MEETING REPORT - Leicester v Belle Vue

The Cool Running Colts started off the afternoon looking string and with their sights set on redemption after a challenging Good Friday.
12 May 2024 by
Hayley Bromley

A tough afternoon for Belle Vue in the WSRA National League saw them come off second best against Leicester, who dominated 53-37 on the day and 102-75 on aggregate. 

The Cool Running Colts started off the afternoon looking string and with their sights set on redemption after a challenging Good Friday, but fate was not on their side. 

At the half-way stage, only six points separated the two sides before disaster struck for the Manchester side, with both Matt Marson and Jack Shimelt withdrawing from the meeting.

A nasty clash involving Marson in Heat 7 saw Leicester’s Max James colided with the Australian after attempting an inside pass, with both riders coming down. 

Thankfully, both seemed to suffer only superficial injuries but the Cool Running Colts No.3 was unable to take his place in his subsequent rides as a result of the smash.

And Shimelt, who had been struggling with a knee injury in his first two outings, was forced to pull out after the pain became unbearable. 

It left Belle Vue with just five riders, but even so the remaining quintet stood as strongly as they could and still managed to carry the team to a respectable 37 points on the day. 

Sam Hagon led the way at No.1, dropping just one point to end with 14 while returning Colts racer Harry McGurk enjoyed a brilliant 9-point haul and captain Freddy Hodder added 8. 

Team boss Steve Williams said: “It one of those meetings where anything that could go wrong did go wrong for us, and not on a small scale especially in terms of injuries. 

“Jack Shimelt, for starters, went out in his first ride and felt his knee give out halfway around, and when he went out for his second it got worse and he had no choice but to throw in the towel. 

“Then Matt Marson, who won his first race, was leading his second before he was dive-bombed by Max James – where was no room to make the move – and ultimately taken out.

“Thankfully nothing was broken but he did suffer some cuts to his face and the paramedics felt it would be safer for him not to continue. 

“And to make matters worse, Luke Muff high-sided the bike in his fourth ride and seemed to suffer a wrist injury as well as a potential concussion.

“We were essentially down to just four riders by the end, but on a positive note they put in such a brilliant battle and they didn’t back down even for a second despite the challenge they faced. 

“It was brilliant to see harry McGurk getting his mojo back, Sam Hagon was superb as was Freddy Hodder, and Chad Wirtzfeld rode superior to what his score suggests. 

“Had circumstances been different, this could well have been a much different outcome but the main thing is that all the boys are in one piece and we get ready to go again at Redcar.”

The Belle Vue ‘ATPI’ Aces return home on Monday, May 13 when we welcome the newly created Oxford Spires for our first encounter at the National Speedway Stadium, tapes up 7:30pm.   

Meeting tickets, race day programmes and south stand parking are now available to pre-book, along with race day hospitality, at  


Leicester ‘Watling JCB’ Lion Cubs 53: Joe Thompson 13, Tom Spencer 10, Vinnie Foord 8+2, Luke Crang 7+2, Sonny Springer 6+2, Arran Butcher 5+2, Max James 4 
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 37: Sam Hagon 14, Harry McGurk 9, Freddy Hodder 8, Matt Marson 3, Chad Wirtzfeld 2+1, Luke Muff 1, Jack Shimelt 0 

Aggregate Score: Leicester 102-75 Belle Vue

Image: ©Belle Vue Speedway

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