Glossy stuff from Witches

IPSWICH riders were the subject of an article for a new glossy magazine yesterday afternoon - but it was Mark Loram who made the biggest headlines at Foxhall Stadium with his memorable victory over superstar Jason Crump in heat 13.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH riders were the subject of an article for a new glossy magazine yesterday afternoon - but it was Mark Loram who made the biggest headlines at Foxhall Stadium with his memorable victory over superstar Jason Crump in heat 13.

The Australian-based lifestyle magazine for men picked speedway because they see it as a rapidly emerging sport - and they were not disappointed at what they saw as they took portrait and action shots at Foxhall from 11am until 5.30pm.

Crump twice broke the 2006 Ipswich track record - but couldn't stop The Evening Star Witches collecting two Sky Sports Elite League points.


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The 2004 world champion scorched to a time of 59.1 seconds in heat four, and then went under 59secs two races later.

The track record is 57.5secs set by Jarek Hampel in September 2002.

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The ultra professional Crump looked well capable of scoring a maximum as depleted Belle Vue kept tabs on the home side in front of another bumper bank holiday crowd.

He won heat nine in a time of one minute exactly before coming up against Mark Loram in race 13.

Loram provided the highlight of the afternoon when he flew from the gate to hold off a determined challenge from Crump with the Ipswich rider finding ample grip on his preferred high line.

Crump, who was up at 2.45am for a 5am flight from Poland to England, gained revenge in the final race, but by then the Witches had won by enough to give themselves a realistic chance of the aggregate bonus point when the teams meet in the return in Manchester on May 24.

Crump, who lost half a stone in weight during a winter training regime, is now riding for VMS Elit in Sweden tonight after Rune Holta cried off through injury.

Along with Joe Screen and two plucky reserves in Welshman Phil Morris and Mildenhall's James Brundle, Crump kept the visitors on track.

Kenneth Bjerre, the Belle Vue number two and unable to take a rider replacement ride for the injured Simon Stead along with Crump, scored just one point on a circuit where he badly damaged his back a couple of years ago.

This put Ipswich in the driving seat from the start and if Daniel King had been at his best a bigger win would have resulted.

Stead was suffering from concussion after a fall in Poland on Sunday and the rider replacement facility brought seven points.

Witches skipper Chris Louis' second meeting back in Poland since suffering a severe head injury in 2001, proved a confidence boost.

He scored 13 points from five rides on Sunday and carried on the good work yesterday to prove he is now back in the groove.

The dependable Loram was a deserved Witches man of the match, but Kim Jansson pushed him close with a paid 12-point return from the difficult number two position.

Jansson's reward was a place in the nominated race when Louis reported a slight twinge in his shoulder.

Poles Pepe Protasiewicz and Robert Miskowiak both won two races despite the former looking uneasy in the rather patchy conditions early on.

Jan Jaros did well on his return from injury and reported only soreness in his right wrist after the meeting.

Brundle, guesting for Belle Vue, did his reputation no harm with some quick starts, but former Witch Tom P Madsen was way off the pace.

Protasiewicz went within an inch of the fence on the last bend when leading heat five, before both Ipswich riders passed Brundle in heat eight after a good first turn by Screen who was riding for double points.

Miskowiak looked fortunate to be allowed back into heat nine after striking the second bend fence and being flung in the air.

The referee said that he took into account the heavy conditions. In the re-run, Crump made a superb outside pass on Protasiewicz on the fourth bend.

Louis and Jansson then grabbed their second 5-1 of the afternoon in race ten with home riders winning the next four heats.

Loram went beyond Screen on the fourth bend of the final race before Screen slowed down with engine problems.

Ipswich's next meeting is at Peterborough on Thursday.

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