JACK TO THE MAX IN CUP CRUSADE

Friday June 16, 2017
JACK Holder roared to a first maximum in British speedway as Peterborough took command of their SGB Championship KO Cup quarter-final on Friday night.

The Australian star reeled off five successive victories in flawless fashion to lead the ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers to a 54-36 first-leg triumph against Scunthorpe at the East of England Arena.

“It’s a great feeling to go unbeaten at my home track,” said Holder. “I’ve been so close to a maximum before and I’m delighted to get one. Hopefully there will be a couple more to come.

“To be honest it was a pretty simple night for me. Everything went to plan, I didn’t have to change a thing on the bike, and I was able to keep winning races.

“But it’s not just about me and it was another good night for the team. We’ve picked up two good wins in the last few days and hopefully we can keep it going.”

Holder was joined in double-figures by number one Chris Harris – with whom he combined for 5-1s in two of the final three races - and captain Ulrich Ostergaard for the second successive meeting.

Those two riders both set the quickest times of the season with Ostergaard’s 59.4-second effort in heat five immediately being eclipsed by a 59.1 time from Harris in the very next race.

Bradley Wilson-Dean, Paul Starke and guest reserve Zach Wajtknecht also grabbed race wins, while Tom Bacon scored valuable points in three of his four rides.

Starke’s triumph came in his final ride as he showed no ill effects of a heat nine spill when tumbling out of second place with Panthers on a 5-1.

That was only a minor irritation on an otherwise impressive night as Peterborough denied Scunthorpe a single advantage. The visitors also managed only two heat successes – from former Panthers man Michael Palm Toft and guest Todd Kurtz.

“We’re making really good progress,” said team boss Carl Johnson. “We’ve produced two superb performances in a row at home.

"That is just what we needed after a tough run and I can guarantee these results won’t be going unnoticed.

“It was a terrific effort all-round against Scunthorpe with Jack leading the way. He was absolutely awesome and that maximum has been coming for a while.

“He has really upped his game of late and is proving that he is a number one even though he is currently riding at number five due to us being able to bring Chris in.

“The signing of Chris has actually taken a bit of pressure off his shoulders and I think that’s clear in the way he is riding.

“Chris is doing a great job as well and he deserves a lot of credit for riding such a smart race in heat 15. He knew Jack was on for a maximum and positioned himself perfectly to allow Jack round the outside before shutting the door on the Scunthorpe riders.

“Ulrich is pulling his season around and the other boys are also picking up points.

“Things are going well, but we know we have to keep it going.”

The second leg of the tie at Scunthorpe is still to be arranged.

Peterborough are swiftly back in action as they entertain Sheffield tomorrow (Sunday, 5pm) in a league clash at the East of England Arena.

SCORES

PETERBOROUGH: Jack Holder 15 (max), Chris Harris 11+3, Ulrich Ostergaard 11, Bradley Wilson-Dean 6, Paul Starke 4+1, Zach Wajtknecht (guest) 4, Tom Bacon 3.

SCUNTHORPE: Josh Auty 8, Michael Palm Toft 6+1, Todd Kurtz (guest) 6+1, Ryan Douglas 6, Tero Aarnio 5+1, Carl Wilkinson 4+2, Ben Hopwood (guest) 1+1.

HEATS
1 - Palm Toft (60.3), Wilson-Dean, Harris, Aarnio. 3-3, 3-3.
2 - Wajtknecht (60.8), Wilkinson, Bacon, Hopwood. 4-2, 7-5.
3 - Kurtz (60.8), Ostergaard, Starke, Douglas (fell). 3-3, 10-8.
4 - Holder (60.5), Auty, Bacon, Hopwood. 4-2, 14-10.
5 - Ostergaard (59.4), Aarnio, Palm Toft, Starke. 3-3, 17-13.
6 - Harris (59.1), Auty, Wilkinson, Wilson-Dean. 3-3, 20-16.
7 - Holder (59.7), Douglas, Kurtz, Wajtknect. 3-3, 23-19.
8 - Wilson-Dean (61.6), Aarnio, Bacon, Wilkinson. 4-2, 27-21.
9 - Ostergaard (awarded), Auty, Hopwood, Starke (fell/exc). 3-3, 30-21.
10 - Harris (60.1), Douglas, Wilson-Dean, Kurtz. 4-2, 34-26.
11 - Holder (60.8), Palm Toft, Aarnio, Wajtknecht. 3-3, 37-29.
12 - Starke (61.9), Kurtz, Wilkinson, Bacon. 3-3, 40-32.
13 - Holder (60.7), Harris, Auty, Palm Toft. 5-1, 45-33.
14 - Ostergaard (62.0), Douglas, Wajtknecht, Wilkinson (fell). 4-2, 49-35.
15 - Holder (60.9), Harris, Auty, Palm Toft (ret). 5-1, 54-36.

Picture: STEVE HONE

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