Saturday April 06, 2019
BIRMINGHAM racer Zach Wajtknecht admits Eastbourne made their home advantage pay as Eagles won the battle of the Championship’s newly-promoted sides at Arlington on Saturday.

The Sussex side triumphed 52-38, but Brummies kept the scores close throughout the contest and were only trailing by six points with three races to go.

Wajtknecht was the visitors’ star man on nine points, with Ashley Morris accruing six paid eight and Ulrich Ostergaard scoring six.

Skipper James Shanes impressed at reserve on five paid seven, leading partner Tobias Thomsen to a 5-1 in race eight.

Italian international Paco Castagna made an encouraging start to the night, winning his first competitive ride for the club in heat two.

Kyle Newman scored four points, but was involved in the race of the meeting as he came agonisingly close to beating Eagles’ maximum man Edward Kennett around his hometown track in heat six.

Wajtknecht admits Eastbourne’s knowledge of the tight and technical Arlington track made all the difference on the night.

He said: “This is always a tough track to come to with some of us not riding here for a few years. I had one meeting here last year, which gave me a bit of an idea of the setup.

“But it was our first meeting and we kept it close throughout. It was just down to experience. Eastbourne are a tough team to beat here.

“Now the first meeting is out of the way, everyone’s nerves are gone and we’re ready for Somerset.

“Obviously we didn’t win on the night. But it is a tough place to come. A lot of teams tend to struggle when they come here.”

Next up for the Brummies is a trip to Somerset on Wednesday in the Championship Shield.

EASTBOURNE 52: Edward Kennett 13+2, Lewis Kerr 13, Richard Lawson 12, Tom Brennan 7+1, Ben Morley 4, Georgie Wood 2+1, Alfie Bowtell 1.

BIRMINGHAM 38: Zach Wajtknecht 9, Paco Castagna 8+1, Ashley Morris 6+2, Ulrich Ostergaard 6, Kyle Newman 4, Tobias Thomsen 3+2, James Shanes 2+1.

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