Match Preview - Vincent's Mototorcycles & Antiques Handicap Challenge
Following the success of last year’s event, the speedway action this TUESDAY (10 July) at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium sees the return of USA style handicap racing.
Handicap racing is the normal speedway fayre for West Coast Americans and also down under in Oz prompting innovative Warriors speedway promoter Barry Bishop to take a chance and run with something different last year. He said, “We wanted to give our fans a meeting outside of the normal team or individual formats so decided to experiment with a handicap event. I’m so pleased we did. It was one of the best race nights of the season culminating in a pulsating and somewhat controversial Grand Final.
Our sponsor that night, Vincent Faithfull of Vincent’s Motorcycles & Antiques, was so enthralled by the event that he and I made early plans to repeat the meeting, not once, but twice this season and this Tuesday we stage round one. I would like to thank Vincent for his magnificent support and I would strongly recommend anyone who hasn’t been to this type of meeting before to come along this week. Passing is virtually guaranteed in every heat and some real surprises usually get thrown up along the way”.
The format sees twelve riders taking part and they are graded by their current racing average. Riders with an average up to 3.99 start at the tapes, riders with an average between 4.00 and 6.49 start fifteen metres back, riders with an average of 6.50 or higher start thirty metres back. The meeting runs over twelve qualifying heats and the top eight scores on the night progress to two semi-finals from which the top two in each semi contest the Grand Final.
Last year’s winner was former Warrior James Cockle who picked his way through some last bend chaos to take the title. Cockle is not involved this year however current skipper Ben Morley will undoubtedly start as one of the favourites, but can expect no respite from team mate Alfie Bowtell, Eastbourne’s Georgie Wood and the Kent duo of Nathan Stoneman and Taylor Hampshire.
The invited riders, in draw order, are:
Shaun Tedham (IOW – 3.00), Georgie Wood (Eastbourne – 8.50), Danno Verge (IOW – 4.67), Nathan Stoneman (Kent – 7.08), Ryan Terry-Daley (Plymouth – 4.22), Ben Morley (IOW – 9.78), Adam Extance (Stoke – 4.12), Tom Woolley (Buxton – 4.95), Alex Spooner (Kent – 3.00), Jamie Bursill (Unattached – 3.00), Taylor Hampshire (Kent – 4.18), Alfie Bowtell (IOW – 6.65).
With the weather looking to be spot-on for some summer fun at the speedway, join the Warriors as the gates open at 5.30 pm, enjoy open pit access until 6.15 pm, pre-meeting demonstration rides from 6.15 pm ahead of the parade of riders at 6.45 pm with the tapes up at 7.00 pm.