King’s Lynn Stars skipper Rory Schlein treated the Adrian Flux Arena crowd to an atmospheric and memorable start to the 2015 season at his testimonial on Sunday.
The sounds of Schlein’s Australian compatriots AC/DC, dry ice, flashing lights, lasers and fireworks were just some of the attractions at the Rooboy Boomerang Invitational to make his celebration of 15 years in British speedway a night to remember.
Roger Warnes Transport Stars heat leader Kenneth Bjerre made a perfect start to his campaign with victory ahead of teammate Niels-Kristian Iversen and third-place Coventry rider Chris Harris on Mother’s Day.
The popular 30-year-old Aussie said: “I hope you all enjoyed it. I hope people bring something away from it and push on for British speedway.”
Among the presentation dreamed up by Schlein, who seems to be the speedway equivalent of boxing promoter Don King on the evidence of this meeting, was a feature new to speedway: the Teng Tools quicktime session.
The five top-scoring riders automatically qualified for this session which determined gate positions in the deciding final race. Each rider had two flying laps and the quickest had the advantage of first choice of the gates.
Bjerre was the only rider to go below 15 seconds and this generated a real buzz among the crowd of around 1,500.
On the novel method of deciding places in the five-man Grand Final by Schlein and his team, he added: “It’s something different.
“We’ve had it in the sprint cars back in Australia so it’s a steal from them. It brings a different outlook to the meeting.”
Three junior heats and a final, won by prospect Kyle Bickley, were interspersed throughout the evening, which Schlein’s parents had to come over to attend.
Schlein said the Lynn one-two meant that the meeting heralded some “positive signs for King’s Lynn”.
Danish pocket rocket Bjerre had the last word on the night when he said his engine was better and may put the first prize up on the shelf along with his other trophies!
Schlein finished fourth in the Grand Final which was dominated by the home contingent, who in the 12 qualifying heats saw off the challenge of 2012 world champion Chris Holder and current Elite League Riders’ champion Troy Batchelor.
n More results and pictures on page 46.