Robert Lambert was crowned the 2017 British Under 21 Champion on Wednesday night after an enthralling battle at Wimborne Road that saw Belle Vue’s Dan Bewley just miss out on the final.
Proceedings were struck by lengthly delays after paramedics responded to a nasty crash in Heat 2, which resulted in Danyon Hume being stretchered off to hospital with a suspected arm injury.
Bewley made a dream start to the evening with two faultless wins, after which he was excluded in his third outing after falling on the penultimate bend of the last lap while chasing down Ellis Perks.
It did little to phase the 17-year old however and he completed his final two appearances with no incidents, adding four points to his qualifying tally of 10 and proceeding through to the semi-final.
Smith meanwhile got off to a bit of a slower start than his Aces comrade and opened his night with a third behind Lambert and Nathan Greaves, and followed up with a last place in his second ride.
He bagged an impressive race win in Heat 9 with another third and a last place to close his title pursuit with 5 points, well outside the threshold to qualify through to the latter stages of the night.
Lightning unfortunately struck twice for Bewley in the semi-final when, after an initial fall avoiding the downed Ellis Perks, he was subsequently excluded from the re-run after falling a second time.
With both Perks and Bewley excluded it was Josh Bates and Nathan Greaves who joined Adam Ellis and Robert Lambert in the final, with Lambert going on to earn his first British U-21 title.
RESULT – BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL – WEDNESDAY APRIL 26
SCORERS (After 20 Qualifying Races): Robert Lambert 15, Adam Ellis 14, Ellis Perks 12, Dan Bewley 10, Josh Bates 10, Nathan Greaves 9, Liam Carr 9, Zach Wajtknecht 7, James Shanes 7, Connor Mountain 6, Max Clegg 6, Jack Smith 5, Danny Phillips 4, Luke Harris 3, Josh Bailey 1, Alfie Bowtell (Reserve) 1, Danno Verge (Reserve) 1, Danyon Hume 0.
SEMI-FINAL: Bates (Awarded), Greaves (Awarded), Bewley (f.exc), Perks (f.exc).
GRAND FINAL: LAMBERT, Ellis, Bates, Greaves.
Words: Hayley Bromley
Image: Speedway GB