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tweets of the week

‘I was at a speedway Grand Prix in the town of Vojens in Denmark yesterday. 12,000 people being just people; not a diplomat among them (I think!). When a moment of silence for the British queen was announced, the stadium was silent like falling snow. We may actually like you.’ Let’s celebrate the marvellous reaction of the overwhelmingly Danish fans who paid their moving tribute to The Queen. Tweet, thanks to pastor’s wife Sune Auken. ‘So with objections from 4 local MPs and the local parish councils, together with 93 letters of objection from locals and a further 1,400 national & internationally and only 6 letters of support locally, the @rugbybc Planning Officer is recommending approval.’ The Nuneaton Speedway Supporters’ Club (@NSSCspeedway) sum up the bewilderment of fans of Coventry speedway in particular and the sport in general, at the prospect of Brandon Estates Limited getting planning permission to build houses on the site of Coventry Stadium. ‘My entire year has been so hectic I’ve forgotten how to relax. Unexpected weekend off and I’m lost. Bring on 5 streams in 6 days and around 1,500 miles next week. But seriously, what do people do with spare time?’ British Speedway Network co-boss Martin Hunter asks his followers what he can do after a string of meeting postponements for a variety of reasons, including, of course, the Queen’s death. ‘Drink beer and eat takeaways.’ Trust ex-racer Mitchell Davey to come up with a (doubtful?) answer!

night but it is more than that as the whole evening revolves around the Heathens.

The night is all in aid of the charity Young Lives vs. Cancer which helps children and young adults (0-25) and their families find the strength to face everything cancer throws at them.

Organiser Brian Harris said: “I just want to help these young people, I had a problem with prostate cancer a few years back and when you ain’t got cancer, you suddenly think of the others who do have it and I wanted to do something for the young people.

“I’m 78 and I’ve never done anything like this before. I want to make it a good night for all the Heathens fans.

“I got the idea reading one of the Wetherspoons’ magazines and seeing what other people have raised and I thought, ‘this is a speedway town, let’s do something about it’.

“Ian ‘Porky’ Jones will be on the mike and Bruce Cribb is bringing his ice speedway bike. I’ve been in touch with several World Champions who are hoping to make it but I won’t say who they are in case they can’t.

“Ex-Heathens like Ken Wakefield (an Elvis Presley tribute singer), Dave Perks and Mick Handley have said they would like to come but the important things is, it’s a chance for all the old Cradley fans to come along and enjoy chatting about the Dudley Wood days.”

Brian first saw speedway on BBC Grandstand and became a regular on the terraces, admitting: “I have been a fan ever since my first meeting, watching riders like

Letters

Letters to the editor should include the writer’s full name and address.

Send your letters…

BY POST: Letters Page, Speedway Star, 8 Coppergate Mews,

Brighton Road, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 5NE.

BY E-MAIL: star@pinegen.co.uk

Top to bottom IN Speedway Star (August 13), there was an interesting article about the league champions ending as wooden spoonists the next season.

Before this year and Peterborough, the only team that achieved that was Belle Vue in 1994.

From the Polish league perspective, I remember one similar case. In 1996, Wlokniarz Czestochowa were considered as underdogs and they were supposed to have a difficult battle to avoid relegation.Yet they did reasonably well that year, finishing third in the regular season. In the play-off semifinal, they beat Polonia Pila and in the final Apator Torun, which was a huge surprise.

But season 1997 then went bad and Wlokniarz finished second to last and were relegated (two teams were relegated then). It is the only case in Polish league history when the defending champion has been relegated.

I see similarities here with Peterborough. Peterborough, in 2021, as well as Wlokniarz in 1996, achieved surprising results and won the title when no one expected it. But during the next season, in both cases, the teams performed more like the papers said. Anyway, it is an interesting story.

Krzysztof Dziamski,

Via e-mail.

Racket! I MAY be a grumpy old git, but I find the continual sounding of airhorns is spoiling many speedway meetings.

I can put up with them sounding to celebrate riders winning a race, but people now seem to be sounding them all through the meetings, blocking out stadium announcements and conversations with friends. They are also obtrusive in live streams, e.g., that from the recent Glasgow Grand Prix Challenge.

Vuvuzelas were a similar nuisance in the 2010 Football World Cup and are now banned in most stadiums.

The excuse that air horns help to generate atmosphere in the stadium is feeble. With good speedway racing, the crowd’s vocal encouragement, appreciation and applause should be sufficient.

John Thorn, Upton St. Leonards,

Glos.

Disappointed I WOULD like to say how disappointed I was when Peterborough had to abandon the meeting against the Sheffield Tigers.

What I can’t understand is if these tyres are standard throughout the league, why has this never happened at another track?

Safety has to be paramount so there really was no alternative. I have been going to speedway since the mid 1970s and have never come across this problem before.

It wasn’t Peterborough’s fault unless there was something wrong with the track, which I doubt as it’s usually one of the best tracks in the country, producing great racing.

On the other hand, it wasn’t the supporters’ fault either but they paid to see 15 heats and only got 10.

I travel almost a 100 miles round trip to see my beloved Panthers and miss very few meetings. I think as a gesture of goodwill the Peterborough promotion should have offered reduced admission to the next meeting when shown the abandoned meeting ticket.

With the price of fuel and the entrance/car park, etc., I don’t have a lot of change out of £45 and witnessed 10 minutes of action!

Dave Johnson,

Claypole, Newark, Notts.

Not Grand MY brother and I have enjoyed the British Grand Prix for several years, despite the long drive from Yorkshire and the cost of a hotel for the night. But after this year’s event, we both agreed, never again.

This year’s drive to Cardiff took six-and-ahalf hours due to holiday traffic on the M5 and an endless queue on the M4.We finally got to Cardiff to find the road to our car park blocked by barriers. Our sat nav tried to find alternative routes but only got us stuck in yet another traffic jam.

By 4 pm, we were getting desperate when we spotted an NCP car park and managed to get in. The result, a £28 parking fee.

Getting into the stadium, our ticket app worked, but once inside it refused to open when the steward wanted to see it. So a stand off ensued. He wouldn’t let us go to our seats without seeing it and I couldn’t load it. Luckily, I had written all the details on a bit of paper and he reluctantly let us go to our seats.

The temperature in the stadium was unbearable, but we promised ourselves it would be worth it when the racing started. Sadly, it soon became clear the track wasn’t fit for racing. After the first bend, almost all races were processional, with only Dan Bewley making a clean pass that wasn’t the result of a leading rider hitting a rut and being launched in the air.

To make it worse, the races dragged on due to falls and endless track grading for nearly four hours. Given the actual racing time for 23 heats is around 23 minutes, that’s over three hours sitting around waiting for the action. With the heat inside the stadium, that was an unbearable amount of time.

Even worse, by the later heats, the track was so poor that some riders simply eased off and cruised around, if they weren’t in contention for the semi-finals.

We then had a long period of track grading to try to improve the surface for the semi-finals. By this point, I had almost lost interest, something I have never experienced before, I simply wanted to get out of the stadium.

We were delighted Dan Bewley won the final, but even that couldn’t disguise the fact it hadn’t been a great night’s racing.

So my tips to the organisers: Find a more central venue, with easier access and parking than Cardiff.

Produce a race track worthy of the name. Look for ways of speeding up the action. Produce a programme everyone can understand and use. The current version makes no sense to me and many others.

Drop the ticketing app and go back to tickets. The app is a nightmare if it won’t open.

Richard Graham,

Via e-mail.

September 17, 2022 speedway star 35

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