Zibi comes of age for Seven-up Witches

ZIBI Suchecki came of age with a brilliant penultimate race victory to earn Ipswich Evening Star Witches a 46-44 win against Swindon Robins - their seventh consecutive home Sky Sports Elite League victory - at Foxhall Stadium last night.

By Elvin King

ZIBI Suchecki came of age with a brilliant penultimate race victory to earn Ipswich Evening Star Witches a 46-44 win against Swindon Robins - their seventh consecutive home Sky Sports Elite League victory - at Foxhall Stadium last night.

This was the first real home test for the Witches since they lost to Poole in April - and they came through with flying colours against the title favourites.

Swindon Alun Rossiter had labelled this a meeting his team had to win, but Ipswich - with confidence boosted by their recent good home run - held their nerve with Suchecki receiving sound back-up from the rest of the side.

Marcin Rempala remains a concern, but he scored a vital point in heat 14 on a night when riders from both sides suffered a succession of machine problems.

Adams, the first Grand Prix rider to race at Foxhall since Poole were in town on April 19, showed his class by having the speed to go round the outside of Kim Jansson going round the second bend to win heat one - equalling the fastest time of the season in the process.

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Jesper B Jensen went through on the inside to pass Charlie Gjedde on the fourth bend for a 3-3. The slow-starting Rempala soon caught up with Swindon squad member Tommy Allen, who was riding in place of the ill Tomasz Chrzanowski, in heat two.

Tobi Kroner had to briefly hold off Andrew Moore before taking his customary reserves' race chequered flag. The Robins levelled the score in the next race when Gjedde made the most of his earlier ride to adjust his gear and roar away from the tapes to win with home skipper Chris Louis unable to make up any ground after coming out of the second bend adrift of the rest. Lee Richardson became the fourth consecutive rider to win from gate four when he enjoyed a victory from the tapes in heat four.

The British GP may have been less than two days away, but Adams was not looking to hold back and his partner in race five was reserve Moore, who was taking a rider replacement ride for the injured Mads Korneliussen. Swindon had the choice of every rider bar Adams to replace Korneliussen.

Louis was onboard his second machine, and from gate two he had Witches fans cheering him round after Adams was left at the back. Suchecki also made a good start and Ipswich pocketed a surprise 5-1 with Adams comfortably kept at the rear - with Moore seizing an engine on the second circuit. Swindon suffered another blown engine in the next heat when Richardson failed to move when the tapes rose - with Jensen and Jansson gaining the Witches second 5-1 in succession to put then eight points ahead.

But Swindon hit back with a straightforward maximum heat advantage themselves in race seven, with Rempala again slow away and Miskowiak also left behind in the scramble to the first turn.

Sebastian Ulamek when flying into the air when running out of space as he tried to squeeze outside Jansson coming out of the second bend of race eight - coming off on the high side with his machine damaging a couple of fence panels down the back straight.With a big black cloud threatening it took what seemed like an age to repair the fence; with the excluded Ulamek withdrawing from the meeting in the interim with a hand injury.

In the eventual re-run, Ipswich gobbled up an easy 5-1, while in race nine Moore rose to the occasion to ensure a drawn heat - with Richardson, now on his second bike, at the back. Crowd levels were down on last week showing that having a GP rider in action held no extra appeal to Ipswich fans.

The skies had lightened by the time Jensen won race ten, with Miskowiak winning a potentially very tricky heat for Ipswich in heat 11, and in a very fast time. Richardson's second place brought the only two points through the rider replacement facility for the in-form Chrzanowski.

Yet another drawn outcome - the fourth in succession - in race 12 with Kroner suffering an engine failure just yards from the tapes. Louis' win kept Swindon tantalising just one point away from using a tactical rider, but it was close with Louis' primary chain snapping just after he crossed the line

When Adams and Richardson claimed a determined 5-1 in heat 13 it brought the Robins within four points, and with Kroner having blown an engine Rempala took his fourth ride.

The Pole gained a vital third place, but it was Suchecki who was the hero with s superb ride in a superb race.

Gjedde chased him all the way and made an inside pass on the third lap, only for Suchecki to regain the lead down the back straight on the final circuit to have every Ipswich fans on their feet celebrating.

It was one of the races of the season, and won Ipswich the meeting even though the Robins gained a last heat 5-1 after Jensen was forced to start 15 metres adrift after touching the tapes.

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