SPEEDWAY News and Fixtures

(SPEEDWAY 1)

SOMERSET stage one of British Speedway’s most popular events of the season tonight with the Premier League Pairs taking place at the Oaktree Arena.Ten PL clubs are represented, including the home side with Nick Morris and Olly Allen defending the title won by former Somerset riders Josh Grajczonek and Jason Doyle last season.The meeting has become firmly established as the forerunner to the British Grand Prix at Cardiff, with the Rebels hosting the Pairs for an eighth successive year.Co-promoter Debbie Hancock said: “The track produces some of the best racing action in the country, and I expect tonight to be no different. What a great way to start this fantastic weekend of speedway in the UK.“I feel that tonight’s championship is very much wide open, and looking at the line-ups there are no obvious winners.”Gates open at 5pm with the pits open to supporters until 6pm, and the meeting gets underway at 7pm.GROUP A: WORKINGTON – Josh Grajczonek/Rene Bach, PETERBOROUGH – Lasse Bjerre/Ulrich Ostergaard, REDCAR – Richard Lawson/Aaron Summers, IPSWICH – Rohan Tungate/Morten Risager, NEWCASTLE – Stuart Robson/Lewis Kerr.GROUP B: EDINBURGH – Sam Masters/Max Fricke, SOMERSET – Nick Morris/Olly Allen, PLYMOUTH – Rasmus Jensen/Kyle Newman, BERWICK – Claus Vissing/David Bellego, SHEFFIELD – Simon Stead/Leigh Lanham.

(SPEEDWAY 2 – THURSDAY REVIEW)

SWINDON edged a tight contest with Poole 46-43 at the Abbey Stadium to take two Elite League points – despite having been seven points down early on.The Pirates led 15-8 after four races but the Robins turned that around and went ahead in Heat 7, although their advantage never went above five points.Simon Gustafsson’s third win of the night in Heat 14, backed up by third place from Steve Worrall, made the score 44-39 but their hopes of an advantage in the last race were ended by Darcy Ward, who rounded Troy Batchelor for his fourth victory in five outings which secured a point for the visitors.Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “It would have been nice to get all three points but I was happy just to take the win really.“Poole are a good side around here and they have plenty of strength all the way through, so it was a good performance from us to just come out on top.”In the Premier League, Berwick again showed their prowess on the road with an impressive 50-42 win at Redcar to move up to fourth place in the table.Claus Vissing (11) and Steen Jensen (10+1) headed up a solid Bandits display, with six of the visiting riders enjoying a minimum of two paid wins, whilst reserve Jan Graversen scored 10 for the home side who were limited to just five race victories.Berwick boss John Anderson said: “This was an excellent four Premier League points to take with the total now 23 points, putting us into fourth place, but with only eight matches raced, five in hand over Edinburgh the leaders.“Claus was in blistering form and David (Bellego) was livid with his fourth ride last place to ruin his paid maximum, whilst Matej Kus suffered, as Liam Carr had in Heat 9, an engine failure as the tapes went up, but all the lads can justly be proud of a spectacular performance.”Elsewhere, Ipswich moved up to second place with a 58-36 win over Plymouth at Foxhall, the Witches’ top-scorers being Rohan Tungate (13+1), Morten Risager (12) and guest Sam Masters (10+1). Former Ipswich man Ben Barker scored 11 for the Devils.(SPEEDWAY 3 – FRIDAY PREVIEW)

DEVON hand a debut to new signing Luke Chessell when they host Kent in the National League at the St Boniface Arena on Friday.Chessell comes into the Demons side as a replacement for Ben Reade, who recently announced his retirement.The Demons operate rider replacement for James Shanes, who is racing in a grass track meeting in France at the weekend. They also call up Harvie Banks and Adam Sheppard as guests at reserve for Danny Stoneman (retired) and Tyler Govier (working).Devon boss Gary Spiller said: “Luke is a most capable rider and I am delighted to welcome him to the Demons side. I have no doubt he will prove a most worthy addition to our team.”

(SPEEDWAY 4)

PETERBOROUGH star Ryan Fisher is facing shoulder surgery which will keep him out of action for up to two months.The Panthers are now searching for a guest for the American star to ride at Workington in the League Cup semi-final on Sunday, and then for a permanent replacement. Co-promoter Trevor Swales said: “It is a massive blow for Ryan to learn his season is virtually over and he will be a big loss to the club. It goes without saying that everyone at Peterborough wishes him well.“Our first task now is to come up with a guest for Sunday and then we need to quickly assess our options going forward. We cannot even contemplate using rider replacement to cover the length of absence that Ryan is going to have.”

(SPEEDWAY 5)

EASTBOURNE will offer free admission and car parking when they stage the next round of the British Youth Championship on Sunday July 27.The free speedway offer is designed to give the young riders a fantastic experience of riding in front of a big crowd, with up to 40 riders expected to compete in nearly 40 races across the four classes.Eastbourne training manager Martin Dugard said: “The competitors in the championship already say coming to an Elite League track is something special. We want them to experience what it is like to ride in front of a big crowd and the way we can do that is to open the doors and make no charge for admission at all.“It will also be a thank you to our regular supporters and hopefully will attract people from around Sussex to come to Eastbourne and have a look at what speedway is all about.”(FIXTURES)

FRIDAY JULY 11:PREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset 7pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Devon v Kent 7.15

SATURDAY JULY 12:BRITISH GRAND PRIX: Cardiff 5pm

SUNDAY JULY 13:LEAGUE CUP SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Workington v Peterborough 7.30LUKE BOWEN TESTIMONIAL: Rye House 2pm