RORY Schlein, skipper of the Cases-sponsored Somerset Rebets, has been crowned the 2020 British Champion.
In heavy conditions on a track soaked by rain prior to tapes up, the Australian earned a direct route to the final after collecting two wins and three second places in the heats.
Then in the Grand Final Schlein did all the hard work off the tapes to edge out former Rebel Richard Lawson. Jason Crump was third and Steve Worrall fourth.
A delighted Schlein admitted “Well, this is a feather in my cap. I never won the
Aussie Champs but I can go home now and they can never take my name off the trophy.
“It was an interesting first corner in the final. Me and Rich were elbow to elbow and I just knew I had to get into the dirt line first.
“I must give a big shout out to my engine tuner ‘Johnsy’ (Peter Johns) as the bike was pulling well tonight.
“I can’t say that any of us really enjoyed the conditions but it has just been such a frustrating season that we all wanted to ride.”
Schlein’s scheduled 2020 team-mates, Ben Barker and Josh Bates, scored eight and two points respectively, both putting in some brave efforts although Bates did have two opening retirements.
Schlein had originally planned to make 2020 his final season in the UK but due to the cancellation of the domestic season he has shelved those plans and is all set to be back in Somerset’s colours in 2021.
He will of course start the season as the reigning British champion – the first non-British rider to do so since Ivan Mauger won his fourth British title in 1972.
The Somerset Rebels compete in the SGB Championship – the second tier of British speedway’s three tier set up – and race from April to October at the Oak Tree Arena near Highbridge.