BIG EVENT LATEST...BRITISH Speedway is gearing up for another exciting season of major events - with optimism high on all levels for the 2012 campaign.
BSPA chiefs have moved to rebrand the sport's prestige meetings as the SpeedwayGB Events series, with the Elite League Pairs this year absent from the traditional group of seven, although various FIM events do come under the shared-events umbrella.
Series co-ordinator David Hoggart expects several highlights during the season and says offering value for money to supporters is at the top of the list of considerations when planning the meetings.
He said: "We're very much looking forward to the year. Obviously the economy is not as buoyant as we would all like it to be, and I know it's not always going to be easy for everyone.
"But the reality of the situation is that the SpeedwayGB events are going from strength to strength. We've had three very good years and we're optimistic that will continue in 2012.
"We've moved away from the Super7even name because quite often we are running more than seven events. Some of the FIM meetings that we stage are shared events, such as the World Under-2 1 Team Cup event at Scunthorpe, and also the Grand Prix qualifier at Berwick.
"The meeting we've lost is the Elite League Pairs which has been dropped for this year, and the reason for that is primarily down to rider availability. What we don't want to do is sell the public short."We're always trying to offer good value, and it's the right time to rest that event. It hasn't gone forever, but we've just put it back on the shelf for the time being."
First on the SpeedwayGB Events list for the new season is the British Under-21 Final, which will be staged by National League club Dudley, at their adopted Wolverhampton home.The full list of qualifiers for the April 24 meeting will be known following the semi-final which takes place at Stoke on April 7.Hoggart said: "We ran the British Under-21 Final at Lakeside for several years and it was very successful, but in the last two years we've had incidents on the M25 which have prevented access and brought the viability of the event into question."We certainly don't want to lose that event because it's the pinnacle for those lads and all the work that their parents put in, driving them all over the country, and we have to maintain that event at all costs."So for that reason we've moved it to a more central track and one where we know the event will be well supported."SPEEDWAYGB EVENTS SERIES:BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Dudley, Tuesday April 24PREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Peterborough, Sunday July 15BRITISH FINAL: Wolverhampton, Monday July 30PREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset, Friday August 24PREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, Sunday September 23ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP: Swindon, Saturday October 20ELITE LEAGUE LINE-UPS...BELLE VUE: Rory Schlein, Charlie Gjedde/Ulrich Ostergaard, Adam Shields, Patrick Hougaard, Travis McGowan, Claus Vissing/Josh Grajczonek, Linus Eklof.BIRMINGHAM: Bjarne Pedersen, Sebastian Ulamek, Ben Barker/Magnus Karlsson, Daniel King, Martin Smolinski, Josh Auty/TBC, Chris Mills**.*Short-term replacement for Tyson Nelson.**Short-term replacement for Tomasz Piszcz.COVENTRY: Chris Harris, Edward Kennett, Scott Nicholls, Kenni Larsen, Leigh Lanham/Aaron Summers, Henning Bager, Adam Roynon/Jason Bunyan.EASTBOURNE: Line-up TBC.KING'S LYNN: Niels-Kristian Iversen, Mads Korneliussen, Daniel Nermark, Maciej Janowski, Kevin Wolbert, David Howe/Jordan Frampton, Filip Sitera/Michael Palm Toft.LAKESIDE: Peter Karlsson, Lee Richardson, Davey Watt, Stuart Robson/Kauko Nieminen, Robert Mear, Kim Nilsson, Justin Sedgmen/Richie Worrall.PETERBOROUGH: Kenneth Bjerre, Linus Sundstrom, Olly Allen, Lasse Bjerre/Rene Bach, Jesper B Monberg, Michael Jepsen Jensen, Richard Lawson/Kyle Newman.POOLE: Chris Holder, Darcy Ward, Adrian Miedzinski, Dennis Andersson, Sam Masters/Ludvig Lindgren, Ricky Kling, Todd Kurtz.SWINDON: Troy Batchelor, Hans Andersen, Simon Stead, Jason Doyle/Sebastian Alden, Nick Morris, Peter Kildemand, Kenny Ingalls/Robin Aspegren.WOLVERHAMPTON: Freddie Lindgren, Tai Woffinden, Nicolai Klindt, Ty Proctor, Pontus Aspegren, Lukasz Sowka, Ricky Wells/Thomas Jorgensen.NB. Remaining line-ups will be included in future bulletin following BSPA ratification of full 1-7.ELITE LEAGUE FORMAT...Each team will race twice home and away against FIVE other teams, and once home and away against FOUR, for a total of 28 matches.The top four teams in the Elite League progress to the play-offs, where all ties are raced over two legs.The top-placed team receives first choice of opposition from the second, third and fourth-placed teams. The two semi-final winners progress to the two-legged Grand FinalELITE LEAGUE KO CUP QUARTER-FINAL DRAW...Birmingham v Belle VuePoole v WolverhamptonLakeside v CoventrySwindon v PeterboroughPREMIER LEAGUE LINE-UPS...BERWICK: Ricky Ashworth, Sebastian Alden, Lee Complin, Filip Sitera, David Bellego, Michael Hertrich, Alex Edberg.EDINBURGH: Andrew Tully, Craig Cook, Matthew Wethers, Theo Pijper, Derek Sneddon, Micky Dyer, Charles Wright.GLASGOW: Line-up TBC.IPSWICH: Kevin Doolan, Taylor Poole, Matt Tresarrieu, Morten Risager, Dakota North, Rohan Tungate, Cameron Heeps.LEICESTER: Lasse Bjerre, Magnus Karlsson, Kauko Nieminen, Simon Lambert, Jari Makinen, Jan Graversen, Simon Nielsen.NEWCASTLE: Mark Lemon, Stuart Robson, Claes Nedermark, Ludvig Lindgren, Christian Henry, Richie Worrall, Steve Worrall.PLYMOUTH: Line-up TBC.REDCAR: Ulrich Ostergaard, Aaron Summers, Matej Kus, Gary Havelock, Justin Sedgmen, Robert Branford, Max Dilger.RYE HOUSE: Chris Neath, Jordan Frampton, Leigh Lanham*, Ritchie Hawkins, Luke Bowen, Jason Bunyan, Jason Garrity.*Short-term replacement for Tyson Nelson.SCUNTHORPE: David Howe, Josh Auty, Tero Aarnio, Thomas Jorgensen, Michael Palm Toft, Tom Armstrong, Ashley Birks.SHEFFIELD: Josef Franc, Richard Hall, Ricky Wells, Emiliano Sanchez, Hugh Skidmore, Klaus Jakobsen, Joe Haines.SOMERSET: Jason Doyle, Sam Masters, Claus Vissing, James Wright, Alex Davies, Kyle Newman, Tom Perry.WORKINGTON: Line-up TBC.NB. Remaining line-ups will be included in future bulletin following BSPA ratification of full 1-7.PREMIER LEAGUE FORMAT...Each team races once home and away against each other, giving a total of 24 meetings. The top six progress to the play-offs for the league title.The play-offs are split into two groups of three teams, with teams finishing first and second gaining choice of who they want to make up their group. Each team then races their group opponents home and away to give four further fixtures.The winners of each group race off over two legs in the Grand Final.A similar competition will take place for the teams finishing seventh to twelfth in the Premier League table.LEAGUE CUP GROUPS...NORTH: Berwick, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Redcar, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Workington. SOUTH: Ipswich, Leicester, Plymouth, Rye House, SomersetFinal stages of competition TBC.PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP ROUND 1 DRAW...Somerset v IpswichEdinburgh v Rye HousePlymouth v GlasgowWorkington v ScunthorpeNewcastle v RedcarByes: Berwick, Sheffield, Leicester.FIXTURE PICTURE...THURSDAY MARCH 15:ANGLIAN CUP 1st leg: Ipswich v Rye House 7.30CHALLENGE 1st leg: Redcar v Newcastle 7.30FRIDAY MARCH 16:BRANDONAPOLIS: Coventry 8pmCHALLENGE 1st leg: Scunthorpe v Leicester 7.30SATURDAY MARCH 17:ANGLIAN CUP 2nd leg: Rye House v Ipswich 7pmFENCE FUND CHALLENGE: Berwick 7pmMAGNUS KARLSSON TESTIMONIAL: Leicester 7.30SUNDAY MARCH 18:CHALLENGE 2nd leg: Newcastle v Redcar 7pmBOB KILBY MEMORIAL: Swindon 6pmSHANE PARKER FAREWELL: Sheffield 5pmMONDAY MARCH 19:ELITE SHIELD 1st leg: Wolverhampton v Poole 7.30CHALLENGE: Peterborough v Sullivan's Seven 7.30WEDNESDAY MARCH 21:ELITE SHIELD 2nd leg: Poole v Wolverhampton 7.30THURSDAY MARCH 22:LEAGUE CUP: Redcar v Edinburgh 7.30MIDLAND LEAGUE: Birmingham v Wolverhampton 7.30WAR OF THE ROSES: Sheffield v Belle Vue 7.45CHALLENGE 1st leg: Swindon v Somerset 7.30FRIDAY MARCH 23:LEAGUE CUP: Plymouth v Rye House 7.30, Scunthorpe v Berwick 7.30MIDLAND LEAGUE: Coventry v Birmingham 8pmCHALLENGE 2nd leg: Somerset v Swindon 7.30SCOTTISH OPEN: Edinburgh 7.15SATURDAY MARCH 24:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Belle Vue 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Rye House v Sheffield 7pmCHALLENGE 1st leg: Berwick v Newcastle 7pmSUNDAY MARCH 25:SPRING TROPHY 1st leg: Glasgow v Edinburgh 4pmCHALLENGE 2nd leg: Leicester v Scunthorpe 6pm, Newcastle v Berwick 6.30MONDAY MARCH 26:MIDLAND LEAGUE: Wolverhampton v Birmingham 7.30