Plans are going ahead for a summer of speedway racing on the Isle of Wight as co-owners Barry Bishop and Martin Widman have revealed that they will put on a series of sizzling summer spectaculars at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde.
The Wightlink Warriors and Wizards withdrew from the National League and Midland and Southern Development League respectively, last month after being faced with what they believe was an impossible situation when the board of the British Speedway Promoters Limited imposed rules without consultation and slashed the overall team strengths to what the Island’s promoters considered an unviable level. But fears that it meant an end to the sport on the island have been removed with today’s official announcement that there will be a full programme of two wheeled speedway action this summer.
Bishop and Widman resurrected the sport on the island in 2016 and turned the Warriors into the most talked about club in the country, winning the prestigious World Speedway Riders’ Association Community Club of the Year for an unprecedented two years in a row in 2018 and 2019.
Giving just enough to get fans excited, co-owner Barry Bishop said: “As you can imagine it has been a very busy time for Martin and I to get ourselves into a position where we can update everyone in the direction we are taking the club.
“We have received tremendous support from all over the world on this and we cannot wait to implement the faith shown in us by so many. We have to thank everyone who has supported us to move this forward following our withdrawal from league racing, and it is this support and belief in the vision that will drive the project forward.
“With the help of so many, I am delighted to confirm that there will be speedway in 2021 at Smallbrook Stadium and we know you will be thrilled with what’s coming.”
“We are working hard to have a full calendar of events and in addition to those, we have already staged preliminary talks with two international bodies, one of which is the French League, and while there are many challenges to overcome, our initial conversations have been very positive and well received.
“With a spectacular season ahead full of innovation, fun, technology and pride, we cannot wait to get started and welcome our fans, sponsors and supporters back to the club.”
The news will delight the island’s fans and those from the mainland who visit Smallbrook Stadium regularly during the summer months and for those further away who plan their holidays to coincide with meetings.
Added Bishop: “As soon as we are in a position to announce full details of what we are planning we will do so and Martin and I are both convinced that we will be putting on speedway in a new and different way which will give those who come to a meeting at Smallbrook one of the best night’s entertainment they have ever had. Our policy has always been to put the supporters first and that has been at the very forefront of our minds ever since we had to take the decision not to compete in the National League this year.”