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  • Rob Dyer

Upright Ace Wayne Broadhurst Says 'The Bug Has Got Me Again!'


Ex Coventry and Stoke speedway star Wayne Broadhurst is another of the seeded riders in the NORA British Upright Speedway Championship working hard to prepare equipment for the Final at Smallbrook Stadium on 11th August and he has recruited some ‘insider help’ in his quest for honours in the shape of Nick Simmons, a former and very popular Islanders number one.


Championship co-ordinator Lee Coleman had a long chat with Broadhurst who has held National titles on grass and ice and Broadhurst said, “I’ll confess, a return to competition on shale had not entered my mind until I decided during the Covid pandemic lockdowns to build a speedway bike to help get me sharper for my grasstrack racing and suddenly that was it. The bug had got me again!


Unbelievably I’m building upright and laydown speedway bikes as well as preparing new grass tackle! Realistically I could not contemplate a speedway team spot now; I just don’t have the time, but the chance to race some old ‘foes’ at a ‘serious-ish’ level whilst also having a crack at a British Individual shale title to go with the ones I’ve won on ice and grass, has really got me going!


I have to say that without the support of Nick Simmons of Summerbud Classic Bike Imports at Leamington Spa, racing at this level wouldn’t be possible so I have a lot to thank Nick for …..and to live up to, given his heroics as a rider for the Islanders.


Luckily, I’m still race fit, still have my racing brain and I’m just really looking forward to mixing it with the guys!”


Coleman also caught up with Nick Simmons who is still fondly remembered as a great number one for the Island side during the Premier League days. These days most of his time revolves around his successful motorcycle business which includes building amazing 70’s style Yamaha Flat Trackers. He said, “I’ve known Wayne since I was about 5 when my dad used to help him when he was a speedway junior at Coventry. I love helping Wayne, he’s so laid back, relaxed and it’s nice to help a little bit.


Me and my eldest daughter, Summer, go to as many grasstrack meetings to help him as possible. Wayne doesn’t put any pressure on me to go as I’m pretty busy with my family and business, but I do like to go as often as I can. I think it’s great Wayne is still racing and clearly enjoying it and having the NORA British Upright Championship on the IOW is fantastic!


I may be biased but it’s a fantastic track down there which can produce some spectacular racing if you’re willing to have a go. Having such fond memories of the IOW from my time there I’m just so happy with what Barry Bishop and Martin Widman have done to keep things alive as it’s such a great facility and nice stadium!”


Lee Coleman also commented, “Wayne Broadhurst entering the championship and being supported by Nick Simmons is amazing. Both for the Championship itself but also on a personal level as I have known both for over 30 years. Wayne was a teammate of mine at Coventry and was always the first rider to offer his equipment when needed. Along with his multiple British Grasstrack and Ice Racing titles he of course also won a speedway League with Coventry in 1987 too! A genuinely nice guy as well as a fantastic competitor. Nick’s Dad, Steve, generously helped both Wayne and I when Nick was just a nipper! It’s great both Wayne and Nick are supporting the Championship and of course Nick’s affiliation with the IOW adds another nice touch to the preparations of the event”.


Grateful thanks to Lee Coleman for the grass track image.