Dane Thomas Jørgensen voted speedway rider of year at Scunthorpe Scorpions
Thomas Jørgensen - the Henderson Insurance Scunthorpe Scorpions Danish youngster - has been voted the Rider Of The Year by the fans of the Premier League champions.
Jørgensen was revealed as the winner of the fan poll, at the end-of-season disco and buffet at the Conservative Club in Doncaster Road, Scunthorpe - after finishing just ahead of No 1 Josh Auty in the voting.
The 20-year-old Dane crashed out of the Scunthorpe v Rye House meeting on September 7 at the Eddie Wright Raceway, causing further injury to an already damaged shoulder and signalling the end of his season.
But he had already scored 245 points from 29 official appearances, to finish third in the Scorpions’ averages (on 7.42) behind only Josh Auty and Nick Morris, despite only being in his second season of Premier League racing.
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Meanwhile, Ashley Birks took the award as Most Improved Rider Of The Year. He developed from reserve at Sheffield in 2011, to a high-scoring second string with the Scorpions in 2012, amassing some 350 points for the club. It is only the third year of his league career, having started out for the Scunthorpe Saints at National League level in 2010.
The evening was a highly enjoyable affair, with the majority of riders in attendance from both the Scorpions and also the National League Scunthorpe Saints.
Scorpions’ team manager Richard Hollingsworth said: “I’m delighted that Thomas was able to come over from Denmark to come along to the party and pick up his award, as he was unable to be there on the night when we clinched the league title. He’s been very much part of our success story this season.
“The award shows how much the fans appreciated his contribution and efforts, before sadly, he found himself on the injury list.
“Needless to say, in a year where we won the league title, every single one of our riders would have been worthy of such an award.”
YOUNG & CLEGG PICK UP SAINTS’ AWARDS
Tom Young and Max Clegg picked up the awards for Rider Of The Year and Most Improved Rider Of The Year respectively for the Jotun Paints Scunthorpe Saints.
The winners were revealed at the Scunthorpe end-of-season social function on Friday.
Welshman Young joined Scunthorpe Saints in 2012, having competed for Newport in 2011. He form was transformed and he more than doubled his starting average to finish on a figure of 7.38. He pipped Clegg to the Rider Of The Year by just a handful of votes.
15-year-old Clegg was involved in his first ever season of league racing, and knocked up a very impressive average in excess of 4.50, thus being a very deserving recipient of the Most Improved Rider Of The Year award.
Saints’ team manager Stuart Parnaby said: “I’m delighted for Tom and Max. But I consider the whole team to be winners this year.
“We went into the season with a very inexperienced team, and I just wanted to avoid bottom place. We knew we had no realistic chance of repeating our National League title win of 2011.
“We ended up sixth, just three points off fourth placed Stoke, so very well nearly made it into the play-offs, which would have been sensational!
“It was a delight to watch the lads develop meeting-by-meeting. My proudest moments of this year were when the riders went out and took their first win or paid win.”