Elevation joy as Stars start with early silverware
BIRMINGHAM 46, KING'S LYNN 43 (Aggregate 84-99): King's Lynn picked up their first silverware of the season with the Elite Elevation Trophy at Birmingham.
Kenneth Bjerre looked every inch the world-class No 1 the Stars signed during the winter and there was a particularly impressive show from reserve Sam Masters, who earned himself a call-up for heat 15.
The Stars made the perfect start to the meeting when Bjerre and Tomas Topinka out-trapped Krzysztof Kasprzak for a 5-1 in heat 1, with Masters a clear winner of the reserves' race.
The Brummies edged a couple of points back with a good effort by Daniel King in heat 3, snatching the lead from Mads Korneliussen off the final bend as Olly Allen lost out to Rene Bach.
And there were problems for Niels-Kristian Iversen as he spun and fell in his first outing although serious damage was prevented when Kevin Wolbert hit trouble in the re-run and the home side were limited to a 3-2.
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But they did lose the lead in heat 6 when Iversen was swamped by Kasprzak and Ales Dryml, and a surprise win for Wolbert in heat 8 extended their lead ahead of a frantic scrap for the minor places, Filip Sitera eventually holding off Dryml for third.
After a King's Lynn 4-2 in heat 9, Iversen, hitting the front for the first time, the Kasprzak/Dryml combination again thwarted the visitors in the next with the Pole making it right round the boards coming off the second bend to join his partner.
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A big 5-1 from Allen and Masters in Heat 12 enabled the Stars to cut the gap back to one point, although Bjerre's winning run was ended by Kasprzak's fast start from the inside in the next race.
The home side looked set to clinch victory with maximum points from King and Wolbert in heat 14, but Korneliussen's last-ditch pass of the German rider kept them in the hunt ahead of the final race. But with Bjerre rested, Kasprzak was always favourite for the decider, and even though Masters and Korneliussen managed to hold off Dryml, the Pole was away to secure Birmingham's first home win of the season.
• Birmingham: Kasprzak 11+1, King 10, Nermark 8, Dryml 7+1, Wolbert 7, Pijper 2+2, Bach 1.
• King's Lynn: Bjerre 11, Masters 8+1, Korneliussen 7+2, Iversen 5+1, Allen 5, Sitera 4, Topinka 3+1.