BELLE Vue became the first team to hand Mildenhall a defeat in 2023 after securing their third consecutive home win of the season at the National Speedway Stadium on Friday night.
The Cool Running Colts raced to a hefty 52-38 victory over the Fen Tigers after a fiercely contested battle which again delivered some brilliant racing and plenty of drama.
Luke Muff was delighted with his opening gambit as he raced to his first win on Belle Vue shale in Heat 1 and was greeted with equal enthusiasm from the home crowd.
Grippy track conditions caught a few of the visitors out with Josh Warren coming a cropper in Heat 8, though thankfully with no detriment to either rider or machine.
And Freddy Hodder suffered a catastrophic failure in his final race of the night when his clutch basket collapsed at the start, sending shrapnel from his destroyed clutch plates onto the track.
But despite those few hiccups, and some struggles for a couple of the boys, it was mission accomplished for the Cool Running Colts on the night.
They now take a 14-point advantage to Mildenhall next Sunday, June 4 where they hope to clinch not only another two league points at West Row but also secure the bonus aggregate point.
Hodder said: “We knew, coming into this meeting, that Mildenhall would be a tough team to crack. They’d been unbeaten up to that point and that’s something you can’t ignore.
“So, we’re really happy with this result. They made us work hard for it, no doubt, but we expected nothing less and it’s full credit to all the boys that we pulled this off.
“A couple of us were struggling tonight. Paul [Bowen] had a really tough meeting and he was beating himself up a bit, but it wasn’t through lack of trying.
“If anything, it was because he was trying so hard that he slid off and the main thing is he’s ok and I’m sure he’ll be back and raring to put things right in the next one.
“We’ve got a big weekend next week with trips to both Leicester and Mildenhall so we’ve got our work cut out, but if we can keep doing what we’ve been doing we should have a good couple of meetings.”
The ATPI Aces again find themselves up against the Wolverhampton Wolves, this time in Premiership competition on bank holiday Monday, March 29 at 12:00pm.
Meeting tickets, race day programmes, south stand parking and hospitality are now available to pre-book online at bellevue-speedway.com.
RESULT – BELLE VUE V MILDENHALL – FRIDAY, MAY 26TH @ 7:30PM [NDL]
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 52: Sam Hagon 13+1, Jack Smith 11+1, James Pearson 10+1, Freddy Hodder 9+2, Luke Muff 5, Matt Marson 3, Paul Bowen 1
Mildenhall ‘DJS’ Fen Tigers 38: Alfie Bowtell 10, Arran Butcher 8+2, Ben Trigger 7, George Congreve 5+1, Sam McGurk 5, Josh Warren 2+2, William Richardson 1
Image: Ian Charles