GRAND PRIX winner Peter Kildemand is set to join Simon Stead at his big farewell.
The dashing Dane, widely regarded as one of the most spectacular riders in the world, was a team mate of Stead’s in Swindon’s 2012 Elite League winning side.
Now he will race in ‘SS Last Lap’ at Owlerton on Sunday March 25 (4pm).
A delighted Stead said: “Peter contacted me and asked if he could ride in my meeting which is really nice. We get on great and obviously we have great memories from that season with Swindon when we won the league.
“I’m really pleased with the line-up, it’s a combination of Grand Prix stars, our own Sheffield lads and not forgetting the current World Champion (Jason Doyle). I’m sure there will be some great racing for the fans to enjoy.”
ISLE of Wight co-promoter Martin Widman says the mood of positivity is high as they prepare for the National League campaign.
The Warriors will appear for the first time this year at their press and practice day on March 31, and Widman says they can’t wait to get started.
He said: “I can hardly believe it is six months ago we were celebrating our win over Cradley in our last home match of 2017.
“So much has happened over the winter months. The Warriors team was completed by Christmas, the ongoing success of our training school ‘My First Skid’ has been tremendous, the launch of our development team, The Wizards, has been fantastic, the outstanding support from our sponsors is humbling and the enthusiasm of our volunteers is unceasing.
“We have so much to look forward to over the next six months I just can’t wait to get going.”
BELLE Vue stage the first meeting of the 2018 season tonight (Monday) with the visit of Swindon in the first leg of the Charity Shield.
The Robins took the Premiership title last year but the Aces secured the KO Cup, eliminating the Wiltshire side along the way with victory in a close semi-final.
Both clubs have made two changes over the winter with Damian Drozdz and Jye Etheridge making their Belle Vue debuts, whilst Troy Batchelor returns to Swindon after two years away and Mitchell Davey also comes in at reserve.
Aces skipper Steve Worrall said: “Rosco [Alun Rossiter] has put in the work over the winter to put such a good team together, but then so have we and I must say I’m very encouraged by what I’ve seen from the lads so far.
“We had a very productive press and practice. We’ve ironed out a few kinks, everyone is looking fast and the whole team is so enthusiastic about the new campaign.”
Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “It’s one of those tracks that shouldn’t hold any fears for us. It’s a big, fair track and somewhere we’ve been quite successful the last couple of years.
“It will be a good test to see where we are and where we need to get. It’s early days, so although I’m looking for a win and we believe it’s achievable, I won’t be too concerned if it doesn’t go our way as long as we show the right signs.”
WOLVERHAMPTON have postponed their season-opener against Poole next Monday – with press and practice now to take place on that date.
The Monmore club have put their pre-season session back by seven days as the circuit was covered by heavy snowfall at the weekend and they are unable to get on-track as planned tonight.
Promoter Chris Van Straaten said: “I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Matt Ford at Poole for all his understanding in allowing us to postpone the opening night fixture.
“We will now work together to re-arrange on a suitable date for both sides later in the season.
“Press and practice is cancelled on Monday, but we must emphasise that with the weather due to improve the talk-in with management and riders will go ahead on Tuesday, March 20 at the Cleveland Arms.”
NEWCASTLE have moved to hand Matthew Wethers a return to the Championship as they close in on their full 2018 line-up.
The experienced Wethers joins the Diamonds after previously racing for rivals Berwick two years ago, and his past record at Brough Park includes a 21-point maximum!
Co-promoter Martin Phillips said: “Matty is a rider who feels he has a point to prove. He feels hard done by as he was completely overlooked by UK speedway in 2017 and had to look in from the outside.
“As a result, he was delighted to be given a chance to revive his career this season with his single-minded aim to show the rest of the league that he still has it in him and can do a serious job on track. I can't sing his praises enough for his positive attitude and determination to succeed.
“He has been on our radar for a long time this winter, but when it came to doing the deal and signing the contract he was a delight to do business with without complications, and we're happy to welcome him on board.”
GLASGOW newcomer Paul Starke is hungry for more trophies as he prepares for his Tigers debut this Friday.
The 27-year-old has won a staggering 19 team titles in just 11 seasons, including four leagues and five KO Cups, being part of the victorious Somerset side in the Premier League (now Championship) in 2016.
Starke said: “Almost every year I've won something with the team I was racing for - and I've won all three leagues in British speedway.
“Every year I want to win something - and this year I want to win everything. With Glasgow and the team we've got, there's no reason why I can't put more trophies on my resume.
“I nearly did it all with Somerset in 2014, but we lost out to Edinburgh in the league. I also did the treble with Cradley in the National League. I've always won trophies with clubs that I've been with, and I want to carry that forward this year.”
MONDAY MARCH 19:
CHARITY SHIELD 1st leg: Belle Vue v Swindon 7.30
THURSDAY MARCH 22:
CHARITY SHIELD 2nd leg: Swindon v Belle Vue 7.30
FRIDAY MARCH 23:
SCOTTISH CUP 1st leg: Glasgow v Edinburgh 7.30
70TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: Poole 7pm
LEE RICHARDSON SPRING CLASSIC: Lakeside 8pm