BIRMINGHAM racer David Mason will spend the 2018 season on the opposite side of the fence after agreeing to become one of the new owners of the club.
The 40-year-old, along with father Peter, was unveiled at Perry Barr on Wednesday in front of supporters at Tony Mole's Farewell meeting, and intends to keep the club in the National League next year.
Mason said: “From the moment I walked into the club I was so impressed with the facilities, the way everything was run so professionally, the fans were amazing - just everything about the club I kind of fell in love with.
“Time went on and there was growing concern about the club's future and a few casual conversations later, I suddenly found myself talking about taking the club on.
“Obviously it's all down to approval from the management committee and the BSPA but we don't envisage there being any problems, fingers crossed.
“This probably means my racing days are over now because I'll have other priorities to focus on off the track but I'm really excited about the road ahead and to be doing it with my dad should be great.”
BELLE Vue and Wolverhampton will re-stage their Premiership KO Cup Final in Manchester next Monday.
The Aces and Wolves had looked to race to a finish on Wednesday but were thwarted by bad weather which forced an early abandonment of the second leg after six races.
At that stage, Belle Vue led 20-16 to claw back four points of a ten-point deficit, but the scores will revert to 50-40 in Wolves’ favour ahead of the re-arrangement.
Aces star Kenneth Bjerre said: “After that last bit of rain, there was no way we could carry on. The track had been improving before that, but the conditions were far from ideal and already very challenging.
“In my first ride, the track was quite wet and I had a few mechanical issues after water got into the spark plug on my bike. But by the time I came out for my second it was starting to settle down.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t get a result but all the boys would much rather come back another day and race in good conditions where we can really give the fans a spectacle to end our season.”
BIRMINGHAM edged out Coventry 46-44 in a highly competitive Farewell meeting for outgoing owner Tony Mole at Perry Barr.
The sides proved evenly-matched with former favourites Martin Smolinski and Ben Barker starring on their old home circuit.
The scores were level going into the last race but as Smolinski – representing Coventry – and Barker battled once more, it was Paul Starke who emerged ahead for the Brummies to head up a match-winning 4-2.
Mole said: “I always anticipated a tight, close contest and it couldn't have been much closer.
“We were all treated to some terrific racing and you have to give the riders a great amount of credit because they gave it their all for all 15 races.
“I can't thank them enough for their efforts as well as just for agreeing to ride in my Farewell.
“I was delighted with the turnout of fans from both Birmingham and Coventry and it was also nice to see a few neutral supporters on the terraces too.”
SGB Championship Grand Finalists Sheffield and Ipswich renew rivalries in the semi-finals of the KO Cup at Owlerton tonight (Thursday).
The Tigers became league champions at the end of September but are now two riders down with Josh Grajczonek and Kyle Howarth both on the sidelines.
Scott Nicholls again steps in as a guest against his old club, whilst the visitors have called on Redcar man Ben Barker to replace Rory Schlein who was injured in the Championship Pairs last weekend, and Connor Mountain returns at reserve.
Sheffield boss Simon Stead is calling for a reaction from his team after their heavy home defeat to Leicester in the first leg of the promotion/relegation race-off.
Stead said: “Thankfully there’s a quick turnaround in fixtures and we need to make sure we put things right on Thursday.
“We’re all expecting to see a much improved performance and one that demonstrates our true capabilities at Owlerton like we have done for the entire rest of the year.
“It’s not going to be easy because Ipswich are a good side and they’ll be looking to get one over us after we beat them to the league title in the Grand Final.”
Ipswich boss Ritchie Hawkins said: “We have got to go with the same philosophy that we have had all year and we will go and try to perform to the best of our ability.
“We need to cut out the mistakes we made in both legs of the Grand Final if we are going to make the Cup Final. I have confidence in the team that we can go and win the Cup. We will go there looking to do the job and progress.”
THURSDAY OCTOBER 12:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Sheffield v Ipswich 7.30
FRIDAY OCTOBER 13:
SGB CHAMPIONSHIP: Peterborough v Edinburgh 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Ipswich v Sheffield 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st/2nd leg: Belle Vue v Mildenhall 7.30
COLIN HILL MEMORIAL: Plymouth 7.15
SATURDAY OCTOBER 14:
SGB CHAMPIONSHIP RIDERS’ INDIVIDUAL: Glasgow 7pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE GRAND FINAL 1st leg: Eastbourne v Belle Vue 7.30
SUNDAY OCTOBER 15:
SGB CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Sheffield 6.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Peterborough v Glasgow 5pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Plymouth 3pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP S/F: Mildenhall v Belle Vue 3pm
Results Wednesday October 11, 2017;
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP FINAL, 2nd leg
BELLE VUE 20 (Rohan Tungate 6)
WOLVERHAMPTON 16 (Sam Masters 4 / Richard Lawson 4)
Abandoned after 6 heats – Result does NOT stand
TONY MOLE FAREWELL
Birmingham 46 (Ben Barker 11)
Coventry 44 (Martin Smolinski 14)