SPEEDWAY News

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HOT prospect Josh Auty has joined Birmingham for their 2012 Sky Sports Elite League campaign.Auty, 21, will double-up from Premier League Scunthorpe and joins Ben Barker, skipper Danny King and Grand Prix star Bjarne Pedersen in the Selco Brummies side.Team boss Graham Drury said: “I’ve watched his progress over the last few years and I believe he has the potential to become a top rider in the sport.“He’s an entertainer and I’m delighted to welcome him to Perry Barr where he won’t take too much time to become a firm favourite with the fans, I feel certain of that.”

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NEWCASTLE have confirmed a fifth signing for next season with the return of rising Danish star Claes Nedermark.The 21-year-old joined the Diamonds during an injury crisis in early 2011 with the club sufficiently impressed to bring him back for a full campaign next year.Nedermark joins fellow 2011 Diamonds Mark Lemon, Stuart Robson and Richie Worrall on the 2012 roster as well as new-boy and twin of Richie, Steve Worrall.Co-promoter Darryl Illingworth said: “Claes did an excellent job for us in 2011 and we are pleased to bring him back next season where we are sure that he can improve upon his impressive first season average.”(SPEEDWAY 3)

BYRON Bekker is on his way to Dudley Heathens for the 2012 National League season.Bekker, 24, will start the season on a bargain 6.55 average after an injury-ravaged 2011 campaign with Belle Vue and links up with Adam Roynon at the club’s adopted Monmore Green home.He said: “I am helped in the pits and with sponsorship by people who are Cradley through-and-through, Andy and John Tibbetts, and I think they are as pleased as me with this move!“I wasn’t settled at Belle Vue and my average dropped but I believe I have what it takes to propel myself into a number one position once again.”

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NEWLY re-born Rye House Raiders have agreed terms with Shane Hazelden and Lee Strudwick for their return to the National League next year.The duo complete the Raiders’ top five with Hazelden, who rode for the joint Rye House/Lakeside operation named Hackney, finishing second in the Hoddesdon-staged British Under-19 Championship last season.Strudwick sat out the 2011 campaign but now returns for a fourth season with the club, with his inclusion dependent on him shaking off the cobwebs during winter practice sessions.The Raiders’ remaining two slots are expected to be taken by graduates from the club’s Training School, with 18-year-old Nick Lee favourite for one of those positions.

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BUXTON have moved to sign Tim Webster following his release from parent club Stoke ahead of the 2012 National League season.Webster will fill one of the heat-leader spots for the Hitmen and club chief Jayne Moss expects more new faces to be announced at the Hi-Edge Raceway.She said: “Tim had a good year at Stoke and formed a strong spearhead alongside Simon Lambert, and we were surprised he wasn’t in their plans for 2012.“However, when we heard he was available and keen to come to Buxton we didn’t hang about and things were sorted pretty quickly. Our thanks go to Dave Tattum for his assistance.”

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LEICESTER have completed their 2012 line-up with the signing of 21-year-old Danish racer Simon Nielsen.Nielsen first appeared in the UK when he joined Workington towards the end of last season, and the Lions feel that experience will be beneficial as he will start next year at reserve.Team boss Jason Attwood said: “I first saw Simon ride last season in practice at Scunthorpe and was impressed with what I saw. He's a good friend of Lasse Bjerre and he gained an insight of what Premier League racing was all about at Workington.“Towards the end of last season he moved into one of the reserve berths in the Workington team and scored double points. I see Simon improving on his 3.76 average and believe that we have people in the team to help him develop both on and off the track.”

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THE Isle of Wight have moved to sign Marc Owen for their National League line-up next season.Owen joins after stints with Newport, Rye House and Hackney in recent years – and the Islanders will once again be led by skipper Nick Simmons, with Brendan Johnson and Rikki Mullins made available to other clubs.Owen said: “Now it's time for a change, riding a bigger track for a year or so should help me progress rather than just staying on the smaller tighter tracks. “When I first saw the track I thought how big it was but I think the banking on the Island is brilliant, you can generate lots of speed.”

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NEWPORT have confirmed the date of the 2012 New Year Classic will be on Bank Holiday Monday, January 2.The event which will have a 1pm start is being staged for the thirteenth time, the twelfth at Queensway Meadows, and track specialists Kevin Doolan and David Howe are already named starters.Co-promoter Nick Mallett said: “Laurence (Rogers) and I have sounded out quite a few riders and most have indicated they want to ride so we will be confirming them as soon as we can.“David has twice won the New Year Classic in 2003 and 2007 whilst Kevin has had success in the Prince of Wales Trophy and Welsh Open in recent years. This is a good start to the field and we will be announcing more confirmed starters in the next few days.”