Kerr retains Silver Helmet crown!
Redcar’s Lewis Kerr retained his Teesside Silver Helmet crown with a superb performance at the ECCO Arena. The Redcar heat leader won every race he finished with his only mishap coming in his 3rd outing, (heat 11) when he fell and was excluded from the re-run. Glasgow’s Ben Basso was 2nd with Thomas Jorgensen 3rd whilst Erik Riss came 4th in the final. The last action at the ECCO Arena for 2022 was superb with all 17 riders giving it their all and producing some spectacular speedway.
Kerr started off his defence with a win by defeating Sam Masters who in turn, had to hold off Jorgensen to claim second. Simon Lambert opened his account by winning heat 2 from his Scunthorpe team mate James Wright. Heat 3 saw a superb race as Redcar’s Jordan Jenkins superbly passed Ben Basso to take the chequered flag whilst Ryan Douglas claimed second on the line to take 2 points in his first outing.
After Paul Starke fell in the original staging of heat 4 (and was excluded from the re-run), Erik Riss took a comfortable win with his Bears teammate Jason Edwards claiming second to open his account for the night. Riss was out again in heat 5 as the German won despite late pressure from the impressive Jorgensen. In the battle for 3rd, Ace Pijper defeated Marius Hillebrand to claim his second point of the event in his second outing.
Masters took his first win in heat 6 whilst Kerr made it 2 wins from 2 with a spectacular dive up the inside of Douglas on bend 3 of the opening lap to add another 3 points to his burgeoning tally in heat 7. Basso took the win in heat 8 despite early pressure from Theo Pijper whilst heat 9 saw more superb action between Douglas, Jorgensen and Lambert. Douglas made a jaw dropping pass between Jorgensen and Lambert on bend 3 of lap 1 to take the win whilst Jorgensen passed Lambert on the run to the line to take 2nd.
Basso won heat 11 but the story was for second as Ace Pijper took 2nd by comfortably holding off Masters to claim a fantastic second place ahead of a genuine top Championship rider in the Edinburgh skipper. Kerr took a fall in heat 11 and was excluded from the re-run but the Bears faithful were still able to celebrate a home heat winner as Edwards took his first win of the night ahead of Wright in second.
Theo Pijper took a nasty tumble in heat 12 which saw the Berwick man withdraw from the rest of the meeting. In the restaging, Riss yet again won with Jenkins in second whilst Danny Phillips could not claim third due to his 3rd mechanical problem from as many outings which saw the former Newcastle man withdraw from the remainder of the meeting.
Jorgensen took a well deserved first win in heat 13 with a fantastic pass on Basso entering lap 3 with the former Bear looking set fair for at least a semi-final spot. Heat 14 was won by Riss who was the only undefeated man left in the field and the German was looking certain to qualify for the final. Kerr was back to winning ways in heat 15 as he took the win from Ace Pijper in second with the Berwick youngster defeating another Championship rider in Max Clegg.
Paul Starke took his only win of the event with a brilliant bend 3 move on the opening lap as he swooped around Lambert and Hillebrand for the win. In the battle for third, Hillebrand slowed which allowed the meeting reserve, Ben Rathbone through to claim his maiden point of the night. After Jorgensen secured his place in the semi-finals with a win in heat 17, Sam Masters joined the Dane by winning heat 18 from Max Clegg in second.
Riss was defeated for the first time in heat 19 as he finished 3rd behind Basso (2nd) and Kerr (1st). Despite Riss only picking up 1 point, he and Kerr were straight through to the final, much to the delight of the home crowd. The final qualification race saw Ace Pijper take a fantastic win as he passed Edwards and then intelligently held off Douglas to claim the biggest 3 points of his career to date.
The last chance semi-final saw Basso take a comfortable win with all the action behind him for second as Jorgensen passed Douglas on the penultimate lap and subsequently held off the Australian’s attempts to re-pass to take his place in the final.
The grand final saw Kerr win after the Brit dived up the inside of Basso on lap 3 to take the win with the impressive Glasgow youngster taking second whilst Jorgensen passed Riss to claim the final podium spot.
1. Thomas Jørgensen – 1, 2, 2, 3, 3 = 11 THIRD
2. Sam Masters – 2, 3, 2, 1, 3 = 11
3. Lewis Kerr – 3, 3, FX, 3, 3 = 12 WINNER
4. Theo Pijper – 0, 2, FX = 2 Withdrawn
5. Ace Pijper – 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 = 9
6. Simon Lambert – 3, 2, 1, 2 = 8
7. Danny Phillips – R, 0, R = 0 Withdrawn
8. James Wright – 2, 1, 2, 0, 2 = 7
9. Marius Hillebrand – 0, 0, 1, 0, 0 = 1
10. Jordan Jenkins – 3, 0, 2, R, 1 = 6
11. Ryan Douglas – 2, 2, 3, 2, 2 = 11
12. Benjamin Basso – 1, 3, 3, 2, 2 = 11 SECOND
13. Erik Riss – 3, 3, 3, 3, 1 = 13 FOURTH
14. Jason Edwards – 2, 1, 3, 1, 1 = 8
15. Paul Starke – FX, 1, 0, 3, 0 = 4
16. Max Clegg – 1, 0, 0, 1, 1 = 3
17. Ben Rathbone – 0, 1, 0, 0 = 1