SAM SAYS FAREWELL

Sunday March 18, 2007
SAM Ermolenko brought down the curtain on his glittering racing career in front of a packed house at Monmore on Sunday.

Current Wolves skipper Peter Karlsson emerged victorious against a top-class field, although the main focus of the event was on the 1993 World Champion.

Ermolenko's track involvement occurred at regular intervals during the meeting as he took to the circuit with fellow American World Champions Hancock, Billy Hamill and Bruce Penhall - and he staged three match races with former Cradley star Penhall, who was given a terrific reception.

And following Karlsson's win in the Final, Ermolenko made his final exit by riding around a darkened Monmore with the circuit illuminated by flares from the infield.

The meeting proper was subject to a half-hour delay in the early stages due to snow, but the riders gamely battled on and gave it their best shot throughout - and there was some fine action as the battle to reach the semi-finals continued.

Karlsson won his first two rides but only just made it into the semi-finals after suffering a mechanical failure when leading his last qualifying outing.

But he successfully came through his semi-final along with Scott Nicholls and then crucially out-trapped Jason Crump from the inside in the final.

Crump was taken wide and left to battle with Greg Hancock and Nicholls in the early stages, and that allowed Karlsson to build an early lead with Hancock eventually coming through for second place and Crump finishing third.

Karlsson's Wolves team-mates Billy Hamill and Fredrik Lindgren failed to make the final stages after scoring six and five respectively - but there was success for David Howe, who won the Prince of Wales Trophy at Newport for the third successive time.


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