Holder is the Aussie ace in the pack for Pan­thers

Speed­way - SGB Cham­pi­onship Fours pre­view Still to come

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - SPORT - By Mark Plum­mer SPEED­WAY CORRESPONDENT

Pan­thers team man­ager Carl John­son is back­ing Jack Holder to be the star of the SGB Cham­pi­onship Fours for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive year.

The Aus­tralian ace was the main man be­hind Ply­mouth’s suc­cess in the an­nual event at the East of Eng­land Arena last sum­mer.

Now Holder will spear­head Pan­thers’ own chal­lenge for glory in the 2017 stag­ing when the lead­ing lights from all 10 sec­ond-tier clubs do bat­tle on Sun­day (2pm).

He is joined in the city quar­tet by for­mer Bri­tish cham­pion Chris Har­ris, Paul Starke and cap­tain Ul­rich Oster­gaard. Bradley Wil­sonDean is re­serve.

“Jack was the star rider of the Fours last year,” said John- son. “I think I’m right in say­ing he only dropped a cou­ple of points all week­end for Ply­mouth.

“That showed us how much he loved our track and was a big part of our think­ing when we brought him to the club. He’s been a ter­rific sign­ing and hope­fully he can put in an­other top per­for­mance in the Fours.

“It’s al­ways an hon­our for us to stage the event and we’re hop­ing to have more suc­cess than in re­cent years.”

Pan­thers have com­peted in the Fours three times since re­turn­ing to the sec­ond tier of the sport. They bowed out at the semi-fi­nal stage in 2014 and 2015, be­fore only man­ag­ing third place last year when re­ceiv­ing a bye straight into the fi­nal.

They’re hop­ing for bet­ter this time around as they bid to mark the an­niver­sary of the club’s first-ever tro­phy – gained in what was known as the Na­tional League Fours back in 1977 – in style.

The five rid­ers in­volved in that in­au­gu­ral triumph – Ian Clark, Kevin Hawkins, Andy Hines, Nigel Flat­man and Brian Clark – are all set to be present on Sun­day. Flat­man has trav­elled over from Australia.

John­son added: “It is great to have the guys who won the club’s first piece of sil­ver­ware in at­ten­dance – and it’s a chance for our cur­rent rid­ers to put their own names into the his­tory books.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that we are good enough to win it, but vir­tu­ally every other team will think they can do it.

“The days of there be­ing a big home ad­van­tage here have gone. It’s now a place that vir­tu­ally every rider loves and I’m sure the rac­ing will be bril­liant.”

Pan­thers fea­ture in Group A along with Ed­in­burgh, Sh­effield, Work­ing­ton and Scun­thorpe.

Glas­gow, Ip­swich, New­cas­tle, Red­car and Ber­wick form Group B with the top two in each sec­tion go­ing into the fi­nal.

Holder de­liv­ered an­other demon­stra­tion of his ta­lent when mak­ing a stun­ning de­but in the Pol­ish Ek­straliga last Sun­day. He piled up 13+3 points for Torun in a de­feat at Leszno.

Jack Holder spear­heads the Pan­thers four.

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