Date: Tuesday August 31, 2021
OXFORD have confirmed plans for the return of league racing to Cowley in the 2022 season.
Speedway was last staged at the venue in 2007 but stadium manager David Lestrade says the intention is for the sport to make a very welcome return, run in-house with a promoter employed by the club.
Lestrade said: “I’m confident that Oxford Cheetahs will be back. Of course, something unforeseen could happen, but it’s definitely in the pipeline to have speedway back.
“The first thing we need to do is get the greyhounds open, because of the financial turnover that brings and that should be back by this December.
“But the plan is then to have everything open at the stadium to the public, all the facilities and so on, in time for the start of next year’s speedway season, with the first meeting around March or April.
“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped up the stadium over the last few weeks.
“We’ve had an enthusiastic bunch of volunteers up there on some Sundays, removing the weeds on the terraces or clearing up the pits. Meanwhile, some supporters are self-employed in a trade where they can bring in their equipment or skills.
“It’s been amazing what’s been done already and it shows the passion which is out there.”
NEWCASTLE owner Rob Grant has stated his intention to leave the club at the end of the season.
Grant intends to stage an ‘End of Season Spectacular’ after the Diamonds complete their Championship programme, but the Tyneside outfit will then be seeking a new promotion to take them forward into 2022.
Said Grant: “After a very hard and stressful couple of years, and after sitting down and analysing the amount of time and resources the speedway has taken away from my core businesses, I have regrettably decided I need to conclude my time with the Diamonds in order to give my main businesses the full attention they need to survive.
“I would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone connected to the club for their help and support, as without these people, my short spell at Newcastle would have been an even harder experience.
“As it currently stands, I’m setting the wheels in motion to see what will come of Newcastle Speedway in 2022, but at this moment in time all I can guarantee is the three remaining home fixtures.
“The work is now on to try and get Newcastle to the tapes in 2022, although I am very sad to say this will be without myself and (co-promoter) Dave Tattum.”
WOLVERHAMPTON are 13 points clear at the top of the Premiership after a double Bank Holiday Monday victory over Belle Vue.
Wolves were 49-41 winners in both meetings, racing into a 10-point lead at the National Speedway Stadium after just four races.
And after a mini revival from the Aces, they clinched all four league points when impressive reserve Ryan Douglas (15) defeated home star Dan Bewley (15) in the last race with Sam Masters (11) adding third place.
The hosts were then comfortable winners in the return fixture despite heavy crashes for Douglas and Leon Flint.
USA star Luke Becker top-scored with 14+1 from six rides whilst Bewley notched 13 for the visitors, who now cannot finish top of the table.
Becker said: “It definitely couldn’t have gone any better way, having two meetings in one day and coming away with two wins, we can’t complain.
“We’ve been doing awesome at home this year so far, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and we’ve just got to keep our foot on the gas.”
Aces boss Mark Lemon said: “A team’s form doesn’t go bad overnight, and I think the loss of Richie [Worrall] to injury has changed the dynamic amongst the boys.
“While we’re now guaranteed our place in the play-offs, losing twice in one day is not acceptable so we must regroup and come back stronger.”
KENT kept up their late push for a Championship play-off place with a 50-40 win over Birmingham at Central Park.
Troy Batchelor and Scott Nicholls both scored 13+1 for the Kings and saw them through the closing stages with two late 5-1s which also prevented the Brummies from taking any points from the meeting.
Erik Riss scored 14 for the visitors and reserve Jack Thomas impressed on his old home track with 12, but they were unable to improve their own top-six hopes over the weekend.
Nicholls said: “Believe me, we’re pushing for the play-offs – it’s been a tough start, but the fans have been amazing and the play-offs are what we want.”
Thomas said: “It’s always good to go back to a former club and score some points. Kent is a cool little track and one I always enjoy riding.
“We have come up short but I can take plenty of positives from the meeting into the rest of the season now.”
PLYMOUTH hand a home debut to recent signing Richard Lawson in tonight’s (Tuesday) Championship clash with Newcastle.
Lawson scored 16 points on his first appearance for the Gladiators at Leicester last weekend.
The home side are without Bjarne Pedersen following his recent illness but Scott Nicholls comes in to guest at No.1.
BEN Trigger and Luke Harrison clinched their respective British Under-21 titles with their fifth wins of this year’s series at Leicester on Monday.
Trigger won the 500cc section and Harrison the 250cc, and both will now look to complete a clean sweep in the finale at Plymouth on September 18.
Although the Championship for those classes has been decided with a round to go, there are still multiple outcomes to be decided at the Coliseum.
Cooper Rushen won the 125cc section at Leicester with Seth Norman taking the support class.
That series is to be decided with just two points separating Stene Pijper and Rushen, and in the same group just one point separates Jamie Etherington and Oliver Bovingdon in the race for the bronze medal.
With Harrison being crowned the British 250cc Champion for the second consecutive year, the race for the rostrum places in
this class is still wide open with four riders still competing for the silver and bronze medals.
Max James looks likely to claim silver, but still has some work to be done, and just behind him there are only three points splitting Sonny Springer, Ace Pijper and Jody Scott in the race for a either a silver or bronze medal.
TUESDAY AUGUST 31:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Newcastle 7pm
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 1:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Poole 7.30
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 2:
PREMIERSHIP: Ipswich v Peterborough 7.30, Sheffield v Belle Vue 7.30
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 3:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Birmingham 7.30, Poole v Glasgow 7.30, Redcar v Kent 7.30, Scunthorpe v Leicester 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Mildenhall 7.30