Chris Holder has taken out the 2011 Australian Solo Speedway Championship ahead of Darcy Ward and Davey Watt at Mildura, while Ward took the round win in an epic late-night race meet.
While reigning champ Holder seemed a certainty coming into the round, a niggling injury from the second round, and a series of crashes at Mildura, almost ruled out back-to-back titles for the Appin local.
As the mercury climbed at the Mildura track, so too did riders tempers when track work was called for, however with racing underway, fans certainly got their money’s worth as the meeting continued into the early hours of the morning.
After four rounds and hours of intense racing it came down to the wire with Series leaders Holder and Watt both failing to make the B final and throwing the championship points into disarray.
Solid performances from Ty Proctor, Kozza Smith, Justin Sedgmen and Kyle Newman saw them lining up for the B final with Newman proving the man to beat – progressing into the A final.
Joining Newman in the A final were two times Under 21 World Champion Darcy Ward, Rory Schlein and Cam Woodward, who would battle it out to determine both the round and Championship standings.
After a slow championship campaign, Ward found form in the A final, leading in both the re-run and again in the final race to take the chequered flag – tying him on points for second place overall with Watt.
Lining up for the Run Off, Ward was a man on a mission, leading Watt from the second the tapes flew up, and occasionally looking back over his shoulder to see if he was home free before taking the flag and second place in the Championship.
Despite failing to make the finals, Holder’s points buffer secured him the overall win marking his second consecutive National Title – and third Solo Championship.
Speaking after the event, Holder was happy with the win, however acknowledged it was hard won.
“I started off the series quite well – I had a win but then in Gillman I had a big crash which hurt me pretty badly and it’s been a struggle ever since,” Holder said.
“I knew tonight was going to be the hardest round which it proved to be, and it was just good I had a win at Broken Hill to give me that buffer so I didn’t risk too much tonight, even though I still threw myself on the track a couple of times tonight!
“I’m stoked with the win, it’s what I’ve come back for, and I’ve got to thank the other boys for the competition.”