Scorpions off to a flyer

Apr 6th, 2024



ELLIE ROSE TRAVEL Scunthorpe Scorpions opened their 2024 campaign with a 52-38 mauling of Redcar Bears at the Eddie Wright Raceway last night (Friday) – a result that sees them make the early running in the northern group of the BSN Series.

The weather has decimated British Speedway fixtures this week – and no meeting had taken place since Monday. The Scunthorpe track staff, led by promoter Rob Godfrey – who is currently suffering from a broken rib – worked hard after heavy overnight rain. After feedback from the management and riders of both teams, racing got underway at 7.50pm.

Scorpions took the lead after both Nathan Ablitt and Luke Harrison flew under Ben Trigger in Heat 2 to register a 5-1. Jake Allen started a great evening’s work by flying from third to first in Heat 4, including an overtake of Redcar’s top man Charles Wright.

All those standing in line with the finish on the home straight were convinced that Simon Lambert took second place in Heat 5 after a race-long battle with Jason Edwards, but referee Graeme Hunter gave the verdict to Edwards.

The re-run of Heat 6, after a fall for Connor Mountain, was allowed to continue, despite the tapes failing to go on the inside, with new Scunthorpe No 1 Kyle Howarth having to duck under them. With the referee choosing not to stop the race, the start marshal had to manually hold the tapes aloft to avoid the riders from hitting them as they came back around. Despite all this, the result of the race was allowed to stand as a 4-2 to Bears.

Two 5-1s – from Ablitt and Allen in Heat 7 and Mountain and Howarth in Heat 10 – put Scunthorpe in control of the meeting, and a 4-2 from Ablitt and Allen in Heat 11 extended the lead to 10 points.

By this time, Scorpions were using injury rider replacement for Michael Palm Toft, who had looped at the start in Heat 3. The Dane came back out to win Heat 5, but then withdrew with a pain in his back.

Wright came out in Heat 12 as a tactical substitute, but the race was shared as a 3-3 after Harrison battled back past Trigger into third place.

Howarth fell in Heat 13, while holding a 5-1 with Allen, but Allen clinched the meeting by winning the re-run, before Ablitt and skipper Simon Lambert further increased the gap with a 5-1 in Heat 14. Wright won Heat 15, while the race was shared, with Allen dropping his only point of the evening in this race.

Allen top-scored for Scorpions with 13+1, but in many ways, Scunthorpe’s most notable performer was Ablitt, who won three races on his way to a dozen points.

Jake Allen said: “The track conditions were a bit tricky to start with, and there were a few crashes. But we just got on with it and, personally, I had a good night and enjoyed it.

“Every point matters in the BSN Series and we took a decent-sized victory. The whole team rode well – I think we can be very happy with our performance. We lost a few points as well through crashes, so it could have been even more.

“Reserves can win or lose you meetings, so it was good to have a strong reserve in Nathan (Ablitt) tonight. Alongside him, Luke (Harrison) also looked good tonight in a couple of races and he just needs some laps, and he’ll be even better. It’s only the first meeting and there’s still plenty more to come from everyone.

“I didn’t mind too much missing out on the maximum in Heat 15, because if you start the season with a maximum, you can only go one way. I did something slightly different at the start for that one and it didn’t work. I tried out a different engine tonight to one I used for the press and practice here and it went really well.”

SCUNTHORPE 52: Jake Allen 13+1, Nathan Ablitt 12, Simon Lambert 8+2, Kyle Howarth 7+2, Connor Mountain 6+1, Luke Harrison 3+2, Michael Palm Toft 3.
REDCAR 38: Charles Wright 16, Jason Edwards 7, Danny King 4+1, Ben Trigger 4+1, Jonas Knudsen 4, Connor Bailey 2, Jake Mulford 1.

* FURTHER reaction to follow from new team manager David Howe.

* ELLIE ROSE TRAVEL Scunthorpe Scorpions’ trip to Workington this afternoon (Saturday) has already been postponed, due to Storm Kathleen, with 70mph winds predicted to batter the Cumbrian coast. Scorpions will be next in action next Friday (April 12), when they commence their defence of the Cab Direct Knockout Cup at the Eddie Wright Raceway against the Plymouth Gladiators.

REPORT by Rob Peasley
PHOTO: Nathan Ablitt and Luke Harrison celebrate their 5-1 in Heat 2 (pic by IAN RISPIN)

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