D-Day approaching fast for Loram

IT'S the final countdown for Ipswich Witches fans tonight with D-Day fast approaching for Witches No.1 star Mark Loram.As the curtain falls on another disappointing Witches season, the traditional 16-Lapper tonight at Foxhall (7.

By Mike Bacon

IT'S the final countdown for Ipswich Witches fans tonight with D-Day fast approaching for Witches No.1 star Mark Loram.

As the curtain falls on another disappointing Witches season, the traditional 16-Lapper tonight at Foxhall (7.45pm start) should at least produce some fireworks as an international field of riders line up to take part in a meeting that usually brings about plenty of excitement.

And while Ipswich fans will look back at 2007 as a year of 'what ifs', the fans' biggest heartache of all, the injured Loram, will be watching intently, knowing his hopes of a return to the saddle in March could be decided in the next few weeks.


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“I see specialists again on October 25 and quite simply everything hinges on that meeting,” Loram said.

“It's a bit of a D-Day I suppose because if things are not progressing well then another operation could be on the cards, perhaps even getting the leg re-pinned. That would obviously be a big operation.

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“I hope not, but one of my main priorities is giving Ipswich plenty of notice about my intentions for next season. They can't hang around for me to decide come March to find out what I'm doing and I know that. But we'll really know more at the end of this month.”

It doesn't need a genius to work out how frustrated Loram must have become this year, crashing out of the Witches' first home Elite League meeting of the season against Reading back in March.

Since then the Foxhall side have struggled and themselves crashed out of the Craven Shield at Wolverhampton on Monday night, so curtailing their season.

The Witches didn't win once on their travels, although they did draw at Oxford in the cup and at Eastbourne in the Elite League. But overall it's a case of roll on 2008 and quite frankly has been for some months.

In saying that there could be a future Witch on show this evening, as promoter John Louis throws open his doors to some riders he feels have potential.

German Kevin Wolbert, and Slovakian teenager Martin Vaculik are included and with the popular Mariusz Puszakowski back at Foxhall, there is sure to be plenty of fence-scraping action.

Tobi Kroner is on his way to the German GP where he is one of the reserves in the meeting. Antonio Lindback has already pulled out of the $100,000 winner-takes-all final, but Peter Karlsson takes his place and Kroner will only see action if a rider crashes out during the meeting.

“Obviously I would like to ride, but not at the expense of an injury,” said Kroner, who jetted off to Germany on Tuesday night.

“I have enjoyed my season with Ipswich very much and feel I have improved. I would love to be back next season.”

Robert Miskowiak, Marcin Rempala and Chris Louis lead the Witches charge tonight, as Arena Essex's Adam Shields looks to defend his title.

After four qualifying rides each the top eight race off in a 16-lap final - still a unique race in world speedway.

Tonight's line-up

Mariusz Puszakowski, Adam Shields, Chris Schramm, Troy Batchelor, Robert Miskowiak, Martin Vaculik, Kevin Wolbert, Marcin Rempala, Jacek Rempala, Chris Louis, Dawid Stachyra, Lubos Tomicek.

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