Wolverhampton saw the 2014 season get off to an exciting start with club legend Peter Karlsson eventually emerging victorious in the Banks’s Olympique Classic.
A bumper crowd saw the 44-year-old Swede roll back the years with a vintage display as he beat World Champion Tai Woffinden to the top spot by just a single point.
Making his first appearance at Wolverhampton since winning the World title, Woffinden put in an excellent display – although he was defeated in fine style by the promising Piotr Pawlicki as the Pole impressed on his Monmore Green debut.
Despite missing out on the top prize, Woffinden was pleased with a positive display.
And he heaped praise on Karlsson following his memorable victory.
Woffinden said: “It was a great night for me – I’m happy with a second place and just looking to push on from here.
“I’ve started the season pretty well ,which I’m happy with, so I’ll just look ahead to the next meeting and hopefully go from strength to strength.
“Fair play to PK – it’s great to see a rider of his age still so enthusiastic about the sport and performing like that.
“You couldn’t have asked for a better winner tonight and he definitely deserved it.
“We’re looking forward to the Elite League season starting with Wolverhampton now, and I think we should be able to get off to a pretty good start.
“I thought our boys looked good tonight – there are plenty of positive signs.”
All-action Dane Peter Kildemand rounded off the top three as he defeated the impressive Scott Nicholls in a run-off for third, while brothers Przemyslaw and Piotr Pawlicki plus Polish compatriot Adam Skornicki impressed.
Wolves duo Jacob Thorssell and Ricky Wells both recorded confidence-boosting race wins as they put in promising displays, and Ashley Morris and Joe Jacobs both looked encouraging against strong opposition.
Yet the night was all about Karlsson as he fended off a strong field to get his season off to a perfect start.