April 13, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

Hummel retains European Grass Track title ahead of Harris and Appleton on wet Wertle weekend – Race Report

Romano Hummel sailed through the rain-soaked conditions in Wertle, Germany, to retain the European Individual Grass Track Championship title. In one evening when the weather did all it could to cause problems to the track and riders, the Dutch stayed calm and focused, riding unbeaten his four scheduled qualifying heats and conquering a deserved title.

Images by Jesper Veldhuizen

That is the final result at the end of heat 16 and before the planned finals could be raced. In fact, at that point the FIME Jury declared that the conditions had deteriorated due to the heavy rain, such that the meeting could not safely continue any further.

Four race wins and 20 points, two points ahead of his nearest rival Chris Harris, allowed Hummel to get the title. The two fierce rivels faced each other in heat 4 after both comfortably won their opening races. “Bomber” Harris gated but Hummel hunted him down and produced a stunning high-speed pass that the Englishman couldn’t fight back from. Hummel then completed the clean sweep by gating and winning by some distance in his other two races.

As happened in the previous years, the rostrum was filled again with two British riders, as Harris took second after scoring 18 points and Andrew Appleton -riding under an Austrian licence- finished third with 16 points, after winning heat 16. Appleton won this race 10 seconds slower than the quickest time on the night, which fully demonstrated just how badly conditions had deteriorated before the decision taken by the FIME Jury President.
The unluckiest rider of the night was Dave Meijerink. The Dutchman finished fourth, but was left kicking himself for a self-inflicted error in heat 4, when he lost control and fell while he was leading the race by a clear 100 meters. Meijerink easily won his other three qualifying heats and so would have been tied level with Hummel but for his fall.

The top five see Mika Meijer and Henry Van Der Steen respectively fifth and sixth after scoring 15 and 11 points respectively.

Top three
1. Romano Hummel, NED
2. Chris Harris, GBR
3. Andrew Appleton, GBR

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