The 'Wightlink’ Wizards have handed the second squad place to 29 years old Ben Ilsley. Ben hails from just outside of Fareham and is a relative latecomer to the sport, however he does have a background in Grasstrack, where he started competing back in 2005 aged 16, and he is a lifelong fan of speedway, attending his first event at two weeks old.
Talking about the squad spot Ben said, “My childhood consisted of attending, with my Dad, Grasstrack events on a Sunday and Reading speedway on a Monday so I will have to put sentiment to one side when lining up against the Racers!
I have always considered myself a ‘hobby rider’, so my biggest achievement in the sport came as some surprise when, in 2013, I finished third behind James Shanes and eventual champion Harland Cook in the British 250cc Grasstrack Championships.
I have been following the Warriors project on the Island closely and have completely bought into Barry and Martin’s enthusiasm to the point that I purchased a bike from Danny Warwick, purely to get some extra laps practice in with My First Skid, to keep me sharp for the Grasstrack.
To be asked to ride in the Southern Development League for the Wizards is an opportunity I wasn’t expecting to be honest but one I couldn’t turn down.
The community atmosphere within the club is fantastic and for me, my biggest objective for the year is to have as much fun as possible and use my experience on the mechanical side of things to help out some of the younger guys in the team as they start the journey in to their speedway careers.
Up the Wizards.”
Wizards Co-promoter Barry Bishop added, “Ben really impressed Martin and me at the Island’s speedway school My First Skid. Ben has great equipment and is looking to invest in more, plus he can use his Grasstrack knowledge to great effect in speedway and particularly at the Andrew Younie.
It’s clear to us all that Ben understands the Warrior Way and the community objectives of the club and I am sure he will be a big hit this year. If he continues his progress he will make great strides this year in the SDL where I believe he can be right up there with the best in the league. It gives us great pleasure to announce Ben Ilsley as the second member of the 2018 ‘Wightlink’ Wizards squad.”