Brennan blasts to British Title success
Tom Brennan was the deserved winner of the Under 21 British Final after an entertaining evenings racing in front of a healthy crowd at the Media Prima Arena. The Belle Vue and Eastbourne star was faultless over the course of the evening as he went unbeaten during the qualifying stages and in the final, when it mattered he triumphed to what he described as “The biggest moment of my career so far!”
Heat 1 saw Tom Brennan start as he meant to go on with a solid tapes to flag win whilst Kyle Bickley passed Jake Mulford on bend 4 of the first lap to grab an important 2nd place. The 2nd heat of the evening saw Jordan Palin pass Alex Spooner in lap 1 to take a deserved win as he stamped his mark on the meeting with a commanding win. Heat 3 saw Drew Kemp storm from the tapes to take a comfortable. The 4th heat of an exciting evening saw Redcar’s Jordan Jenkins have his first race of the evening and what a race it was for the Redcar man as he took a superb win from the gate.
Heat 5 saw Dan Gilkes recover from an opening race last to take the chequered flag ahead of Jason Edwards. Heat 6 saw Jordan Jenkins continue his perfect night so far with 2 wins from 2 starts, Jenkins came under intense pressure from Jake Mulford of the Kent Royals but managed to hold on for the win. The 7th heat of the night saw a sensational win from Tom Brennan whilst Jordan Palin ultimately had too much speed for Dan Thompson as he passed him on the back straight of lap 2 to claim 2 points. Heat 8 saw the pre-race favourite Drew Kemp duly deliver although he was kept honest by the young Berwick Bandit Kyle Bickley. After 8 heats of speedway 3 riders still had their undefeated records intact, Drew Kemp, Tom Brennan and Jordan Jenkins.
Heat 9 saw Dan Gilkes continue his strong showing after passing Alex Spooner on the 1st lap to add another 3 points to his total. The 10th heat of the final saw Jake Mulford have an altercation with the air fence as he fought to stay on the bike on the opening bends, he was unfortunately unsuccessful in his attempts and he was excluded from the re-run. The re-run saw Drew Kemp make it 9 from 9 with another win with Dan Thompson close behind in second. The 11th heat saw an unfortunate crash involving Nathan Ablitt who locked up on the opening bend, Ablitt was lucky to be missed by Jordan Jenkins but he was excluded from the re-run. The second staging saw Tom Brennan continue his ascent towards the crown after passing Jason Edwards at the end of lap 1 to take the win with Redcar’s Jordan Jenkins finishing third. Heat 12 saw a stunning outside swoop from Scunthorpe’s rising star Jordan Palin to take the 3 points ahead of the consistent Kyle Bickley who had now recorded 3 second places from 3 races.
The 13th heat of an eventful evening saw Drew Kemp continue his march towards a place in the final with another win whilst Jordan Palin fell on the last lap and cost himself a valuable 2 points with Dan Gilkes taking second. Heat 13 saw an easy win for Jake Mulford whilst Ben Trigger picked up a point in third after Nathan Ablitt was forced to withdraw through injury. Tom Brennan picked up a heat 15 win as he assured himself of a place in the latter stages of the event. The 16th heat of speedway saw Dan Thompson pass Jason Edwards on the back straight of lap 1 to pick his first race win.
Heat 17 saw Dan Thompson get the better of Dan Gilkes to take the win. The 18th race saw Jason Edwards strike a big win with Jordan Palin securing his place in the semi-finals with a second place. Heat 19 saw a fabulous win for Tom Brennan who took the scalp of the previously undefeated Drew Kemp to secure his place in the final alongside the aforementioned Kemp. The 20th heat was a nail-biting occasion as Jordan Jenkins needed to finish at least 2nd to secure his place in the semi-final and he went one better and won the heat to go into the latter stages with huge amounts of confidence.
With heat 20 completed the semi-final lineup was completed and it read Jordan Jenkins, Dan Gilkes, Dan Thompson and Jordan Palin. Jason Edwards was pipped to a place in the semi-final on countback.
The semi-final was an exciting affair as Dan Gilkes made the gate and ultimately took the win but all of the action was unfolding behind him. Jordan Jenkins was second from the gate but was passed by both Dan Thompson and Jordan Palin and the Bear’s brave run ended in the semi-final. Jordan Palin remarkably came second to make the final despite initially being the first reserve for the event before the withdrawal of Anders Rowe.
After an exciting evening it came down to the final race and it was between Brennan, Kemp, Palin and Gilkes. Tom Brennan made the gate and flew away from the opposition to claim his first British U21 title whilst Drew Kemp pipped Kent’s Dan Gilkes on the line to claim 2nd place.
After the meeting we heard from GB youth boss Neil Vatcher who was thrilled with his young stars, “It was a fantastic evening, the meeting did not disappoint and every heat was great! Tom Brennan was quality, he obviously has that spot in the Premiership and that can only help him. Tom hasn’t had the best of luck in previous years so I am pleased for him. Jordan Jenkins rode amazingly well, these meetings are really tough when you are 100% fit so to be riding with a fractured wrist is quite frankly unbelievable. Finally, I would like to say well done to all of the riders, there are lots of good British riders out there and as far as I am concerned the future of British speedway looks bright.”
The final word has to go to our victor, Tom Brennan who was understandably thrilled with his evening, “This is the biggest moment of my career to date, it is a great feeling to win the title. I have had some great people helping me and I hope it’s only upwards from here! I felt really quick all night, I felt like I had all the speed in the world, especially when I hit the front which I haven’t been doing much this season.”