SPEEDWAY News

(SPEEDWAY 1)

NIELS-Kristian Iversen is to return to King’s Lynn on a short-term deal to cover for Troy Batchelor, who will miss the start of the season with injury.Batchelor’s recovery from a broken arm is set to be longer than first expected so Grand Prix star Iversen will step back in – and the club have completed their side with the signing of German prospect Kai Huckenbeck, whilst Simon Lambert becomes an additional Tier 2 reserve.Promoter Keith Chapman said: “Being able to bring Niels in as cover is a massive boost for us. He always said he would be there if called upon and he was true to his word. He is the ultimate professional and we are delighted that he will start the season for us.“I hope our supporters will take to Kai quickly, and get behind him. He is set up for racing in the UK with first-class equipment and a team in the pits. “From what we have seen we are confident he can improve on his starting average and be a great team member.”

(SPEEDWAY 2)

WORKINGTON have been rocked by the news that winter signing Ty Proctor will not be returning to the UK in March as anticipated.Proctor’s visa expired last May and in order to return next month the Australian would require a Tier 5 visa, which is more restrictive than the Tier 2 he plans to return on but cannot obtain until he has been out the country for a clear 12 months.Comets owner Laura Morgan said: “Naturally we are very disappointed at Ty’s decision, as are the fans, and we are currently assessing our options with regard to securing a suitable replacement at this late stage.“Hopefully we will be in a position to make an announcement in the near future.”

(SPEEDWAY 3)

BERWICK have received a boost with locally-based Olympus Marquees Ltd taking over the title sponsorship role for the Bandits.The company specialise in marquee hire for weddings and festivals, corporate hospitality tent hire, exhibition tenting and traditional marquees, and are owned and operated by Joanne Cox and Steven Farnaby, who is a familiar name at Shielfield Park as his son Stefan is a Berwick club asset.Chairman John Anderson said: “This is going to be a superb deal for both our organisations. We will be making everyone from Olympus welcome at our matches, and look forward to meeting their staff and company guests as the season progresses. “I want to congratulate new team manager Scott Courtney, who was very much the driving force behind getting this great deal organised – indeed, since coming on board, Scott has been brilliant in everything he's done for our club and I believe he'll be just as positive in his work with the Bandits' riders, once the wheels start rolling.”

(SPEEDWAY 4)

SHEFFIELD skipper Simon Stead will get back on a bike for the first time in just under a year this weekend.The 33-year-old was involved in a horrific crash during the Tigers' Premier League victory at Rye House last April but has since worked overtime to get himself fit for the new season and will take the shale in Macon, France, where he has travelled to assist the British Youth trip.Said Stead: “I'm really looking forward to getting away to France for a few days; it should be a great trip all round. I've spent so much time in the gym making I'm in the best shape possible but nothing compares to time spent on the bike.“This is the first chance I'll have had to get a few laps in and I can't wait to have that buzz again.“I was really grateful to be invited by Neil Vatcher (GB Youth boss) and I can't wait to help the twenty-or-so young guys who will be going on the trip.”

(SPEEDWAY 5)

PETERBOROUGH promoter Ged Rathbone is the proud recipient of a Civic Award.The Panthers supremo has again been recognised for his major contribution to the city sporting scene since leading the club's successful fight for survival in late 2014, and received the award at the Town Hall on Wednesday from Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor John Peach.Rathbone said: “I'm proud and privileged to receive the award, but I'm also gobsmacked. I don't think I have done anything out of the ordinary. I merely fought to save a club which I felt was worth saving.“However, it is great for speedway to receive this sort of recognition and hopefully we can provide excitement and success for the people of Peterborough this year.”