RYE House have completed their line-up by confirming the return of former World No.2 Krzysztof Kasprzak to Hoddesdon.
Kasprzak joined the Rockets last July after being axed by parent club Poole, but ironically debuted with a paid maximum in their thumping 60-30 win at Wimborne Road, and then helped his new side to the brink of the SGB Premiership play-offs.
Co-promoter Steve Jenson said: “We are obviously very, very happy to have got him on board for 2018. What he did for us last year - both in points and entertainment - speaks for itself.
“He was our ‘missing link’ so to speak last season, and he did so much to turn our year around and get us so close to the play-offs.
“He is a very level-headed guy, and a total professional. He was good with all the other riders last year, a strong leader and eager to share his knowledge and experience.”
IPSWICH are mourning the passing of former rider, captain and manager Ron Bagley at the age of 80 after a short illness.
Bagley started his speedway career at Foxhall in 1958 and led the re-opening of the club under the promotion of John Berry in 1969, when he was appointed as skipper.
He then moved into the team management role during the 1971 campaign, and either captained or managed the Witches to six major trophies, including the British League title in 1975 and 1976.
Ron and his wife and business partner Anita were last present at Foxhall in July 2017 as part of his 80th birthday celebrations.
FORMER Workington star Steve Lawson is to take over track preparation duties at Derwent Park this season.
Lawson, who spent four seasons with the Comets in the mid-1970s, succeeds long-serving curator Anthony Denham who has stepped down after ten years.
Club owner Laura Morgan said: “Steve's help in the pits on race-night is invaluable, so he will be carrying on with that and we're putting a team together as we speak to maintain the track during the meetings, with Steve on hand.
“Although we are very sorry to see Anthony go, there is no panic and Steve is obviously very knowledgeable and experienced so we're very happy to have him on-board.
“Anthony has offered his help and support for the first few meetings of the season to ensure a smooth handover to Steve, so everything is in place so that we can continue to serve up a high standard of racing at Derwent Park on a weekly basis.”
KING’S Lynn have announced a speedway-specific training programme for their riders, including three pre-season training camps.
The Stars have linked up with Chris Neville and Paul Suggitt, who both worked with Team GB in 2017, in an exclusive SGB Premiership arrangement which is also integrated with their medical research initiative alongside the UEA.
Team boss Dale Allitt sad: “The first training camp has already proved to be immensely helpful. The riders have worked hard through the various tests and we have a very meaningful set of stats.
“The environment was also extremely beneficial from a team building perspective.”
SGB Championship title holders Sheffield are looking forward to a bright future after agreeing a new lease to remain at Owlerton Stadium.
Tigers bosses have labelled the venue one of the best in the sport and major events are returning this year - including the showpiece Championship Individual in September.
Co-promoter Damien Bates said: “I think most people within the sport recognise what a super venue we have at Owlerton. And there are plans in place to constantly improve facilities, this became apparent during our recent talks with our friends at A&S Leisure.
“We are extremely fortunate to enjoy a superb relationship with our landlords and we will continue to work together to make maximum use of the facilities and to provide a great night of entertainment.
“Visiting fans always enjoy their visit to Sheffield and we are delighted to have both the Championship Individual meeting and a British Semi-Final here.”
NEWCASTLE will have brand-new main team sponsors this year after concluding a deal with Boiler Technical Services.
The Northumberland-based company have been previously involved at Brough Park as meeting sponsors and with programme advertising, but have now stepped up their support for the club.
Company representative John Taylor said: “The whole family are enthusiastic speedway fans and hate the close-season, so when Martin Phillips and Steve Brock put their ideas to me, it gave me the chance to tick a huge item off my bucket list - to have the company name on the race jackets as team sponsor.
“I'm buzzing that we're in this position, it's hard to believe, and I'm absolutely thrilled.
“I would like to go on record to thanks Alan Hedley of Sapphire Engineering for all the excellent work and backing for the Diamonds, but the new era is here and Martin is also overflowing with enthusiasm, and so with this opportunity coming along I had to get involved.”
STOKE have been hit by the news that winter signing Luke Chessell will be unable to take his place in the team due to injury.
Chessell had been set to start in the No.1 berth for the Potters but he has suffered a broken tibia, fibula and knee injuries in a motorcycle crash in the United States.
Potters promoter Dave Tattum said: “I’m devastated for Luke and his family and we wish him well for a speedy recovery.
“Obviously, it now means we need another rider for the new season, we’ve already started the search and we are looking to get something sorted sooner rather than later.
“I have to admit it has caught us on the hop a little as we thought we’d got the team sorted and ready to go, but there is nothing anyone can do when injuries present themselves.”
BIRMINGHAM have announced locally-based Edwards Plumbing and Heating Supplies Ltd will take over as main team sponsors this season.
The second city company have signed a one-year deal which will see the club named the Birmingham Edwards Plumbing Brummies for the 2018 National League campaign.
Edwards’ director Scott Dudley said: “It was two years ago that we first got involved with the Brummies when Joe (McLaughlin) knocked the door one day. It has been such an enjoyable time for us.
“Stepping up to the team title will just be an extension of what we have done previously. We enjoy bringing customers and clients down and we are looking forward to that continuing.
“We want to do all we can to help promote the Brummies. We have four branches across Birmingham and we’ve discussed with Lee (Kilby) the potential of having banners for the speedway outside each branch.”