Robert Lambert was crowned British Champion on a memorable night of racing at Belle Vue on Monday.
The King’s Lynn youngster, who had starred for Great Britain in the recent Speedway of Nations tournament, went through the card in his qualifying heats at the National Speedway Stadium and then held off home hero Dan Bewley in the Final.
The result mirrored his achievement in the British Under-21 Final earlier in the season, and also earned him the Wild Card place for next month’s British Grand Prix at Cardiff.
Whilst Lambert had his place in the Final secure after four winning rides, there was a fierce battle for the other automatic spot, with a three-way fight ensuing in Heat 19.
Belle Vue star Craig Cook overtook Scott Nicholls off the final bend to move on to 11 points after he, Nicholls and Rory Schlein had all gone into the race on eight.
That race eliminated Schlein completely whilst Bewley, who won his last two rides, Jason Garrity and Kyle Howarth also finished on ten after some spectacular racing.
Seven-time champion Nicholls led the semi-final but was swallowed up by both Bewley and Garrity, who joined Lambert and Cook in the Final.
Lambert elected to take gate 2 and looked to clamp Bewley, off the inside, on turn one, and after establishing the lead on the back straight he switched to the fast outside line and maintained his advantage despite Bewley’s challenge.
Bewley was a crowd-pleasing second whilst outgoing champion Cook made it two home riders on the podium with third place after a hard-working night.
Lambert said: “It’s an incredible feeling. It’s beyond special to come into such a big meeting as this where you’ve got all the best guys in Britain gunning for top spot.
“I never expected to go through the card. On nights like this, you just don’t imagine it’ll happen so to say I’m delighted is an understatement. I couldn’t be more pleased with my performance.
“I just tried to stay composed and focused going into the final. I knew I had stiff competition going for me from all sides and Dan Bewley in particular absolutely knows his way around Belle Vue.
“But I’m thrilled to have won, and to know I’ll be going to Cardiff as the GP wildcard is amazing. It’s something you dream of as a kid so it’s an opportunity I’ll be taking with both hands.”