DAN Bewley raised the proverbial roof of the National Speedway Stadium as he raced to back-to-back British titles in the 2023 Sports Insure British Final on Monday, August 14.
On a rain-soaked evening in Manchester, the Belle Vue star qualified directly into the grand final along with former Aces captain Steve Worrall, who takes the wild card spot in the 2023 British Grand Prix.
A packed stadium was holding its collective breath as the rain came down prior to the event, with praise heaped on the track staff for working their magic to ensure the meeting went ahead.
And it was current and former British champions who dominated the heat winners in the early stages of the night, with Bewley, Adam Ellis and Danny King all taking wins in their first rides.
Changing track conditions meant plenty of curveballs went the way of the riders, with some relishing what the circuit threw at them with others struggling.
After 20 qualifying races, Ellis, Ben Barker, Richard Lawson and Chris Harris locked horns in the last-chance semi-final with a place in the grand finale, and a shot at the trophy, up for grabs.
Barker and Lawson were the ones to advance, but the night belonged to Bewley as he surged to his second British crown in as many years, with Worrall second and Barker third.
Bewley said: “It’s a thrill to be British Champion again. It’s been a tough night and a pretty sketchy track at times with all the rain, but we battled hard all night.
“Coming into the final, anything can happen. I knew whoever got to that berm of dirt first would be away. I just wanted to get there as soon as I could and put some yards on the other boys.”
British No.2 Steve Worrall said: “I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet to be honest! It’s a massive achievement for me to be British no.2, and to be going to Cardiff as well is amazing.
“I was a track reserve in 2016 but I didn’t get a go back then. I am looking forward to it, this has been a great night and my family will get to enjoy Cardiff with me too.”
British No.3 Ben Barker added: “It’s always nice to get on the podium. It’s been a long while since I’ve done it so to be third on the night is brilliant.
“I haven’t raced my bike in nearly 6 weeks so that makes this an even bigger achievement. Well done to both Dan and Stevie, everyone got stuck in and it was a fantastic night in the end.”
The ATPI Aces are back in action next Monday, August 21 against the King’s Lynn Stars in what will be their penultimate home fixture before the Play Offs.
Meeting tickets, race day programmes, south stand parking and hospitality are now available to pre-book online at bellevue-speedway.com/events.
RESULT – 2023 SPORTS INSURE BRITISH FINAL – BELLE VUE – MONDAY, AUGUST 14 @ 7:30PM
QUALIFYING SCORES: Dan Bewley 12, Steve Worrall 12, Ben Barker 12, Adam Ellis 11, Chris Harris 11, Richard Lawson 9, Tom Brennan 9, Simon Lambert 8, Charles Wright 8, Danny King 7, Connor Mountain 6, Kyle Howarth 5, Leon Flint 4, Joe Thompson 2, Danyon Hume 2, Freddy Hodder (R) 1, Sam Hagon 0
SEMI-FINAL: Lawson, Barker, Ellis, Harris.
GRAND FINAL: Bewley, S. Worrall, Barker, Lawson (FX).
Image: Ian Charles