Rory Schlein was crowned British Champion with a strong and consistent display at Belle Vue on Monday.
Schlein made the best of challenging conditions caused by steady drizzle before and during the first half of the meeting, and defeated Richard Lawson, Jason Crump and Steve Worrall to win the Final.
The Wolverhampton and Somerset skipper was competing in his fourth British Final and has already pledged to defend the title next year, having postponed plans to retire after this season was all-but wiped out by Covid-19.
Schlein and Lawson were automatic qualifiers for the Final, Schlein leading the way on 12 points with Lawson on 11 after winning his first three rides.
Crump and Worrall came through the semi, although in the case of the latter it was at the expense of brother Richie who fell on the last bend as he looked to hold onto second place, with treble champion Chris Harris also eliminated at that stage.
Several of the sport’s rising stars put in accomplished displays, with British U19 Champion Drew Kemp impressing greatly by scoring eight points.
Schlein said: “I’m over the moon, I really am. The weather conditions made things pretty tough and we didn’t have it all our own way all night. We really had to fight for this.
“I learned a lot from this meeting as we were going along. I made a very small change to my bike in my last programmed ride and I kept that change going into the final which I’m glad I did!
” I’ve been in the sport for a long time and winning is a wonderful feeling, of course, but nothing can beat that feeling when you’re racing. Just to be here riding my bike.
“It’s been an interesting and memorable night for me, I’m delighted. I’m committed to racing next year and I definitely want to come back and have another crack at the title.
“Hopefully things are back to normal by then and we can have all the big boys taking part because we want it to be a spectacle. It’s the British Final, it’s the best riders in Britain and I can’t wait to be back.”
OFFICIAL REFEREE SCORECARD
British Final, Belle Vue
Picture: IAN CHARLES