SPEEDWAY News and Fixtures


WORKINGTON No.1 Kenneth Hansen has returned to Denmark having been diagnosed with suspected testicular cancer.Hansen will undergo further tests and treatment at home, having informed Comets owner Laura Morgan of the devastating news on Wednesday afternoon.She said: “Naturally this has come as a huge shock for Kenneth, as it has been for us all, and it is only when something such as this comes along that all thoughts of speedway are put into perspective.“Clearly all of our thoughts are with Kenneth right now. He has returned home to Denmark for more tests and then to undergo whatever treatment is deemed necessary“Needless to say this has hit his team-mates particularly hard. Even though they have not ridden together as a team so far this year they have all known each other within the sport for many years, and the camaraderie of this year’s side was already evident from last Saturdays press and practice day.“Kenneth requested that we make his situation public in order to end any speculation as to his whereabouts, but in return may we respectfully request that he is granted some quiet time with his family back home in Denmark while he deals with the current situation.“We fully acknowledge that supporters everywhere will want to leave their good wishes for Kenneth at this time but again, we respectfully request that it does not become a topic for debate, discussion or speculation on internet forums and the like.”


POOLE established a 14-point lead over King’s Lynn in the first leg of the Elite Shield despite the loss of reserve Kyle Newman in his opening ride.The Pirates won 53-39 after the early blow of Newman suffering mild concussion when he crashed due to a shed chain in Heat 2.Fellow reserve Paul Starke stepped up to the mark with an impressive 10+3 from six rides, whilst Maciej Janowski (11+1) and Dakota North (11) combined for a Heat 15 5-1 to take the margin above ten points ahead of Thursday’s second leg. Lewis Kerr and Rory Schlein both scored nine for the Stars.Starke said: “I am pretty happy with that performance. It was good to get amongst the points and help Poole to the win. I enjoyed it.“I think the thing is with me and Kyle is that we can both cover for each other if one of us is having an off night. It was a shame that we lost his services for most of the match and I really hope he isn't too bad and that he will be back on track quickly. But my job was to stand in for him and we got the job done.”Meanwhile Birmingham stunned Cradley with a 46-44 win at Perry Barr in the ‘away’ leg of the Travel Plus Tours Challenge, inflicting the Heathens’ first defeat since April 2014.The ‘home’ still took a comfortable aggregate win thanks to their 36-point victory over the same opposition just a week ago, but were overturned on the night by two late 5-1s from Adam Ellis and Tom Perry.Ellis scored a paid maximum for the Brummies, whilst Heathens reserve Ellis Perks piled up 16 points from seven rides, with Luke Harris having been withdrawn due to an ankle injury in a second-ride crash.Ellis said: “Me and Tom knew what we'd got to do in Heat 13 and we got the 5-1 and from there we could see we'd got them rattled.“We knew we could go out and do it again in the last race and it was an amazing feeling to pull off a 5-1 that meant we won the match.”Cradley captain Max Clegg said: “All the team gave it everything, we were just a bit unlucky. It wasn’t our night, they were the better team but when you look at it over two legs we’ve proved we are stronger by coming away with the trophy.“It was an off-night for us, and I was a bit disappointed with myself especially in Heats 13 and 15, but we all know what we are capable of and hopefully we’ve got that one out of the way before the National League starts.”


LOCAL rivals Sheffield and Scunthorpe race their first League Cup fixture of the new season – with the visitors defending an incredible recent record at Owlerton.The Scorpions have won on each of their last five visits, dating back to August 2013, although promoter Rob Godfrey believes life could be tougher against their Yorkshire neighbours this year.Godfrey said: “I’m pretty optimistic that we can get something out of this meeting. Of course, we head into every meeting trying to win it. “But I’m well aware that, this season, we don’t have as many Owlerton specialists in our line-up, and therefore we might not turn over Sheffield every time at their place, as we have done for the last couple of years. We’d like to come out of the meeting with an away point, anything more will be a welcome bonus.”Sheffield give debuts to David Bellego and Arthur Sissis, with Ashley Birks making his Tigers return having switched from the Scorpions.Co-promoter Peter Mole said: “Scunthorpe really put us to the sword last season so we’re determined to put one over them and lay a marker down right from the start.“All the management here at Sheffield believe we have a team made up mainly of riders who will improve as the season goes on.”In the Southern group, Ipswich and Rye House meet at Foxhall with the Witches having taken an away point from last weekend’s clash at Hoddesdon.Ipswich continue to operate the rider-replacement facility for Ritchie Hawkins following his crash last Thursday, whilst the Rockets are at full strength – and home promoter Chris Louis is encouraged by the early signs from his team.Louis said: “There’s been something very professional and composed about Cameron (Heeps) since his return from Australia a couple of weeks ago and it showed on Saturday. Calm and focused, he went about scoring a very creditable 15 points with some good starts and even better passes. “Danny (King) backed him up well and although we’ve only got one team meeting under our belts, I can see already why I was keen to bring him back at the earliest possible opportunity.”Rockets boss John Sampford said: “There’s no doubt that Thursday’s return match at Ipswich will be just as tough as Saturday’s, but we will certainly go there aiming for a positive result. You’ve got to aim high if you want to achieve.”King’s Lynn and Poole resume their rivalry at the Adrian Flux Arena in the second leg of the Elite Shield with the Pirates operating rider-replacement for Kacper Gomolski due to a commitment in Poland, and taking a 14-point lead into the match.The opening meeting of the season at Redcar sees the Bears take on Workington in the first leg of the A66 Trophy.The home side have brought in Lasse Bjerre, Stuart Robson and Ben Morley over the winter with Matej Kus making a return to the club, whilst the Comets will operate rider-replacement for Kenneth Hansen.Bears boss Jitendra Duffill said: “I feel our teams look fairly well matched and it should be a good test for us. Of course our aim is to win both meetings, but for me the most important thing is for the team to get a few laps in so that they are race sharp come next Thursday when our League Cup campaign begins.”Swindon stage the Bob Kilby Memorial Trophy at Blunsdon, with four of the Robins riders taking part along with a host of Elite League heat-leaders.Freddie Lindgren, Scott Nicholls, Chris Harris, Hans Andersen and Bjarne Pedersen are amongst the visiting riders in the 20-heat individual event.Robins boss Alun Rossiter said: “Thursday evening will be a fantastic way to start ahead of the league programme, and we’re delighted to be able to honour the memory of two of the club’s greats.“We’ve been able to put together a really good line-up for the Bob Kilby Memorial, I’m expecting a lot of competitive racing there, and having the youngsters competing in memory of Malcolm Holloway is a really good bonus for everyone too.”


CAR giant Peugeot has confirmed a major investment to support the speedway revolution taking place in Glasgow.The Tigers’ first-ever permanent home will be named the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium as phase one of a £750,000 redevelopment of the venue comes to fruition.Club co-owner Gerry Facenna said: “When my brother Michael and I decided to take on the challenge of saving speedway in Glasgow, we were determined to do it professionally. First and foremost this means providing much-improved facilities for spectators and competitors.“That's why it was so important first to acquire the stadium and then to create a modern sporting arena of which both speedway and Glasgow can be proud. Having Peugeot on board is a massive boost for the Tigers project and we're delighted to have its support with the new Peugeot Ashfield Stadium.”


THURSDAY MARCH 26:LEAGUE CUP: Ipswich v Rye House 7.30, Sheffield v Scunthorpe 7.30ELITE SHIELD 2nd leg: King’s Lynn v Poole 7.30A66 CHALLENGE 1st leg: Redcar v Workington 7.30BOB KILBY MEMORIAL: Swindon 7.30

FRIDAY MARCH 27:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Wolverhampton 7.30, Lakeside v Leicester 8pmLEAGUE CUP: Peterborough v Rye House 7.30CHALLENGE: Somerset v Poole 7.30

SATURDAY MARCH 28:LEAGUE CUP: Rye House v Somerset 7pmTYNE/TWEED TROPHY 1st leg: Berwick v Newcastle 7pmA66 TROPHY 2nd leg: Workington v Redcar 7pmSKILLS GROUP SPRING CLASSIC: Plymouth 7.15

SUNDAY MARCH 29:SPRING TROPHY 1st leg: Glasgow v Edinburgh 3pmTYNE/TWEED TROPHY 2nd leg: Newcastle v Berwick 6.30M6 CUP: Stoke v Birmingham 3pmPALMER TROPHY: Mildenhall 3.30CHRIS HARRIS TESTIMONIAL: Coventry 2pm (1pm for British Youth races)

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