Challenge : 06/09/2018


Speedway Showdown To End The Season


The Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors and Wizards speedway teams bring the curtain down on their 2018 seasons at The Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde on Thursday (6th September) with a bumper twenty-two race programme that will be supported by the much hyped ’57 Challenge’ between Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop and ‘Cheeky Chappie’ reserve rider Shaun Tedham.

All available Warriors and Wizards will be in action and they will be joined by a number of the most popular visiting riders.  The main event is the promoters face off as Martin Widman’s select squad of Warriors take on Bishop’s Warrior outfit in a full scale thirteen heat fixture.  As so successfully trialled recently, the Wizards races will be integrated as part of the main meeting and there will a special moment for Island girl Steph Whitlock who, after many months of dedicated practice, will line up in competitive action for the first time.

The main meeting reserves will also race against the Wizards top scores in a special short series for a trophy on the night, whilst the main meeting top scores will come together at the end of the evening for what is hoped will be another cracking final race to round off the season.  With a line up that is likely to include home favourites Ben Morley, Scott Campos and Alfie Bowtell with top visitors Leon Flint and Danny Ayres, it’s one not to be missed.

Island fans will also be keen to see what happens in the much talked about challenge between Bishop and Tedham.  It is hard to believe that a passing comment about a size 57 rear sprocket could have developed into such an impassioned contest between two men reluctant to give way on technical knowledge with track time unanimously agreed as the best way of resolving the matter.

Although billed as a conventional speedway race, rumours persist that both men are preparing special tactics.  Tedham’s workshop on Merseyside has seen to be fully illuminated into the small hours for nights on end as plans are being laid, whilst Bishops recent crash diet and relentless fitness programme have seen him achieve ‘fighting weight’ just in time for the challenge.  This no holds barred contest has captured the fans imagination – we only hope it doesn’t end in tears! 

So as you can see it promises to be a great night of speedway, fun and frolics with the gates opening at 5.30, pre-meeting demonstration races from 6.15, rider parade at 6.45 ahead of the first race at 7.00.

Widmans Warriors: Alfie Bowtell, Ryan Terry-Daley, Scott Campos, Tom Woolley, Ben Morley, Lewis Whitmore, Jamie Sealey.

Bishops Warriors: Danny Ayres, Danno Verge, Leon Flint, Chris Widman, Connor Coles, Shaun Tedham, Nick Laurence.


High Speed Crash Halts Speedway Spectacular

The Isle of Wight speedway season was brought to a most unfortunate end when enthusiastic youngster Stephen Whitehouse crashed awkwardly suffering injuries serious enough to warrant urgent hospital attention.  With the meeting paramedic required to stay with the stricken rider on the way to hospital, the referee was obliged to abandon the meeting in the absence of medical cover at the track.


It brought a premature end an evening that was progressing so smoothly as teams of riders representing the Island’s two co-promoters fought a close team match (score 30-30 after ten races at the time of the cessation) and Development League riders contested a five race round robin competition, in which Chris Watts was in fine form.  It was in the last of these development races that Whitehouse had his accident.  The rider, who has captained the Reading Racers this year, is reported to have leg and abdominal injuries and everyone wishes him well and hopes for his speedy recovery.


Co-promoter Barry Bishop was understandably saddened as he looked over the stadium with the floodlights gradually dimming. He said, “Oh dear, what a way to have to end the meeting and our season and all our thoughts are with Stephen right now.  Until that fall, things we going like clockwork with lots of fun, the Wizards gaining competitive track time and a really close main match that was building to an exciting end, but obviously we are not allowed to run without the proper level of medical cover and I would like to apologise for having to cut short the Showdown.


On a brighter note, it has been a season of progress both on and off the track and Martin and myself are very pleased with what has been achieved.  We will take a few days to look back on 2018 and formulate some plans for 2019 as we await details of speedway’s structure for next year.  My First Skid will, weather permitting, continue throughout the winter and its value has been seen on track tonight.


I must also mention and say a massive thank you to our sponsors, supporters, riders and volunteers.  They have been amazing and have helped us to take more steps forward.  I hope we have been able to meet and exceed all of their various expectations.  Thank you all again”.


Match scorers:


Martin’s Warriors: Alfie Bowtell 8, Ryan Terry-Daley 5, Scott Campos 4, Tom Woolley 4+1, Ben Morley 6, Lewis Whitmore 0, Jamie Sealey 3, Chris Watts 0.


Barry’s Warriors: Danny Ayres 5, Danno Verge 5+2, Leon Flint 6, Chris Widman 1, Connor Coles 8, Shaun Tedham 2, Nick Laurence 3+2.


Wizards Challenge: Chris Watts 12, Morgan Williams 8, Stephen Whitehouse 5, Steph Whitlock 3, James Luckman 2.

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