Huge fixture change for Hammers
LAKESIDE Hammers have had to undertake a huge change to the fixture list for the first part of July due to the success of their riders.The fixture list for the first three weeks of July make it impossible for the Essex club to run Elite League speedway on a Friday.
LAKESIDE Hammers have had to undertake a huge change to the fixture list for the first part of July due to the success of their riders.
The fixture list for the first three weeks of July make it impossible for the Essex club to run Elite League speedway on a Friday.
On Saturday, July 4 the GP Challenge semi-finals - which already include Hammers riders Kauko Nieminen and Joonas Kylmakorpi (as reserve) - takes place and the riders are required to attend the practice. In addition, Lee Richardson and Jonas Davidsson have still to ride in their qualification round and it is hoped that they also will reach the semi-final stages.
Friday, July 10 is the day before the first speedway World Cup round and riders, including Davidsson, are required to be in Denmark, while the following Friday (July 17) is the day between the World Cup race off and the actual final.
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Lakeside have therefore taken the decision to move their fixture list rather than run without some of their star riders or to race on an alternative race day.
The club has, however, been aided in this by their geographical position, which has granted them their second Sky Monday meeting on July 20 so that Sky's broadcast team can come straight to the Arena-Essex Raceway from the World Cup Final.
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Stuart Douglas and Jon Cook, the Hammers co-promoters, have also taken into consideration the need to keep the team on the boil and have listened to many of their fans who have voiced concerns about the London Riders Championship taking place in the World Cup week as holidays had been booked for that week by many speedway supporters.
Consequently there will no home meeting now on July 3, but as an added bonus for the fans they will race the Rye House Rockets from the Premier League at their Arena-Essex Raceway in an extra meeting on July 10.
The Rockets side will include an Elite League guest and The Hammers are expected to include three from Richardson, Nieminen, Kylmakorpi and Adam Shields as well as Stuart Robson, Phil Morris, Chris Mills and Jamie Courtney, who has remained a close friend of the club after working for them for much of last season as a mechanic.
With a Sky match against Poole on July 20, Lakeside have decided to move the London Riders Championship to the end of the season when they can gather a better field and welcome those supporters and former riders, promoters and dignitaries who could not make the July date. The date for this Championship, along with that of the Knockout Cup Final, will be confirmed once the Hammers opposition in the final are known.
A Lakeside Hammers statement said: “It is hoped that these plans meet with approval of their fans as they did not wish to run on days other than their usual Fridays on any more occasions that is absolutely necessary.
“Two Monday's will have been used for Sky live matches and they have their big Saturday clash with same race day track, Coventry, on August 22 and the visit of Wolverhampton on Wednesday, June 24.
“The Wolves match was arranged as the club decided to move away from the Friday, June 17 clash with Belle Vue in answer to the many requests we had received from fans not to race the day before the British Grand Prix, which takes place in Cardiff, as many of them travel overnight and take in Premier League action on the way to Wales.”