It was a double delight for Belle Vue’s Dan Bewley on Friday after he bagged not only the first track record at the National Speedway Stadium but also his first full 18-point maximum of the season.
The 16-year old set a time of 63.0 seconds in Heat 4 of the Cool Running Colts home meeting against the Mildenhall Fen Tigers, in which they triumphed 51-39 over the depleted visitors.
Bewley, who only began racing speedway at the close of the 2015 campaign, stunned the crowd with a masterful display of track craft and raw talent that is getting him noticed nationwide.
Team manager Graham Goodwin said: “We’re thrilled for him. We knew he was riding well but to score an 18-point max in his first meeting at the new stadium is an unbelievable achievement.
“To be honest we can’t fault anyone tonight. Rob [Shuttleworth] stepped up as captain while Matt [Williamson] was at Workington and his score doesn’t reflect the entertainment he served up.
“He was leading one race when his engine went, then he was battling for the lead when he had a fall. David Holt is another great example, riding the boards in Heat 8 just to get into second place!
“You could see as the meeting went on the boys were really getting to grips with the racing lines and it was very encouraging to see them looking so confident and developing their technique.
“I think it was Jon Armstrong who commented that in some ways it was impossible to be defensive because there were so many lines that there was always someone able to launch an offensive.
“Everyone was putting in the effort and did their job tonight and we’re really pleased with that. In hindsight, we’re actually a bit annoyed that we took Andy Mellish out of one of his rides really.
“We were a bit worried though at that point there was a possibility of the Tigers coming back to within six and sneaking a consolation point and I think we may have played it a little too safe.
“But he understood what we were trying to do and when you’ve got someone like Dan going like he was how could we deny him that extra ride? The short answer is we just didn’t want to risk it.
“We’re more than happy with the result. We’ve got some league points on the board now and it’ll always be written in history that we won the first ever meeting at the National Speedway Stadium.”
There is little time for the Cool Running Colts to catch their breath after that sensational season opener as their quest for National League glory continues with a visit to Rye House on Sunday.
RESULT – FRIDAY MAY 6TH
Belle Vue ‘Cool Running’ Colts 51
Dan Bewley 18, Lee Payne 10+2, Nathan Greaves 10, Rob Shuttleworth 5, David Holt 3+1, Tom Woolley 3+1, Andy Mellish 2+1
Mildenhall ‘KJM Road Sweepers’ Fen Tigers 39
Jon Armstrong 11, Connor Mountain 10, Connor Coles 6+2, Darryl Ritchings 6, Alfie Bowtell 4+1, Joe Lawlor 1+1, Sam Woolley 1
National League points: Belle Vue 3 Mildenhall 0