Simon Lambert has made history – becoming the first British speedway rider to win the Kent Laurels Trophy three times.
But glory came at a price as the Gosberton Risegate rider had to rise from his stretcher to collect the WJ Cearns Trophy for the third consecutive year after breaking his shoulder blade.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to win this meeting for the third time, but it’s come at a price,” said Lambert, who was awarded the title after being sent into the fence by rival Daniel Greenwood.
“I went for hospital treatment at A&E on my way home from Kent and I have in fact broken my scapula (shoulder blade), which sees me on the sidelines now for a few weeks through no fault of my own.”
The only other rider to win a hat-trick of Laurels titles was Danish champion rider Ole Olsen in the 1970s.
Lambert was delighted to follow in the rider’s footsteps by securing his own treble.
“What a way to enter the history books,” Lambert added.
“It was my dream to match the great Ole Olsen’s achievement, but not for it to end in injury.
“I have been back to see the consultant and I have to rest my shoulder and let nature take its course for natural healing.
“It’s very frustrating but that’s speedway I’m afraid.”
The 26-year-old had crashed out in a re-run of the Grand Final, which saw him sent ploughing heavily into the fence courtesy of Greenwood.
Lambert had won all four of his qualifying rides before adding victory in his semi-final to book a place in the final four.
There he lined up alongside Danny Ayres, Greenwood and Chris Widman.
Ayres gated superbly while Greenwood and Lambert were having their own personal battle. On bend two Greenwood left Lambert with nowhere to go and he slid off.
The referee’s decision was to call all four back for a re-run.
Ayres gated again but Lambert was not to be denied, exercising a superb around-the-boards effort on bend two to take the lead, with Greenwood joining him in hot pursuit.
Entering the fourth bend, Greenwood sent Lambert hurtling into the air fence.
Greenwood was excluded and Lambert needed lengthy treatment from paramedics. This saw the race awarded to Lambert, with Ayres runner-up and Widman third.