Swindon clocked up successive SGB Premiership wins numbers 15 and 16 at a baking Abbey Stadium in their Bank Holiday Monday double header.
The Carpets4Less Robins are now ten points clear at the top of the table after seeing off Leicester 50-41 in the first meeting of the day before a comfortable 54-35 success over a depleted Somerset side.
And the effect of results elsewhere is that only Wolverhampton can now prevent the Robins from leading the table going into the play-offs – and that matter can be resolved when Wolves visit the Abbey on Thursday.
Alun Rossiter’s side gave a professional display on a lengthy afternoon and evening of racing, with the riders coming through largely unscathed after several incidents.
The most spectacular of those befell flying Frenchman David Bellego, who came to grief heavily in Heat 9 of the Leicester fixture with a section of air-barrier demolished as a result – but thankfully he was able to continue in the meeting.
It was an expensive day for Bellego for other reasons as he blew an engine to smithereens in Heat 5 of the Somerset match, but still responded to score five more points in his remaining outings.
Tobiasz Musielak and Adam Ellis both came to grief during the event too – Ellis in the first race of the day – whilst guest reserve Todd Kurtz was withdrawn as a precaution after falling on turn four in Heat 7 of the second match.
Kurtz had battled hard to four points in the opening fixture, whilst Zach Wajtknecht’s replacement Mitchell Davey gave an eye-catching display as he improved greatly as the meeting went on and enjoyed some good tussles with Kyle Newman, taking a thoroughly deserved race win in Heat 2 against the Rebels.
Robins generally controlled the first fixture although their ten-point lead was slashed by a Lions 7-1 when Bellego crashed – the visitors unable to take the maximum as the race was awarded at a time when Josh Bates was ahead of the double-points Danny King.
Lasse Bjerre then withstood pressure from Jason Doyle to win Heat 10 but the Dane fell in his next two rides, whilst Nick Morris superbly switched inside Kim Nilsson to win Heat 11.
The Lions had the chance of a league point going into the final race but King fell on the second lap, and the match ended with a 3-2 headed by Doyle over Bjerre, with Musielak suffering a puncture.
Injury-hit Somerset were reduced in number when Bjerre pulled out of his planned guest booking – and then reserve Jake Allen withdraw having aggravated a wrist injury with falls in his first two rides, leaving the visitors down to four riders.
Former Robins Josh Grajczonek and Charles Wright battled manfully with Newman taking a full seven rides at reserve, but the result of the match was never in doubt.
Heat 5 produced a bizarre 0-3 as Musielak fell and Bellego suffered his engine failure, leaving Grajczonek to ride unchallenged with no other Rebels rider in the race.
Robins put a lock on the points with back-to-back 5-1s in Heats 9 and 10 to go 17-points clear, and Morris then rode a strong first lap to get the better of Grajczonek who was on a tactical ride in the next.
Grajczonek responded to split Doyle and Morris from a likely 5-1 in Heat 13, and the Rebels gained a consolation 4-2 in the next as Wright took a deserved race win over Bellego.
Morris and Ellis, who both enjoyed highly productive days, were the Swindon nominations for Heat 15 and they recorded another 4-2, split by Wright.
Robins riders accounted for all but three of the race wins in the second meeting, having racked up ten victories earlier against Leicester.
Manager Alun Rossiter said: “I’m really pleased with the results, double headers are never easy but we did the job and stayed in one piece, which was the main thing.
“Obviously it was a worry when David crashed like he did, but luckily he bounced back and was alright, although he’s got an even bigger headache now because he blew his engine completely.
“Mitchell really got settled in, I was impressed with him, and hopefully I might now have found someone for the play-offs in place of Zach!
“I know the sun breaks were frustrating for the fans, but it was really bad, right in the riders’ eyes, and their safety is paramount.
“As far as the Somerset match was concerned, we can only race against what’s put in front of us. Lasse Bjerre was meant to be guesting for them but he decided he didn’t want to ride in the second match.
“I just told my boys there was no point in doing anything silly, get 3-3s if we have to, but just make sure we win. I can’t help it if other teams have got riders missing, that’s not my problem.”
With Thursday’s home meeting against Wolverhampton a chance to cement first place in the table – and choice of opponents in the play-offs – Robins then round off their programme with away trips to Rye House (Friday) and Wolves (next Monday).
SWINDON 50: Jason Doyle 13, Nick Morris 10+1, Tobiasz Musielak 9+1, Adam Ellis 6+2, David Bellego 6, Todd Kurtz 4, Mitchell Davey 2.
LEICESTER 41: Danny King 9+1, Josh Bates 8, Kyle Newman 7+2, Erik Riss 7, Kim Nilsson 5+1, Lasse Bjerre 5, Pawel Przedpelski r/r.
SWINDON 54: Nick Morris 13, Jason Doyle 11, Adam Ellis 9+3, David Bellego 8, Tobiasz Musielak 6+1, Mitchell Davey 6, Todd Kurtz 1.
SOMERSET 35: Josh Grajczonek 12, Charles Wright 11, Kyle Newman 7+2, Richard Lawson 5, Jake Allen 0, Patrick Hougaard r/r, Cameron Heeps dnr.