SPEEDWAY News and Fixtures


ORGANISERS of the Ben Fund Bonanza at Peterborough on Sunday March 18 have confirmed an enforced change of start-time for the event.
The season-opening meeting will now take place at the East of England Arena at 6.30pm, having been put back from its original 2pm start. Gates open at 5pm with entertainment and junior racing starting at 6pm.
Ben Fund secretary Paul Ackroyd said: “This is completely beyond our control and I can only apologise to supporters who may have made plans.
“Ged Rathbone and I were left to make a decision whether to switch the meeting to Saturday, or to race later on the Sunday.
“In the end we felt that it had to be Sunday because of the riders who have committed to be there on that day.
“I hope that supporters will have time to adjust their plans and still attend the event.”


PETERBOROUGH boss Ged Rathbone has reported a surge of interest in the club since completing their one-to-seven.
The Panthers will be spearheaded by multiple British Champion Scott Nicholls this season as they look to build on a 2017 campaign which saw them win silverware in the Championship KO Cup and Fours.
Rathbone said: “We’re absolutely over the moon to have the full one-to-seven in place, and I’m delighted to report that season ticket sales now look like hitting last year’s levels.
“We’re into March now which is always an exciting time because everyone knows the start of the season is only a few weeks away, and we can’t wait for the opening meetings.
“As a one-to-seven we have the top rider in the league on the highest average, and the team looks solid throughout. We are more than ready for the challenge ahead.”


IPSWICH have been frustrated by the weather in a bid for pre-season practice.
The Witches were due to head to France this week for a full team session but have had to cancel those plans due to the freezing conditions.
Manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “We were supposed to be in France now and the boys were all looking forward to seeing each other but the weather has scuppered our trip.
“It would have been good for them to get together and had two days of track time to get that bike going again ready for the new season.
“Having a sustained period of time together with Michael (Haertel) would have been good too instead of just dipping in and out of meetings or a press day where you are really busy.
“We would have had plenty of time going for dinner and whatever and we could have all got to know each other, but I am sure he will fit in well. We are a good bunch of boys and everyone will welcome him and give him a lot of help.”


NEW Stoke No.1 Max Clegg is eager for the challenge ahead as he makes the move to Loomer Road in the National League.
Clegg was snapped up by the Potters after the previously signed Luke Chessell was injured in America, and is looking to maintain his position as one of the third tier’s top men.
Clegg said: “I feel sorry for that Luke got injured but I’m looking to the challenge at Stoke.
“I like the track a lot and have scored plenty of points around Loomer Road as well as a couple of maximums, and I will be looking to continue that in Potters colours this season.
“Having two clubs in Rye House in the Premiership and Stoke in the National League is perfect for me giving me extra time on the bike, and it keeps me in shape. I am really looking for a big season this year, both personally and also with both of my clubs.”


BELLE Vue are preparing for their major Individual event to headline the club’s 90th Anniversary celebrations on Saturday March 24.
Aces star Craig Cook has already been confirmed in the line-up with a strong field expected to be assembled to compete for the Peter Craven Memorial Trophy.
Director of Speedway Mark Lemon said: “I’m really excited with how the meeting is coming along. It’ll be a classic 16-rider, 20-heat meeting with a semi-final and a final plus several other exciting motorcycling disciplines will also be featured on the night.
“It is imperative to include riders from this year’s Belle Vue Aces in the line-up and I’m pleased to have Craig in there. He’s one of the league’s best and a rider who ticks all the boxes.
“The field as a whole is a competitive one with lots of flavours of nationalities which I think pays homage to Belle Vue as a club that has, and continues to attract riders from all over the world.”