Great Britain racer Robert Lambert was crowned Speedway Euro Champion on a memorable night in Torun on Wednesday.
The King’s Lynn man clinched the series by winning the fifth and final round, and in the process booked an automatic place in next year’s Grand Prix.
He extended his two-point lead over rival Leon Madsen when he triumphed over the Dane in Heat 1, but Madsen remained in touch throughout to ramp up the tension going into the closing stages.
Both riders qualified for the meeting Final in which Lambert needed to, at worst, finish one place behind Madsen – but in fact he made a fast start from gate two to win the race and end the competition three points clear.
Russian Grigory Laguta was third overall, with the last two places for next year’s SEC being taken by 2019 champion Mikkel Michelsen and Polish youngster Bartosz Smektala.
European Champion Robert Lambert has described the emotion of one of the biggest results of his career.
Lambert can now plan for the 2021 Speedway Grand Prix series after his triumph in Torun on Wednesday, as he became the first rider to succeed under the new ruling which automatically promotes the SEC winner into the following year’s World Championship competition.
He won the last two rounds of the SEC to overturn the six-point margin that Leon Madsen had built up prior to last Thursday’s event in Gniezno, and got the better of his rival in a classic contest in the decider.
Lambert said: “It’s such an incredible feeling. A lot of work has gone in to getting into this position, and it was a hard meeting all the way through.
“It was close between the both of us but it was just that last race. All I needed to do was focus on the start and get out, and I managed to do that and get the beautiful trophy.
“I’m honoured to be European Champion, I’m so happy about it and maybe a bit later the feelings will sink in a bit deeper.
“Thanks to everyone who’s been helping me and supporting me throughout, and I hope I’m making the British fans very happy because they’ve got no speedway to go and watch at the moment.”