British Speedway Weekly Bulletin

BIG EVENT LATEST…

SPEEDWAYGB Events co-ordinator David Hoggart says this season’s major meetings are being staged at a strong set of venues.Four of the six events on the calendar return to their 2011 homes, with the changes coming for the British Under-21 Final and the Premier League Fours.The former switches from Lakeside to Dudley, whilst the latter is at what many regard as its spiritual home of Peterborough, who most recently staged the event in 2010.Hoggart said: “We’re going back to Peterborough for the Premier League Fours, which is something we would probably have done last year but for the fact that there were so many unresolved issues at the time.“Having said that, Leicester did a great job for us over the two meetings they ran with the event that was abandoned and then the eventual re-staging, and it’s a little disappointing that we can’t reward them with another event at this time.“All of the events have their own relative successes, and the Elite League Riders Championship goes back to Swindon where we had a great meeting last season, with absolutely fantastic racing. With what was presented to us there, it was an easy decision to go back there.”The other major Premier League events remain at Sheffield (PLRC) and Somerset (Pairs) with the latter this year having a late-August staging to again coincide with British Grand Prix weekend at Cardiff – that event itself having moved from its usual June date due to Olympic requirements at the Millennium Stadium.Hoggart said: “There are no problems with the Premier League Pairs and the PLRC. They’ve found their homes at Somerset and Sheffield respectively and the crowds have always been very healthy.“Somerset is the gateway to Cardiff for the fans at the start of British Grand Prix weekend, and it makes a lot of sense to be down there the day before that meeting. “We announced the date very early so that fans could take the opportunity to secure their accommodation for the weekend, and I’m sure it will be a success again.“We were going to run the British Final (at Wolverhampton) a little closer to Cardiff but we’ve pulled it forward by a week so that we can cope with a rain-off.“What we don’t want to be doing is announcing the British GP Wild Card in the second week of August at a time when the programmes for the GP are already being put together, so that’s why we’ve pulled our national Final into July.”

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 20

ELITE LEAGUE LATEST…

BELLE Vue have encountered a frustrating delay in the work permit application of winter signing Travis McGowan.Manager Jim Lynch said: “Travis is waiting for a number to be issued to him by our authorities. If he gets it soon there is a chance of him being able to fast-track it through the Swedish system so he can come in and ride.“But we have to look at the possibility of him missing the start of the season and I have a rider in mind who I can bring in if necessary.”BIRMINGHAM star Ben Barker wants to lay down an early marker to local rivals Wolverhampton when the sides meet in the Midland League at Perry Barr on Thursday.Barker said: “We need to get off to a good start because there’s been a lot of positive stuff going on at the club during the winter but we have to do the business out there on the track.“Wolves are a very good team and they have riders who can go well around Perry Barr but I’m confident we can start with a win.”COVENTRY promoter Mick Horton says the Midland League fixtures against Birmingham and Wolverhampton will be the ideal opportunity for the Bees to prepare for the Elite League campaign.Horton said: “These next four meetings are all about jostling for team places and positions.“I’m not going to read too much into them, it’s more a case of track-time and race practice, and that’s what we’ll be using them for. But obviously we very much want to put one over on our local rivals!”EASTBOURNE co-promoter Mike Bellerby is relieved that a lengthy effort to sign Russian star Denis Gizatullin has proved to be successful.Bellerby said: “It has been a long haul but the whole management team here at Eastbourne are sure we have brought a winner into the team. He is hugely experienced and will make a big impression here.”EASTBOURNE LINE-UP: Joonas Kylmakorpi, Lewis Bridger, Simon Gustafsson, Lukas Dryml, Cameron Woodward, Denis Gizatullin, Timo Lahti.KING’S LYNN have suffered a blow with doubling-up man Jordan Frampton suffering a broken scaphoid whilst racing for his Premier League club Rye House. Ironically Frampton joined the Stars squad as a replacement for long-term injury victim Kozza Smith, who crashed in Australia during the winter.LAKESIDE newcomer Justin Sedgmen says he is relishing the prospect of holding a doubling-up position with the Hammers alongside his Premier League commitments with Redcar.Sedgmen said: “I’m really looking forward to this year, starting with meeting the Hammers fans at the Open Night (on Friday). It’s going to be a lot of fun riding at the Raceway, and I’m going to be working really hard to get better and better. “Although it was quite a bit warmer in Aussie, it’s been a long winter, so I’m fit and raring to go and can’t wait to get on track for the Hammers. Obviously it will be cool to have Davey (Watt) in the pits as a fellow Aussie, but I know all of the boys and think we’ll have a great team spirit this year. I just want to get out there and do really well both for the Hammers and for Redcar.”PETERBOROUGH skipper Kenneth Bjerre says he’s happy to be back at the Showground after an enjoyable season on loan at King’s Lynn in 2011.Bjerre said: “It feels great to be back after a year away, and I always knew that I wanted to return to Peterborough this year. The fans have always been great and we need that again this year.“I enjoyed myself last year, King’s Lynn are a good club and I learned a few things that will help me in the future.”POOLE promoter Matt Ford was pleased to kick-off the season with a win at Wolverhampton in the Elite Shield – but knows his team could face a tougher job when they return to Monmore Green next month.Ford said: “Wolves will be a different proposition when we go back there in the televised Elite league visit. By then their new guys will also have had time to ‘settle in’ so nothing too much should be read in to this particular result. “Of course this victory does leave us in a good position to win the one trophy we missed out on last year and that will be a good way to launch our home season on Wednesday. That said, we still have a job to do and so I hope the fans will be out in force and get behind the boys.”SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter says this week’s challenge matches against Somerset are all about preparation for a tough start to the Elite League campaign.Rossiter said: “These two matches are good little testers to get the boys some more track-time because we’ve got a two-week break then until our next match against Birmingham.“That’s going be tough, make no bones about that. Bjarne Pedersen flies around Swindon, as he showed last weekend, so we need to be ready for that one.”WOLVERHAMPTON boss Peter Adams insists his side will make progress having dropped to a 44-46 Elite Shield defeat on opening night against Poole.Adams said: “It’s obvious where our weaknesses were, we carried a couple of passengers and we can’t afford to do that for too long.“I thought Nicolai (Klindt) was good value and we know what we’re going to get from Lindgren and Woffinden. We’ll get there I’m sure.”

PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST…

BERWICK promoter John Anderson rated the club’s season-opening Fence Fund Challenge, won by Elite League star Olly Allen, as a big success.Anderson said: “The turn out tonight was massive and I thank everyone who came. I also have to thank all the riders who took no fees for their efforts tonight, and they were big efforts judging by some of the thrilling racing, some of which looked like they were battling for vital league points not just self-pride and glory.”EDINBURGH will have a high-quality field on show when they open their season on Friday with the Scottish Open Championship.Elite League men Olly Allen and Ty Proctor will both be amongst the favourites with Redcar’s new No.1 Ulrich Ostergaard a recent addition to the line-up – his last appearance at Armadale having seen him collect a six-ride paid maximum!IPSWICH are considering their options with two riders set for a spell on the sidelines after opening night last Thursday. Taylor Poole has a severely broken right arm which has been tightly strapped to push the bones together, whilst Morten Risager has a broken vertebra, although he does not require an operation. LEICESTER’S winter signing Simon Nielsen will be out for a period of six to eight weeks with a broken hand. Nielsen had made a promising debut until the crash at Scunthorpe last Friday, and Lions boss Jason Attwood is searching for a replacement to fill the vacancy in the team.NEWCASTLE boss George English is predicting a successful season for reserve Richie Worrall following an impressive display in the Diamonds’ first home meeting of the season last Sunday.English said: “Richie Worrall looked like he’s determined to make this season his big year, and we’re looking forward to see what he’s capable of - great things, I believe!”PLYMOUTH promoter Mike Bowden says the performances of his top two riders in the recent Ben Fund Bonanza at Birmingham augurs well for the new season.Bowden said: “I was really pleased that Ben (Barker) won the meeting, which was a great achievement bearing in mind that the event attracted a world class field. Ryan (Fisher) also turned in a pleasing performance for his six points. Home track advantage counted on the night, but after watching the pair of them in action, I am convinced they will be a strong combination for the Devils this season.”REDCAR promoter Brian Havelock was satisfied with the Bears’ displays during their opening challenge matches against Newcastle, when they outscored the Diamonds over the two meetings.Havelock said: “Our new signings Ulrich Ostergaard, Justin Sedgmen and Max Dilger all recorded debut heat wins last Thursday while Aaron Summers and Gary Havelock were on good form both at the Motorpark last Thursday and at Newcastle on Sunday. It is very encouraging and we look forward to the new League Cup regional competition with confidence.”RYE HOUSE star Luke Bowen scored double-figures in the Rockets’ first home meeting of the season – and paid tribute to the club’s short-term signing Leigh Lanham for his assistance.Bowen said: “I finally got my confidence back last year just before my foot injury struck, and it’s back again already this season. It’s also helped to have such an experienced guy as Leigh alongside me in three of my races. It’s all boosted my confidence - now I’ve got to keep it going and keep rolling.”SCUNTHORPE will be assisting young Australian Tom Armstrong in his recovery from multiple injuries sustained during the Scorpions’ opening meeting of the season last Friday.Manager Richard Hollingsworth said: “We will do all we can to support Tom and I think a collection is going to be organised for Friday. His race-suit and helmet alone will cost about £1200 to replace so he is pretty gutted about that, but it is great to hear he is going to make a full recovery and hopefully we will soon know some more about what is going to happen regarding the shoulder.”SHEFFIELD co-boss David Hoggart says Thursday’s War of the Roses clash with Elite League Belle Vue will offer the Tigers an important opportunity to ensure they are race-ready for an early Premier League start this weekend.Hoggart said: “There are no easy rides at all but we do need to test the pairings before we travel to Rye House on Saturday. I can’t afford the boys getting in each other’s way, particularly around Hoddesdon. Hugh Skidmore and Klaus Jakobsen both looked sharp in practice and I expect them both to progress significantly in 2012.”SOMERSET promoter Debbie Hancock says the appearance of a Swindon side containing several top names will provide a fine way to start the season at the Oak Tree Arena on Friday.Hancock said: “Hopefully the fans will enjoy seeing the likes of Hans Andersen and Troy Batchelor, as well as Darcy Ward flying around the Oaktree Arena. Basically this is one for the fans to enjoy while giving our boys a good run-out before the serious action gets underway next week with those matches against the (Ipswich) Witches.”FIXTURE PICTURE…

WEDNESDAY MARCH 21:ELITE SHIELD 2nd leg: Poole v Wolverhampton 7.30

THURSDAY 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 Select 7.30STAR OF ANGLIA: Ipswich 7.30

FRIDAY MARCH 23:LEAGUE CUP: Plymouth v Rye House 7.30, Scunthorpe v Berwick 7.30MIDLAND LEAGUE: Coventry v Birmingham 8pmCHALLENGE 2nd leg: Somerset Select v Swindon 7.30SCOTTISH OPEN: Edinburgh 7.15

SATURDAY MARCH 24:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Belle Vue 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Rye House v Sheffield 7pmTYNE TWEED TROPHY 1st leg: Berwick v Newcastle 7pm

SUNDAY MARCH 25:SPRING TROPHY 1st leg: Glasgow v Edinburgh 4pmCHALLENGE 2nd leg: Leicester v Scunthorpe 6pmTYNE TWEED TROPHY 2nd leg: Newcastle v Berwick 6.30

MONDAY MARCH 26:MIDLAND LEAGUE: Wolverhampton v Birmingham 7.30

WEDNESDAY MARCH 28:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Eastbourne 7.30CHALLENGE: Poole v Belle Vue 7.30

THURSDAY MARCH 29:LEAGUE CUP: Ipswich v Somerset 7.30, Redcar v Scunthorpe 7.30, Sheffield v Workington 7.45MIDLAND LEAGUE: Birmingham v Coventry 7.30

FRIDAY MARCH 30:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Lakeside v Belle Vue 8pmLEAGUE CUP: Scunthorpe v Newcastle 7.30, Somerset v Ipswich 7.30MIDLAND LEAGUE: Coventry v Wolverhampton 8pmSPRING TROPHY 2nd leg: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30

SATURDAY MARCH 31:LEAGUE CUP: Leicester v Ipswich 7.30, Workington v Redcar 7pmCOCK O’ THE NORTH 1st leg: Berwick v Edinburgh 7pmCHALLENGE: Rye House v Peterborough 7pm, Stoke v Isle of Wight 7.30

SUNDAY APRIL 1:LEAGUE CUP: Glasgow v Scunthorpe 4pm, Newcastle v Workington 6.30

MONDAY APRIL 2:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v King’s Lynn 7.30MIDLAND LEAGUE: Wolverhampton v Coventry 7.30

TUESDAY APRIL 3:STAFFS CUP 1st leg: Dudley v Stoke 7.30