It was a night to remember for Ryan Kinsley at the Smallbrook Stadium as the Scunthorpe rider won the British Speedway Under 21 Championship semi-final hosted by the Wightlink Warriors.
A faultless six ride maximum secured top spot on the podium and he was joined by Jordan Palin, of Belle Vue, and Anders Rowe, Somerset/Kent.
Kinsley made his intentions clear right from the off. His winning time of 70.4 seconds in heat one equalled the fastest time of the season at Smallbrook and his quick starts and obvious speed saw him well set for a rostrum place.
The other youngsters on track certainly didn’t hold back despite the varying levels of experience with at least 11 of the 15 races producing incident in one form or another.
One of those to suffer was Luke Ruddick who had made the long journey down from the North East. Steady scoring had earned him a semi-final slot on the night and a lightning start saw him lead his race but entering the last lap his engine spluttered allowing rivals Rowe and Alex Spooner to nip past.
Inexplicably Ruddick’s bike then sprung back to life allowing him to finish, but third place was not enough and his body language amply showed the feelings of frustration and disappointment.
Home hopes rested with new Warriors Chad Wirtzfeld and Connor King.
Wirtzfeld had a nightmare start, touching the tapes and earning a disqualification before picking up two third places.
But he saved his best until last by passing former Warrior Jamie Bursill for a second place. King also had a difficult night despite a battling show. Two falls while trying to pass opponents and a good pass in heat nine meant just one point on the night with more experienced banked for use on another day.
Joining Kinsley on the podium was Jordan Palin on his first visit to Smallbrook who rode confidently and stylishly and Anders Rowe who demonstrated great progress and like all three riders, have tremendous potential to well in the future.
Warrior’s co-promoter Barry Bishop looked back on a thoroughly enjoyable night.
He said: ‘What a great night for our club and my thanks go to all our staff and volunteers who helped present this meeting in the best possible light. My thanks also to Wightlink who have been superb in supporting not only this event, but all our activities.
‘On track we saw the future of British speedway under the stewardship of Neil Vatcher is alive and vibrant. All the riders rode with maturity, dedication and enthusiasm and while our Warrior riders may not have registered big scores, they will have gained massively from the experience and we now look forward to team action starting next Thursday with Mildenhall here in the National Trophy.’