Speedway News

COVENTRY’S season-opening Brandonapolis event on March 16 will feature World Champion Greg Hancock – who rode for the club earlier in his career.

Hancock, a Coventry rider between 1997 and 2001, will compete in the individual meeting as he prepares for the New Zealand Grand Prix, with rivals Nicki Pedersen, Freddie Lindgren and Chris Harris also confirmed starters.

Coventry co-promoter Colin Pratt said: “We were always keen to see Greg racing at Coventry again, especially after he won the World Championship last year which was a remarkable achievement, and I know he’s still really popular with our supporters.

“The meeting is coming together very nicely and we have other invites out which are going to make it a really strong line-up and a great way to start the season.”

SHEFFIELD will launch their 2012 season with a home War of the Roses battle against Elite League side Belle Vue.

The meeting will take place at Owlerton on Thursday March 22, with the Aces set to include Australian stars Rory Schlein and Adam Shields, and Danish duo Patrick Hougaard and Charlie Gjedde.

Sheffield co-promoter David Hoggart said: “There has been some negativity surrounding the team because of all the changes we have made but all the boys are desperate to do well, starting against Belle Vue on March 22, when I’m sure there will be a big crowd because Belle Vue will bring plenty of supporters with them.

“We obviously want to beat Belle Vue to get the season off to a winning start and lay a marker down to the other Premier League teams.”

MILDENHALL have made their sixth signing for the new National League season by snapping up highly-rated teenager Josh Bates.

The 16-year-old from Yorkshire impressed the club when he attended the Mildenhall Academy last year, and is being managed and mentored by former rider Louis Carr.

Co-promoter Michael Lee said: “We can't thank Louis enough for making this deal happen. The fact that someone of his status has taken Josh on board shows the potential he has, and Louis is as convinced as we are that he has got what it takes.

“I know he stood out when he came down to West Row to attend the Academy and we are delighted that he is the first rider to come through and earn a team place. He has been getting in plenty of practice at Scunthorpe during the winter, and considering he has only started riding 500cc bikes in the last few weeks, he is doing exceptionally well already.”