LAKESIDE co-promoter Jon Cook is looking forward to seeing competitive action back at the Arena-Essex Raceway next Friday.
The Hammers have joined the Championship for the 2018 season but launch the campaign with the Rico Spring Classic individual as they honour the memory of club legend Lee Richardson.
Cook said: “We’re all looking forward to seeing Friday night racing back at the Raceway after what seems like a long winter.
“Everyone involved with the club is excited at the potential of our new team in the Championship, whilst the Rico Spring Classic gives all of our boys a bit of competitive action ahead of the opening Shield Clashes against Peterborough and our old rivals Ipswich.
“As a club we’re all pulling together to make this a memorable season, both on and off track.”
NICK Morris has been named Swindon skipper for the defence of their Premiership title.
Aussie ace Morris takes over from Jason Doyle having impressed Robins bosses last season with a fine run of form, and played a vital role in their Grand Final win over Wolverhampton.
Manager Alun Rossiter said: “This is something I believe Nick is ready for, the next stage of his career.
“He was excellent last season and I have no doubt he’s capable of handling the extra responsibility.
“It was between him and David (Bellego) but I don’t feel David needs the added pressure in only his second season with us.”
SHEFFIELD legend Simon Stead is closing in on the full line-up for his farewell meeting at Owlerton next week.
Tigers title winners Lasse Bjerre and Todd Kurtz have accepted the invite for Sunday March 25, along with new Berwick No.1 Aaron Summers.
Said Stead: “I’m delighted to include both Lasse and TK because they are good lads who did a fantastic job for the club last season when we won the championship.
“They were both new to Sheffield and went about their business in a really professional manner so it’s great for me to have them in my meeting.
“Aaron is a good rider and I’m sure he’ll do a good job at Berwick. He’s got a lot of experience now and he’ll enjoy rubbing shoulders with the Grand Prix lads.”
SCUNTHORPE will have the continued backing of Henderson Insurance as main team sponsors in the coming campaign.
The insurance brokers, who opened in Scunthorpe in 1986 and now boast 17 offices across the UK, will be going into their twelfth season of sponsoring the Scorpions.
Promoter Rob Godfrey said: “The support of Henderson Insurance to Scunthorpe Speedway has been absolutely invaluable.
“You always need a bit of luck, but this year we feel we’ve got a team which will be there-or-thereabouts when it comes to picking up the silverware in all the major competitions. A bit of success always helps getting the name of the ‘Henderson Insurance Scunthorpe Scorpions’ out there.”
“As well as saying a huge thank you to Henderson Insurance as a company for their continued support, I want to say a personal thank you to Joe Henderson. He’s been such a big supporter of our club – I don’t know Scunthorpe Speedway would be without him.”
WORKINGTON have named three more visiting riders for the Cumberland Open on March 31 – including multiple British Champion Scott Nicholls.
The 39-year-old appeared in the first meeting at Derwent Park under the ownership of Laura Morgan in 2013, and he is joined in the line-up by ex-Comets rider Ulrich Ostergaard and Australian newcomer Jordan Stewart.
Morgan said: “I am quite excited by the line-up we have put together so far and hopefully our supporters are too; it certainly promises to be a great way to get the season underway.
“With our own riders plus four former Comets, the emerging talent of Jordan Stewart and a visit from multiple British Champion Scott Nicholls announced so far the field is shaping up very nicely and the competition is sure to be fierce to claim top spot on the podium.”
BIRMINGHAM have been forced to turn to plan B as they try and complete their team for the fast-approaching new season.
The Brummies have agreed terms with one unnamed rider but a delayed process, beyond the control of both parties, means he won’t be able to take his place in the starting seven.
They have therefore invited a number of unattached riders to press and practice next Wednesday, where they will look to impress club bosses.
Manager Laurence Rogers explained: “We don’t want to go into too much detail right now because we’re still hopeful we can introduce him into our team at some point this season.
“It is highly frustrating to say the least and even though it’s something which is totally out of our hands we can only apologise to our supporters - but we’re staying positive.
“We’ve asked a few riders to come along who are looking for a team spot. We’re going to get them out on track and those who impress us will be given an opportunity.”
SUNDAY MARCH 18:
BEN FUND BONANZA: Peterborough OFF
MONDAY MARCH 19:
CHARITY SHIELD 1st leg: Belle Vue v Swindon 7.30