PANTHERS' WINNING SECRET!

Tuesday July 03, 2018
SCOTT Nicholls gripped onto the Championship Fours trophy and admitted the victory was down to passion and “chopped melons”.

The seven-times British Champ grabbed the all important points to wrap up the victory in a nerve-shredding Heat 12 finale at Redcar – and then paid tribute to his T.Balfe Construction Panthers team-mates and the management.

Nicholls revealed: “It was cool. To be honest I think it was my first time in the Fours, or maybe I did it once but it was a very long time ago.

“A lot of riders underplay it. But at the end of the day it’s still a Championship, a major event and that’s why you want to win.

“I’m sure a lot of other teams have the same sort of mentality. But we definitely came here to win. There was no way Peterborough ever turned up to go through the motions, they wanted to win and that showed.

“You get into the final and you go up a gear. I struggled today, I really like the track, it’s very cool, I just struggled to get the set-up.

“Every point counts, but the other boys won it for us today. They excelled and took a lot of pressure off me.

“Peterborough are a promotion who try and do it properly. There’s nice touches and a lot of thought goes into their preparation.

“It was dry and dusty today and the track staff worked so hard on that but it’s so hard in this heat.

“But the promotion brought a gazebo shade, loads of bottles of water and even chopped fruit for all the team.

“There was chopped melon, bananas and strawberries. I had some melon but usually I can’t eat when I race.

“But that thought that went into that makes you feel part of something special. Then you feel on the track that you want to reward them.

“The fact you are earning money goes out of the window. You are simply racing for them, the fans and yourself for that trophy.”

Nicholls, 40, is clearly happy at the East of England Arena. There was a lovely touch at the end when the team and management did selfies with the travelling Panthers fans.

The BT Sport pundit, on a roasting hot first day of July in Redcar is clearly enjoying his career Indian summer at Alwalton.

He’s even eyeing a treble or quadruple, adding: “There’s real togetherness and real passion at Peterborough. I had a bit a bit of a slow start to the year and Ged (Rathbone) was with me and offered me other engines to try. There’s a real feeling of loyalty.

“I know that goes through the whole camp. The management are always there to help you.

“I’ve been around a long time and today I just couldn’t get it right. I have my tough days when I don’t know whether I’m farting or sneezing out there.

“But there is a team ethic, we win and lose as a team, that’s the overriding feeling at Peterborough.

“We got through the qualifying process and then suddenly we knew we could win it for them.

“To win the Fours back-to-back I think is great for them, a first time for me and it’s a big boost for the entire club.

“We can still go for the treble, that would be really cool. The league is obviously the big one and we are sitting in a good position. We’ll enjoy this today and keep working hard as a club.”

Interview: PHIL LANNING


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