The Lakeside Vortex Hammers kick-off their start to the new Elite League season with three home points, after a 56-36 victory over the King’s Lynn Stars at Arena Essex.
Lakeside dominated the early heats which played the part in securing the Hammers victory with three 5-1 maximums in the first third of the meeting.
Neils Kristian Iversen won the opening race of the afternoon, as he proved to be Lakesides headache with Andreas Jonsson in hot pursuit to be beaten by half a wheel’s length at the finish to split the heat 3-3.
The opening reserve race needed a rerun, as Carl Wilkinson collided with Lewis Kerr which swept out Rob Mear as a result. Mear then put the throttle down and took the rerun with Kerr in support to take Lakesides’ first maximum of the season.
The hosts made it back-to-back 5-1’s, as Kim Nilsson got his first race victory with Lewis Bridger holding on for second on his Elite League return – to take an early 13-5 lead.
Richard Lawson grabbed his first win, as he got to the first bend in front and capitalised but Kerr struggled as he slipped out of the points as Mads Korneliussen took second and Lewis Rose third.
The Hammers then got back to the race maximums in heat five, for their third of the night as Piotr Swiderski sped to victory and Mear snatched second on the final bend off Kai Huckenbeck.
King’s Lynn then played their tactical ride, with Iversen in the chequered helmet. Bridger was unfortunately excluded for stopping the race after his fall, so Lawson stepped up for damage limitation as Iversen took his second victory of the day and Lawson secured second – for a 2-7 heat with the score at 23-16.
Lakeside won the next two heats courtesy of Nilsson and Lawson but split both races to maintain their seven-point advantage.
The home side then opened up their lead once again, as Swiderski got his second race victory and Mear once again put up a fight to take third for a 4-2 lead.
Nilsson got his hat-trick of wins in heat 10, as the Hammers finally found a route past Iversen and Bridger aided in third to open up a 11-point lead at 37-26.
Heat 11 was full of drama, as Rory Schlein was excluded for stopping the race. On the rerun Robert Lambert looked to have clipped Swiderski, as the race was stopped again but all three rider’s returned.
On the third attempt, the race was stopped again as Lambert was then disqualified for causing the race to stop as Swiderski fell again. The Hammers then battled it out between themselves for a 5-0, as Jonsson won with Swiderski settling for second and opened up a 16-point advantage with the scores at 42-26.
The next three heats were split 3-3, as Mear rode a superb race to take his afternoon double. Iversen grabbed his hat-trick of victories in race 13 and Korneliussen took heat 14.
The Hammers finished in fine style for their fourth and final maximum of a glorious afternoon at Arena Essex, as Lawson took victory and Nilsson second – to complete the 56-36 overall win.
Lakeside now take the dash to Norfolk for the second leg of the Good Friday double to face King’s Lynn at the Adrian Flux Arena, in search of some vital away points.
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Andreas Jonsson won the 2016 Lakeside Vortex Hammers Spring Trophy in their pre-season warm up fixture ahead of the new Elite League season.
Jonsson remained unbeaten throughout the night with five race victories from five including the final and was the standout rider of the night.
In the winner takes all grand finale it featured four of this year’s Lakeside riders for the upcoming season, as Richard Lawson finished second and Kim Nilsson in third.
Former Hammers Stuart Robson, Ben Morley and Leigh Lanham returned as guests for the meeting to face the spritely Lakeside team ahead of their bank holiday opener.
Grand finalist Piotr Swiderski kicked proceedings off with victory in heat one. Lawson took heat two from the first bend, despite constant pressure from his teammate Edward Kennett who settled for second.
AJ stamped his authority on the evening with his opening win, after he overtook Nilsson on the third bend of the first lap.
Lawson got his second victory of the night, after gating in front and held off the threat of returning Hammer Lewis Bridger.
Nilsson won heat five and AJ got his second victory of the night at the second attempt after his unsatisfactory start in heat six, ahead of Swiderski in second.
At the halfway stage occupying the top four spots were, AJ and Lawson joint on six points with Swiderski and Nilsson on five points.
Robson got his first race win of the night in heat seven, ahead of Morley and Lanham.
AJ then made it a hat-trick of wins in heat eight the hard way, as D Jonsson lead until the fourth bend on lap two when AJ swept round the outside to take the victory.
Kennett then pressed to his first victory of the night with his offensive style, as Nilsson came second and Swiderski third.
AJ won heat ten for his fourth race win from four, which secured his place in the winner takes all final and set the fastest time of the evening in 58.9 seconds.
Bridger took heat 11 to give him a chance to get in the grand finale finishing on seven points, after Kennett fell on lap two.
In the final heat, Lawson gated first and won which put him into the final. Nilsson came second which also put him through and Swiderski finished third.
AJ topped the heat scoring with 12 points, Lawson came second with 10 points, Nilsson in third with 9 points and Swiderski and Bridger on 7 points each.
Swiderski sneaked into the final on head-to-head, as he beat Bridger in the opening heat to put him into the final alongside AJ, Lawson and Nilsson.
In the grand finale, Lawson gated first and lead for the first three laps with AJ in hot pursuit. Lawson then lost control on the third bend on lap three and AJ’s outside manoeuvre replicated from heat eight worked again to take the victory and the 2016 Spring Trophy.
The Hammers are now raring to go, as the season starts with an away trip to the Kings Lyn Stars on Thursday 24th March before the Good Friday reverse fixture at the Raceway at 1pm.
Mitchell Young reports on the latest exciting developments with the Lakeside Hammers
Lakeside Vortex Hammers’ co-promoter Jon Cook has announced that the team will compete in the 2016 Elite League season.
After fears that the Hammers would not be able to race next year, it looks like speedway will be staying in the area for at least another season.
Joint promoters Cook and Stuart Douglas said at a fans forum that they have been in ongoing talks with the landlords at Arena Essex over recent weeks and will continue discussions.
Cook also announced to delighted Hammers supporters that number-one rider and fans favourite Andreas ‘AJ’ Jonsson has agreed to return to the Arena next season, despite other offers from Elite League clubs.
Cook said about the club’s number-one rider “he is a dream to work with as you know exactly where he is and when he’s riding”.
The news comes after a period of turmoil and uncertainty for the team and their stay at Arena Essex.
Cook admitted that he was distracted last season with other interests and took his eye off the racing on the track, describing last season as “frankly rubbish”.
The Lakeside promoter admitted the mood inside the dressing room last season was not right: “There was something wrong about the atmosphere this year and often completely wrong”.
Cook said he wants to improve that team spirit and passion for next season.
Back in September, Lakeside were hit by the news that, after finishing bottom of the Elite League table, the air-fence surrounding the track was condemned following a safety inspection.
The cost to improve the fence was said to be in the region of £20,000 but after help from volunteers last Tuesday, the projected figure has now been reduced by half.
Meanwhile, reserve rider Adam Ellis will be going out on loan for next season. Cook said this was by ‘mutual agreement’ and Ellis would be going to a track ‘more suited to his development at this point’.
Cook hinted that an as yet unknown rider duo could be on their way to Lakeside for the upcoming season: “We are in negotiations with a pair and if they do come I think they would complement AJ well”.
The opening meeting for the Lakeside Hammers next March will mark the 10th anniversary of promoter’s Cook and Douglas’ partnership.
The press and practice day for the Lakeside Hammers will likely be in the middle of that month.
The Lakeside Vortex Hammers claimed another three home points after a 51-42 win, for their fourth straight home victory against Belle Vue Aces at Arena Essex.
Top scorer of the night was Belle Vues’ Matej Zagar with 19+1 with the Hammers top rider captain Andreas Jonsson with 13.
Mikkel Bech was away on international duty ahead of the World U21’s Series as Lakeside drafted in a fans favourite former Hammer captain Davey Watt.
Number two rider Kim Nilsson remains out injured as former Hammer Piotr Swiderski stepped in. Ashley Birks is out injured for remainder of the season as Ben Morely comes in as the reserve guest.
Zagar set his stool out in heat one, gating first and claiming the victory despite Jonsson coming from the back to finish second to level the heat.
Heat two was a second split heat with another victory for Belle Vue through Steve Worrell but Adam Ellis and Morely stopped ‘The Aces’ gaining an advantage.
The visitors’ stunned Lakeside with an early maximum as Zagar again was electric out the gates and Scott Nicholls supported to take an early 11-7 lead.
‘The Hammers’ responded instantly with a reverse maximum as Ellis made a great start and was aided by Richard Lawson, to level up the meeting.
The home side got a slender lead as Swiderski made the bend in front and held off guest Kevin Doolan, as Morely took third.
‘The Aces’ claimed a second maximum as Zagar made his hat-trick of victories and a superb pass by Nicholls in between both Hammers on lap 2 took second, to regain the overall lead at 19-17.
Lakeside responded again as Jonsson and Watt got the home sides’ second maximum to regain the lead.
‘The Hammers’ extended their lead to six points after back to back maximums as Lawson won heat eight and Ellis took second.
Heat nine was eventful as after the third restart Belle Vue guest Grzegorz Zengota was excluded after falling on the first bend. Swiderski won his second race on the re-start as Ellis supported for their third maximum.
Zagar took the tactical ride and won despite Watt’s efforts to shorten the 10 point gap to only five – as the scores stood 34-29.
Jonsson secured the race victory after he took the lead during lap two and Swiderski chipped in with a point in third, to maintain their lead.
The second reserve race was importantly split as Ellis put in a great ride despite pressure from Worrall who settled for second.
Jonsson sped to his third victory and finally got the better of Zagar as he went wide around everyone to lead and hold off Nicholls in second.
‘The Hammers’ secured victory in race 14 with a brilliant ride from Edward Kennett who struggled throughout the evening and was backed-up by Lawson for a fourth maximum.
In the nominated heat Zagar ended a very successful night with another victory as Jonsson settled for second and claim a 51-42 victory.
Heat 01: Zagar, Jonsson, Swiderski, Doolan. 3-3 3-3 58.2
Heat 02: Worrall, Ellis, Morley, Hughes. 3-3 6-6 60.1
Heat 03: Zagar, Nicholls, Watt, Kennett 1-5 7-11 58.2
Heat 04: Ellis, Lawson, Zengota, Hughes. 5-1 12-12 59.7
Heat 05: Swiderski, Doolan, Morley, Worrall fell 4-2 16-14 59.3
Heat 06: Zagar, Nicholls, Lawson, Kennett. 1-5 17-19 58.9
Heat 07: Jonsson, Watt, Zengota, Worrall. 5-1 22-20 59.0
Heat 08: Re-run Lawson, Ellis, Doolan, Hughes. 5-1 27-21 60.3
Heat 09: Re-runx3 Swiderski, Ellis, Worrall 5-1 32-22 60.6
Heat 10: ZAGAR, Watt, Doolan, Kennett. 2-7 34-29 59.7
Heat 11: Jonsson, Nicholls, Swiderski, Zengota. 4-2 38-31 59.7
Heat 12: Ellis, Worrall, Hughes, Morley. 3-3 41-34 60.4
Heat 13: Jonsson, Nicholls, Zagar, Watt. 3-3 44-37 59.2
Heat 14: Kennett, Lawson, Doolan, Zengota. 5-1 49-38 60.3
Heat 15: Zagar, Jonsson, Nicholls, Lawson. 2-4 51-42 59.6
The Lakeside Vortex Hammers continued their spell of home victories with three points, after an emphatic 57-35 win against Elite League strugglers Leicester Lions at Arena Essex.
‘The Hammers’ bounced back from their heavy defeat on Thursday night away at King’s Lynn by claiming the home win with three races to go.
Lakeside’s number one rider confirmed on the night to promoter Jon Cook during the meeting that he will be back at the raceway next season for ‘The Hammers’.
Former Hammers’ riders Davey Watt and Ben Morely returned, as guests for the home side as Kim Nilsson was away preparing for a GP Qualifier, as Morely stepped in for the injured Ashley Birks.
Lakeside were on the offensive from the opening race, despite Leicester No.1 Jason Doyle gating in the lead. Andreas Jonsson passed Doyle on lap 2 and Mikkel Bech fought till the last bend as he also sneaked passed Doyle for the maximum.
Adam Ellis continued the success as he led the first bend and won – guest Morely battled with Leicester guest Adam Roynon but finished third for a 4-2.
Edward Kennett extended the lead to 10 points as he gated first and won followed by Poole asset Watt in second – for a 14-4 lead and second maximum of the night.
‘The Hammers’ claimed a fourth heat victory through Richard Lawson by gating first and Morely held off Szymon Wozniak this time for a 4-2 race victory.
Leicester rekindled a fightback after Ellis fell on lap 2 and was excluded. Richie Worrall hit the front on the re-run and Simon Lambert followed to leave Bech at the back for a 5-1 reverse maximum.
‘The Lions’ got back to within six points as Doyle got his first win of the night with Lawson in second and former Hammer Piotr Swiderski held off Kennett for a 4-2, with the score at 21-15.
Lakeside gained their third maximum of the night through superb racing by Jonsson as he overtook Wozniak on bend 3 of the opening lap as Watt also surpassed him on lap 2 to maintain the 10 point lead.
Lawson got his second race win but Morely lost out in the battle for second with Worrall – extending the lead none the less, with the Hammers leading 30-12.
Bech grabbed his first victory of the night and Ellis came through in second for a fourth maximum, to open up a convincing lead.
On the start of heat 10, Watt was edged out by Doyle and collided into Worrall. All four riders restarted and Watt was out for revenge and targeted the nominated tactical rider Doyle and passed him at the end of lap 3 to take victory – Kennett took third to split the race 4-4.
Jonsson made it a hat-trick of wins for him as he lead from the front and Bech followed in third for another 4-2, with the overall score at 43-25.
In the second reserve race Morely has a superb individual race as he gated second but took the lead on lap 3 and Ellis also grinded out third with a lap to go and claim the overall three points.
‘The Hammers’ completed their sixth 4-2 of the evening and Jonsson made his fourth victory of the night as Watt held third.
The home side really rubbed salt in the wounds as Lawson grabbed his hat-trick of race wins and was supported by Kennett.
In the nominated final heat Leicester gained back some pride with their second maximum of the night through Doyle and Swiderski, as Jonsson missed out on a full maximum – to end the night with a convincing 57-35 win for ‘The Hammers’ as they move up to sixth.
Heat 01: Jonsson, Bech, Doyle, Worrall. 5-1 58.4
Heat 02: Ellis, Roynon, Morley, Lambert. 4-2 9-3 60.0
Heat 03: Kennett, Watt, Swiderski, Walasek. 5-1 14-4 58.9
Heat 04: Lawson, Roynon, Morley, Wozniak. 4-2 18-6 59.5
Heat 05: Re-run Worrall, Lambert, Bech, Ellis(ex) 1-5 19-11 60.5
Heat 06: Doyle, Lawson, Swiderski, Kennett. 2-4 21-15 59.2
Heat 07: Jonsson, Watt, Wozniak, Walasek. 5-1 26-16 58.6
Heat 08: Lawson, Worrall, Morley, Lambert 4-2 30-18 59.8
Heat 09: Bech, Ellis, Roynon, Wozniak. 5-1 35-19 60.5
Heat 10: Re-runx2 Watt, DOYLE, Kennett, Worrall. 4-4 39-23 59.1
Heat 11: Jonsson, Swiderski, Bech, Walasek ret 4-2 43-25 59.2
Heat 12: Morley, Roynon, Ellis, Lambert. 4-2 47-27 61.1
Heat 13: Jonsson, Doyle, Watt, Swiderski. 4-2 51-29 58.9
Heat 14: Lawson, Kennett, Wozniak, Roynon. 5-1 56-30 60.2
Heat 15: Re-runx2 Doyle, Swiderski, Jonsson, Lawson. 1-5 (57-35) 60.3s
The Lakeside Vortex Hammers suffer a second straight defeat after a hard fought meeting as they lost 42-47 against The Coventry Bees at Arena Essex.
‘The Hammers’ had once again gave away a four point lead with two races remaining, failing to hold on after two reverse maximums to the league leaders as they took three away points back to the midlands.
Lakeside still had riders out injured, as Wolves number one rider Fredrik Lindgren guested in place of Andreas Jonsson – Marc Owen made his first hammers debut in for Steve Boxall.
The home side had a dream start with a 5-1 maximum as Kim Nilsson sped to victory and supported by guest Lindgren.
Coventry found their feet in the reserve race as Jason Garrity won with Adam Ellis in second. Daryl Ritchings tool third to take a 4-2 reverse.
Edward Kennett burst out the blocks in heat three to victory with the quickest time of the night. Mikkel Bech looked to have secured third but overcooked the last bend to allow Joonas Kylmakorpi through, for a split heat.
Last season’s Hammer regular Daniel King had a superb heat four win, as he passed both Richard Lawson and Adam Ellis on lap one at the third bend but ‘The Hammers’ held an even heat.
Nilsson grabbed his second race victory as Stuart Robson followed closely behind for ‘The Bees’ for a third split heat, as Lakeside held a slender lead 16-14.
Lawson won heat six after gating first, Lakeside were on for a maximum but on lap two Hans Anderson took advantage of an opportunity to pass Bech off lap three bend four, to settle for a 4-2 and extend their lead to four points.
Coventry reversed the previous race as King claimed his second victory after a great battle with Kennett, as Kylmakorpi grabbed third.
Heat eight was a second race win for Lawson as both sides split the race, with the scores at 25-23.
The visitors’ were level after the next heat as Garrity got his double race victory with King in third to take a 4-2 heat win.
Kennett had a gutsy ride in heat 10 as he came from third after the first bend to overtake Robson and then Anderson on lap 3 to snatch a split heat.
‘The Hammers’ replicated the first heat with a second maximum through Nilsson’s victory followed by Lindgren in second, to open up a four point lead at 38-34.
The second reserve race was tense, as Garrity won his second race of the night. Adam Ellis came second and Owen claimed a crucial point in third to maintain their four point lead.
Kennett made it a hat-trick of wins in heat 13 but Chris Harris and Andersen kept out Lindgren for a seventh split heat.
Bech was excluded in race 14 for crashing and in the re-run Lawson gated first and lead for two laps until his engine blew, which gave Coventry a 5-0 heat and one point advantage into the final race.
In the final nominated heat Kennett burst to the first bend but was edged out just by King. The Coventry pairing of Harris and King held off ‘The Hammers’ to take three away points and maintain top spot.
Heat 01: Nilsson, Lindgren, Robson, Andersen 58.7 – 5-1
Heat 02: Garrity, Ellis, Ritchings, Owen 58.9 – 2-4; 7-5
Heat 03: Kennett, Kylmakorpi, Harris, Bech 58.5 – 3-3; 10-8
Heat 04: King, Lawson, Ellis, Ritchings 59.3 – 3-3; 13-11
Heat 05: Nilsson, Robson, Garrity, Ellis 58.8 – 3-3; 16-14
Heat 06: Lawson, Harris, Bech, Andersen 59.0 – 4-2; 20-16
Heat 07: King, Kennett, Kylmakorpi, Lindgren 59.1 – 2-4; 22-20
Heat 08: Lawson, Robson, Garrity, Owen 59.3 – 3-3; 25-23
Heat 09: Garrity, Nilsson, King, Ellis 59.2 – 2-4; 27-27
Heat 10: Kennett, Andersen, Robson, Bech 58.9 – 3-3; 30-30
Heat 11: Nilsson, Lindgren, Kylmakorpi, Harris 59.1 – 5-1; 35-31
Heat 12: Garrity, Ellis, Owen, Ritchings (R) 59.9 – 3-3; 38-34
Heat 13: Kennett, Harris, Andersen, Lindgren 58.6 – 3-3; 41-37
Heat 14: King, Kylmakporpi, Lawson (R), Bech (FX) 60.8 – 0-5; 41-42
Heat 15: King, Harris, Lindgren, Kennett 59.1 – 1-5; 42-47
The Lakeside Vortex Hammers fell to their first home defeat of the season as Wolverhampton Wolves take home three away points, after a late surge to take a 46-44 victory.
Wolves have now picked up six points from ‘The Hammers’ in five days with their earlier home victory on Monday.
Lakeside were not at full strength as captain Andreas Jonsson (Injured), Richard Lawson (Riding for Glasgow) and Steve Boxall (Injured) were unavailable.
The three guests were Jason Doyle in for Jonsson, adopted hammer Rory Schlein stepped in for Lawson and reserve rider James Wright slotted in for Boxall.
The first heat needed a re-run and Ricky Wells was excluded for causing the original stoppage as Lindgren won followed by the two hammers Kim Nilsson and Doyle to split heat one.
Wolves took an early maximum in heat two as Lewis Blackbird gated first and won and Josh Bates made it past Adam Ellis on lap two, to take an early 8-4 lead.
‘The Hammers’ bounced straight back with a 5-1 reverse as guest Schlein sped to victory followed up by Danish star Mikkel Bech.
The visitors’ sneaked back in front as former hammer Peter Karlsson showed his track experience with victory, despite pressure from Edward Kennett as Blackbird took third for a 4-2 to lead 13-11.
The home side split race five as Nilsson won, in heat six ‘The Hammers’ turned up the heat as Kennett burst out the gate and was supported by Bech for a second race maximum to lead 19-17.
Lakeside claimed back to back maximums through the guesting Aussie duo as Doyle won and Schlein fended off Karlsson, to extend their lead to six points.
Kennett claimed his second race victory in heat eight after passing both Blackbird and Wells on bend three of lap one but Wright could not support him to split the heat.
Karlsson got his double victory in heat 10 and brought Wolves back into contention to within four points after a 4-2 heat win, with the scores at 29-25.
Lindgren got his second heat victory but ‘The Hammers’ split the race with Schlein and Bech in second and third to maintain their lead.
In heat 11 replacement Blackbird collided with teammate Tobias Musielak and was excluded from the re-run. Lakeside took their fourth maximum as Nilsson took his second race victory from good teamwork with Doyle, to open up an eight point lead at 37-29.
Wolves pulled back two point in the next race as Blackbird won, Wright snatched an important second as Ellis fell.
Heat 13 was split as Schlein gated first and sped to victory but Doyle could not find a way round Lindgren and Blackbird.
The away side hit Lakeside with a surprising maximum to pull themselves right back into the meeting as Karlsson made it a hat-trick of race victories followed by Musielak, as just two points separate the sides at 43-41.
In the final heat, Wolves did not settle for an away point as Karlsson showed his class to take his fourth race win of the night, followed by Lindgren to snatch a late victory and stun ‘The Hammers’.