the website until the start-time of the meeting.

The same programme will be used as for Oxford Spires vs Ipswich Witches and supporters are reminded to bring this back with them and save themselves £3. Fresh programmes will still be on sale on the afternoon.

It is Father’s Day on Sunday, and bookings are being taken for restaurant, where you can treat your dad to a delicious Sunday Roast at Oxford Stadium, while watching live speedway. Email [email protected] to book.

OXS Oxford Spires 13: Rohan Tungate 1, Charles Wright 2, Lewis Kerr 2, Maciej Janowski 3+1, Chris Harris 2, Erik Riss 3, Ashton Boughen 0.

Ipswich Witches 23: Jason Doyle R/R, Dan Thompson 2, Adam Ellis 6, Norick Blodorn 0, Emil Sayfutdinov 9, Keynan Rew 5+1, Jordan Jenkins 1+1.

PHOTO: Action from Heat 2 (pic: Les Aubrey)