King’s Lynn Stars host Simon’s shining testimonial day
Fans came out in force on Sunday at the Adrian Flux Arena in Lynn as the sun shone for Simon Lambert’s Testimonial Meeting, which was called Rambo Lambo’s Decennary.
With Stars legends Tomas Topinka, Terry Betts and Ian Turner present as special guests, and Neil Vatcher’s Young Lions also on show alongside the main event, there was a real party atmosphere to the piece.
Club asset Lambert himself was forced to withdraw from the action following a heavy Heat 15 tumble. It could have spoiled the occasion, but he fortunately escaped from what could have been a worse landing with muscle damage to his right arm.
Former Lynn rider and Grand Prix star Kenneth Bjerre took the top prize by easing into the semi-finals with 12 points and then powering to victory in the two deciding races.
There was still plenty of good racing to maintain interest throughout, with Sam Masters frequently at the centre.
The Aussie champion got the afternoon pulsating with his third lap pass of Danny Ayres to win the opening race, then just lost out to Michael Palm Toft right on the line in Heat 13 and left it as late as the final bend to catch Josh Grajczonek for victory in Heat 16.
Lynn legend Niels-Kristian Iversen dominated the main 20 race programme, powering to five wins, before finally coming unstuck against Bjerre in the first semi-final, while fellow front-runner Craig Cook found his day ended in the second when up against Masters and King.
King himself proved a little too eager at the tapes in the Final, his subsequent 15 metre penalty relegating him to the back as Bjerre drove home ahead of Iversen and Masters to win the race that mattered most.
The Dane was not even in the meeting a week earlier, yet following cancellation of a Polish commitment and a late opportunity to join the field he was finishing top of the pile.
He commented: “I texted Simon to ask if he still had a place open, and he said ‘come on down’.
“It’s been a great day, and the weather has been nice, and I hope everyone enjoyed it.”
Runner-up Iversen added: “I missed out in the last couple of races, but it was still a good meeting for me, with plenty to build on for the season.
“It was good to be back here too. We’ll see what happens in the future, but I enjoyed today.”
Third placed Masters admitted: “I didn’t expect to be on the rostrum at the start of the day; I couldn’t get out of the starts.
“But as long as it was a good day for Simon, that’s what really matters. That’s what we we’re here for.”
The Testimonial man himself, talking about his injury, said: “I am OK now, although it’s a bit sore.
“I don’t know what happened, but it was one of those things.
“I think I tried a bit too hard, but we’ll forget about that. Tomorrow’s another day. I just need to push on now. You know, you come back from injury and then you pick up another little knock. But we’ll get there.
“But it’s been a fantastic day overall, though. I keep saying that word – fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! Everybody’s made it happen, there’s been a great turnout, and I’m so thankful.”
Rambo Lambo’s Decennary - main 20 Heat programme: Niels-Kristian Iversen 15, Craig Cook 13, Sam Masters 13, Kenneth Bjerre 12, Josh Grajczonek 10, Michael Palm Toft 9, Danny King 8, Lasse Bjerre 8, Kenneth Hansen 6, Todd Kurtz6, David Howe 4, Thomas Jorgensen 4, Carl Wilkinson 3, James Sarjeant 3, Ulrich Ostergaard 1, Simon Lambert 1. Reserve: Danny Ayres 3.
Semi-Final 1: K.Bjerre, Iversen, Palm Toft, L.Bjerre. Semi-Final 2: Masters, King, Cook, Grajczonek. Final: K.Bjerre, Iversen, Masters. King (racing off 15m).