News 10 Jan 2010

Oz SW: Holder wins Speedway series after season finale

Holder wins Australian Speedway Championship.

Holder wins Australian Speedway Championship.

New South Wales’ Chris Holder has come from four points behind to take out the 2010 Australian Solo Speedway Championship ahead of favourite Troy Batchelor (QLD) at the third and final round at Newcastle last night.

After dominating the first two rounds, Batchelor was unable to maintain his strong form, and failed to make it into the A final, allowing Holder to take Championship honours ahead of him, with Darcy Ward (QLD) wrapping up the Series in third place.

Holder, who was confident coming into the round, managed to keep Ward and Batchelor at bay in what was an action packed night of racing.

As heats got underway, a poor start from Batchelor saw him relegated to third place, while Holder and Ward comfortably won their two heats. Despite winning his second heat, Batchelor again only scored one point in his third heat, ensuring a massive show-down between himself and Holder when they met in their fourth and final heat. With a berth in the finals on the line, the two came to blows in the first corner with both riders putting it on the line, only highlighting the intensity of the championship battle.

Batchelor emerged the winner, securing his place in the B final, with Holder able to progress straight through to the A final.

Ward and Batchelor both lined up in the B final, and despite a dominant start to the Series, Batchelor was unable to hold off a charge from Ward who secured the remaining place in the A final.

Anticipation was already at fever pitch when Holder, Rory Schlein, Ward, and Cameron Woodward, lined up at the tapes for the final race of the night. A slight hiccough when a camera cable became caught up in the tapes as the race got underway ensured the suspense continued to build with the crowd on its feet eagerly anticipating the re-run.

As the tapes flew up, Holder – hungry for his second title – was first out and soon established a strong lead, ahead of Ward, Woodward, and Schlein. Confident in the final lap, Holder celebrated with the crowd, doing wheelies and waving to fans as he crossed the line wrapping up an epic night of racing.

Speaking after the event Holder was thrilled with the victory and was already looking to the months ahead.

“I really had to fight for this one,” Holder said. “This is a big track and everyone is really quick here so to make the final itself is a pretty good effort and having to go out and win it, there was a bit of pressure there but the fat lady hadn’t sung. The pressure was on in that final heat, and Batchelor wouldn’t give me much in that first corner, I would probably have done similar – except I would probably give him a bit more room than he gave me, but now I couldn’t care less!

“Now that the Championship is done, I’ll just send some stuff back to England and start getting ready for that season, I don’t think I have to be back there until March so I’ll just rest up until then and get ready.”

Championship Promoter, Graeme Boyd, was thrilled with the way the night panned out.

“Tonight has been absolutely fantastic,” Boyd said. “It’s had everything – including some controversy when the two leaders bumped into each other and the local riders putting on a spectacular show for the crowd.
“Troy [Batchelor] has been gracious in defeat, Chris [Holder] is extremely pleased to have won it and he did deserve it. I need to say a massive thank you to all of our sponsors and to everyone who helped make the event happen, especially those who helped with the track.”

Round Results:
1. Chris Holder 20 points
2. Cameron Woodward 18 pts
3. Darcy Ward 17 pts
4. Rory Schlein 16 pts
5. Troy Batchelor 15 pts

Championship Standings:
1. Holder 56 points
2. Batchelor 58 pts
3. Ward 51pts
4. Schlein 48 pts
5. Gathercole 39pts