Speedway

Chasing back out to upset Holder’s Australian Solo Speedway Championship party

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Gillman Speedway and 15 riders stand between Chris Holder and a fourth Australian Solo Speedway Championship as we head to South Australia for the final round of the 2012 series.

On the back of two brilliant round wins at North Brisbane and Kurri Kurri, Holder has established a five-point buffer courtesy of 11 wins from 12 races.

While many consider Holder's charge to the 2012 crown a mere formality, there is a pack of chasing riders eager to cause an upset and win their first senior National Championship.

Leading this challenging troupe is Australian Speedway World Cup star Davey Watt, who overcame a hiccup in Kurri Kurri to stay within touching distance of Holder heading into the final stanza in Adelaide.

Building on podium from North Brisbane, the Queenslander appeared set to challenge his Poole Pirates teammate before a two-heat stretch threatened to end his title hopes.

A third behind Holder and Taylor Poole was followed by a DNF, which had Watt needing a win in his final heat to book a spot in the B Final.

Despite the setbacks Watt progressed to the A Final, but was forced to settle for third behind an impressive Victorian Cameron Woodward, who sits just three points off Watt.

The Eastbourne Eagles star proved himself the ultimate opportunist in Kurri Kurri and will need to bring those skills to the fore if he is to close the eight-point gap to Holder.

Collecting eight points through the first four heats, Woodward looked set for the B Final before Taylor Poole opened the door after a final-heat DNF.

Knowing a win would give him 11 points and automatic berth in the A Final, Woodward pounced and carried the form into the Main Event, finishing a close second.

Arguably the biggest success story of the 2012 Australian Solo Speedway Championship has been the emergence of Newcastle rider Sam Masters as a genuine star of Australian Speedway.

Masters capped off a stellar British Premier League season by taking out the 2011 Rider Championship, but was controversially overlooked for a seeding position for the 2012 Australian Championship.

Forced to earn his ride through the qualifying meeting, Masters eased through before reaching the A Final to opening his campaign.

Another A Final appearance in Kurri Kurri proved this was no one-hit wonder performance and left Masters in a tie with Woodward on 32 points heading into the final round.

Regarded as one of Australia's premier Speedway venues, Gillman Speedway is a location fitting of deciding the first senior Australian National Championship of the New Year.

Round Three of the 2012 Australian Solo Speedway Championship takes place at Gillman Speedway, Adelaide on Saturday January 22.

Check out www.gillmanspeedway.com for event information.

Main Photo: Chris Holder leads (from left) James Holder, Cameron Woodward and Rohan Tungate in action at Kurri Kurri last weekend.
Credit: All Action Motorsport


2012 Australian Solo Speedway Championship Standings:
Chris Holder 40 points;
Davey Watt 35;
Sam Masters 32;
Cameron Woodward 32;
Rohan Tungate 30;
Taylor Poole 27;
Corey Gathercole 27;
Justin Sedgmen 27;
Todd Kurtz 19;
James Holder 17;
Robert Ksiezak 14;
Daine Stevens 13;
Kozza Smith 9;
Michael Dyer 8;
Harley Horwood 6;
Joey Ringwood 3;
Troy Batchelor 2.

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