Even though the meeting is still some five months away, interest in the NORA 2022 British Upright Speedway Championship being promoted by the Wightlink Warriors at their Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde is intense with currently over 30 riders hoping to be invited to compete in the event.
That level of support has come as no surprise to Warriors co-owner Barry Bishop who said, “We knew from the very positive response to the inclusion of the older, more traditional style of upright engined speedway machines that formed part of our race night last year, that interest from both riders and supporters in this category was strong and so to develop it more, with the support of our great friends at NORA, we were determined to include it in our 2022 programme.
With no other equivalent Championship on offer it made sense to make our meetings that much more meaningful and I am thrilled that we have been able to appoint Lee Coleman as our Championship Co-ordinator and he has been instrumental in linking many aspects of the event together culminating in the announcement of the formula for the Championship and the first four excellent riders who we look forward to welcoming to Smallbrook.
It really does promise to be a very close fought Championship that will add another dimension to our varied summer calendar”.
Championship Co-ordinator Lee Coleman added “I’m thrilled and very grateful to Barry and Martin who have asked me to help with this very exciting project and just as soon as preliminary information was released, we have been kept busy with a whole string of recognisable names wanting to find out more. As a result of that we have settled on a format that will allow us to seed eight riders straight through to the Grand Final on 11th August where they will be joined by the top four riders from each of the two qualifying rounds on 30th June and 21st July. The Grand Final will run on the standard 20 heat individual programme.
With the arrangements now firmly established I am buzzing to be able to name the first four seeds that will compete in our Grand Final. They are former World Speedway Number 2 and World Pairs Champion Gordon Kennett (pictured right with another likely competitor Keith Cornell), 1984 National League Riders Champion Ian Barney and British Indoor Ice Champions Wayne Broadhurst and Tony Atkin who are both equally at home on shale and especially grass where they hold multiple Championship titles. I’m told all these guys are already gearing up, both physically and mechanically, to be as competitive as possible and the other four seeds, who are already signed to the series and who are equally as keen, will be announced shortly.
I know Barry and Martin can’t wait to see these guys blasting round the wide-open spaces of the Smallbrook raceway and I’ve got to say I’m the same. Summer can’t come soon enough”.