Chris Holder survived a thrilling crash to claim victory in the second round of the 2011 Australian Solo Speedway Championship in Gillman, South Australia.
The reigning champion looked set to finish top of the points’ charts, cruising through his first three heats before potential disaster struck in heat 15.
Trailing Victorian Cameron Woodward and NSW rider Sam Masters, Holder was poised to make a move on the leading duo only to be collected from behind by Kozza Smith, sending both riders careering into the arena wall.
The stunned Gillman crowd fell silent as medical teams assessed the riders, with a gutsy Holder returning to his feet nursing what looked to be an injured shoulder.
Despite the obvious ailment, Holder returned to the starting line for the re-run of the heat and had the crowd on the edge of their seats, taking out the heat in stunning fashion.
A perfect five from five in the heats gave Holder the edge heading into the final and the Appin-native delivered, taking out his second consecutive round win ahead of Darcy Ward, Davey Watt and Cameron Woodward.
In a night of brilliant racing everyone was a chance to cause an upset and they did, with no less than nine riders claiming heat wins.
After struggling in Kurri Kurri, Darcy Ward again found the going tough through the heats, suffering a mechanical failure and a third-place finish during his heats, amassing just 10 points.
With Holder, Watt and Woodward all ready in the A Final only one spot remained with Ward facing a race-off with Rory Schlein, Ty Proctor and Cory Gathercole.
Taking his opportunity, Ward claimed the win and booked his place in the final.
The final saw Holder lead from start to finish, with Ward coming in second position ahead of Watt and Woodward.
Holder holds a commanding five-point series lead after two rounds ahead of Davey Watt and Darcy Ward.
The next round of the 2011 Australian Solo Speedway Championship will see riders head north to Broken Hill for the Australian Day round.
2011 Australian Solo Speedway Championship
Round Two – Gillman, SA
1. Chris Holder 20
2. Darcy Ward 18
3. Dave Watt
4. Cameron Woodward 16
1. Chris Holder 40
2. Dave Watt 35
3. Darcy Ward 33
4. Jason Doyle 29
5. Cory Gathercole 29