Photo Credit: Jamie Kenny
Newcastle’s 15-year-old speedway star-in-the-making, Archie Freeman endured an arduous 24 hours, finding out just what a dramatic rollercoaster ride speedway can be.
On Sunday afternoon he took his place in the British Under-19 Championship at Scunthorpe, one day after being extricated from the Edinburgh fourth bend air fence after a terrifying crash when he caught the rear wheel of an opponent and launched at top speed straight into the barrier. After a period of recuperation, he was greeted by his opponents as he hobbled back to the pits.
Not the ideal preparation for a British Championship with his bike bending well out of shape, and the lad himself feeling remarkably second-hand, being described as battered, bruised and sore, and regrettably is seems the Scottish trip had taken too much out of man and machine.
The Scunthorpe event was a traditional 20-heat, 16-rider battle but come Freeman’s first race in Heat Three, his race lasted one lap before he was forced to retire from the race, while his second race ended before it had begun when he barged into the tapes with the resultant exclusion from Heat six leaving his point total at zero.
The events the days before had certainly bashed the spirit out of him, who must have been good for a top-eight placing had he and his physicality and equipment been on top form as he ended his final three races with no points to add on a night Freeman will be keen to forget and motor on to his next challenge.
The Championship was retained by Drew Kemp who went through the card unbeaten for 15 points, ahead of second placed Dan Gilkes on 14 while a run-off was required for third, won by Jordan Palin who successfully beat Joe Thompson and Henry Atkins.
Riders’ Individual Scores (programme order)
Henry Atkins 3,2,2,0,3 = 10 (+1)
Jake Mulford 1,1,0,0,1 = 3
Leon Flint 2,3,1,1,0 = 7
Jordan Palin Fx,3,2,3,2 = 10 (+3)
Tom Brennan 3,Fx,2,3,0 = 8
Elliot Kelly 0,2,0,2,2 = 6
Dan Thompson 2,2,1,2,2 = 9
Jason Edwards 1,1,2,E,2 = 6
Kean Dicken 1,1,0,1,0 = 3
Archie Freeman R,E,0,0,0 = 0
Joe Thompson 3,1,3,2,1 = 10 (+2)
Harry McGurk 2,0,3,1,1 = 7
Dan Gilkes 2,3,3,3,3 = 14
Drew Kemp 3,3,3,3,3 = 15
Kyle Bickley 0,0,1,R,1 = 2
Jordan Jenkins 1,2,1,2,3 = 9
reserve: Mickie Simpson 0,1 = 1