Coventry stunned the Husqvarna Hammers home fans with this victory at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Wednesday evening.

The Bees opened the meeting with a maximum heat advantage and were never behind as the home side struggled all evening to keep up with their counterparts from the Midlands. Quite simply, the Husqvarna Hammers carried too many passengers with four home riders claiming just ten points between them. In contrast, Coventry were solid throughout with all of their top five collecting at least a paid win.

Grand Prix stars Andreas Jonsson and Scott Nicholls were on song and their battles with Arena's guest David Norris were hotly contested. Jonsson finished the evening by breaking Tony Rickardsson's week-old track record in heat fifteen when he recorded a time of 57.2 secs.

It was Jonsson who teamed up with Chris Harris to get the Bees off to a good start with a 5-1 in the opening heat, the Swede displaying great team riding skills to shepherd home his colleague.

A brace of shared heats followed as home men collected race wins in each of the next three races. Paul Hurry took a from-the-back victory over Daniel Davidsson in heat two, Leigh Lanham one of the tapes-to-flag variety in heat three, and Norris gained an early win over Nicholls in the fourth.

The Jonsson/Harris partnership collected another 5-1 in heat five as Harris passed Povazhny on the first lap. Another shared heat followed in heat six as Nicholls collected his first victory of the evening over Havelock and Larsen.

Another commanding first corner from Norris in heat seven was enough to see off the challenge of Coventry's young pairing of Schlein and Risager. Piotr Swist scored what was to be his only point of the night in this outing, heading home the Bees' young Dane to take third place.

Hurry claimed his second victory in heat eight for the Husqvarna Hammers but partner Larsen was left to rue the result of a busy second corner which saw him move to the back after a quick start. The shared heat kept Coventry in front by six points, which they extended in the next when the Hammers lost Povazhny on the first lap and Nicholls proved too quick for Lanham. Davidsson's third place gave the Bees a 4-2 and moved them into an eight point lead.

Risager jetted from the start in heat ten to claim the victory over Havelock and Larsen, and he was nearly joined by Schlein in the point's stakes when the Aussie produced a thoughtful couple of laps to move past Havelock, only to falter on the final turn.

There was surprise amongst the home fans when Swist replaced Hurry in heat eleven, which allowed Harris to slip into third place and Jonsson to continue his winning streak by ending Norris' unbeaten run. It transpired that Hurry's arm was giving him problems and that he was reluctant to take an additional ride.

The Husqvarna Hammers meeting was rapidly turning sour at this point and the ten point margin yielded by the Bees' previous 4-2 finally gave Arena scope for tactical moves. Hammers' Team Manager Ronnie Russell, however, elected to pass on that particular option in heat twelve and Coventry maintained their advantage when Schlein won from Povazhny and Hurry.

Norris was nominated for double points in the thirteenth race and he duly responded with a determined first corner to hand Jonsson his first defeat of the night. Havelock, though, could make no impression on the opposition as Arena-Essex settled for a 6-3 advantage.

The Husqvarna Hammers needed two 5-1's to taste victory on the night but home hopes were dashed when Lanham emerged from the second turn in last place during the penultimate race. The Arena skipper managed to find his way past Smolinski, but Risager's second place virtually guaranteed Coventry's win as long as they could provide a finisher in the final race. They duly did and in some style too as Nicholls squeezed around the outside of Norris to join the record-breaking Jonsson and ensure that Coventry collected not only their first away SkyBet Elite Speedway League victory for some time, but also their first ever at the Arena-Essex Raceway.


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