SPEEDWAY News

(SPEEDWAY 1)EASTBOURNE have confirmed six of line-up which finished as runners-up inlast year's Elite League will be back at Arlington this season.Joonas Kylmakorpi, Lewis Bridger, Lukas Dryml, Simon Gustafsson, CameronWoodward and Timo Lahti all return to the Eagles, with Birmingham-boundBjarne Pedersen the only departure.Team boss Trevor Geer said: "Last year's team took us to the Elite LeagueGrand Final and the semi-finals of the KO Cup. We believe the riders we arebringing back can all improve on last year and increase their averages."I can give no details at present as to who will be the final member of theteam. We have people in mind and have been approached by a number of riders.It is a crucial signing."(SPEEDWAY 2)PETERBOROUGH co-boss Jan Staechmann admits the prospect of working withDanish hotshot Michael Jepsen Jensen on a regular basis is one which exciteshim.Staechmann has already been closely involved with Jensen in his home countryand sees the 19-year-old as a potential trump card in the Panthers' 2012line-up.Staechmann said: "Michael needs no introduction to the fans after his spellthere last season, but having him starting the campaign at reserve issomething I really like about the team."I've worked with him a lot with Denmark so I know the potential is thereand he is now starting to realise that himself."(SPEEDWAY 3)NEWCASTLE have agreed a joint team sponsorship deal which sees two of theirprevious backers putting their names to the Diamonds this year.Sapphire Engineering's three-year agreement expired at the end of lastseason, but they have now joined forces with former sponsors DarrianProperties to be title backers.Newcastle co-promoter George English said: "Given the current economicclimate we are delighted to have two experienced sponsors backing the cluband giving us a boost when we need it most."This news coupled with a major increase in season ticket sales for 2012means that we are all eagerly anticipating the new season in March."(SPEEDWAY 4)FORMER British Open Champion Paul Hurry will compete in the last-everstaging of Telford Ice Speedway next month.Hurry won the title back in 1999 after a run-off with Czech Republic showmanMario Jirout and was automatically placed on the guest list for the February26 event as a past winner - but stunned event promoter Graham Drury when heasked to ride!Drury said: "Paul is still a fit lad and when I asked him to come along as apast winner he said yes straight away. But he was also quick to say how hewould love to be the last ever winner of the title too. He's going to bepreparing properly for it and what a story it would be if he could win the2012 title."Anything can happen in this sport as we saw in the Grand Prix with GregHancock bridging a 14-year gap between his world titles, so don't rule Hurryout of winning at Telford."

(SPEEDWAY 5)POOLE have announced the signing of Polish star Adrian Miedzinski in a deal which initially runs until May.Pirates chief Matt Ford says they will review the arrangement at that stage, and he has also confirmed Australian youngster Todd Kurtz will start the season in the reigning Elite League Champions' squad.Ford said: "Adrian was obviously quite keen to make it known that he had agreed to help us out on a short-term basis and I am very pleased to confirm that Adrian has signed a contract with us through until May."That doesn't for one moment mean he will only be with us until then. The idea is to see how things go and should it be working out for all concerned then we can extend the agreement. It isn't unknown for clubs to agree these short-term contracts, although previously they have been with perhaps more prestigious riders."(SPEEDWAY 6)BEN Barker has set a comeback target of February 26 as he recovers from surgery on his leg over the Christmas period.The Cornishman spent the festive period in hospital after suffering an infection, but intends to race in the Telford Ice meetings in the build-up to the new season.Barker said: "It wasn't nice being in hospital over Christmas but I knew it had to be done. I've had metalwork in the leg and it got infected, so it wasn't ideal but I really feel I'm making good progress now and this week in particular I know it's improved."Telford is still a good six weeks away and it would be good just to get back on a bike there. It's indoors, it's a smaller track so with less speed it will be a perfect way for me to return."


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