Monday July 22, 2013
BIRMINGHAM's busy week of Elite League action got off to a positive start with two points gained from a thrilling draw at Peterborough.

A tremendous contest swung both ways throughout the meeting and boiled up into two heats of stunning speedway to settle the result.
Star of the show for the Brummies was

Chris Harris, who collected a hugely impressive 14 points from five rides and somehow held Panthers skipper Kenneth Bjerre at bay in an epic Heat 15.

Brummies were beset by problems early on with their gating slightly below par and both reserves suffering mechanical trouble in Heat 2.

Worse was to follow for Josh Auty in Heat 4 as he took a heavy fall whilst leading the race, although Harris prevented serious damage in the re-run by scything his way to the front.

But Peterborough continued to edge advantages to build an eight-point lead, despite Martin Smolinski looking impressive in winning his second outing.

The German split the home duo in Heat 8 just as the Brummies looked set to go ten points down, and two races later they had a stroke of fortune as Bjerre broke down at the start allowing Danny King and Ben Barker a clear 5-1.

With momentum building, Smolinski and Jason Doyle added another maximum in the next and 4-2s in Heats 12 and 13 put the visitors in control, despite Bjerre snatching second spot from Doyle in the latter race.

But the home side charged back into contention in a remarkable Heat 14 which saw the riders locked together on turns three and four before Patrick Hougaard and Krzysztof Buczkowski finally moved clear.

With the scores level, the climax was even more dramatic as the Panthers gated in Heat 15 only for Harris to go from third to first. Bjerre responded and re-took the lead only for Harris to turn back once more, and the third place battle was just as frantic with King edged out by Hougaard in a blanket finish.

PETERBOROUGH 45: Patrick Hougaard 13+3, Kenneth Bjerre 10, Krzysztof Buczkowski 7+2, Dakota North 6, Norbert Kosciuch 5+1, Joonas Kylmakorpi 4, Ryan Fisher 0.

BIRMINGHAM 45: Chris Harris 14, Martin Smolinski 9+1, Danny King 9, Jason Doyle 5+1, Ben Barker 5+1, Josh Auty 2, Nico Covatti 1.

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