Danny King column: King of the karts and a fun day at Steady’s Farewell Meeting
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Witches skipper Danny King looks at the pre-season build-up, some great team bonding and some early heat wins in the bag.
Well, here we are again!
Yep, the start of a new speedway season and I must admit that although the winter seems to have been long, it actually doesn’t seem that long ago the Witches were competing in play-off and cup finals last season.
Of course as we all know, the Witches ended with nothing, but boy are we determined to try and put that right this year.
It’s great to be back and even better than Chris Louis and Ritchie Hawkins felt the majority of the side should be kept again for this season.
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Indeed, if the points had fitted, I think both of them would have kept the complete team that started 2017.
But that couldn’t be the case and we had to let Kyle Newman go from the team that began last year. Our new man Michael Haertel has come into the side.
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Surely we won’t suffer the terrible injuries we did last year. Obviously I hope not.
And although we haven’t had any practice on the newly-shaped Foxhall circuit, the boys have spent plenty of time together, not that we didn’t know each other that well anyhow.
After press day at Ipswich Sports Club the other week, we all went off and did some karting at Anglia Indoor Karting.
It was a right laugh as I’m sure you can imagine.
I think it is fair to say there is a fair amount of competitiveness from all of us, and as the afternoon wore on, it was Rory Schlein who was leading the standings with some very fast laps.
I was just behind with two semi-finals and a final to come.
Rory was again the man in his semi-final, as he, Cameron Heeps, Nico Covatti and me lined up for the big final.
Now, Rory was flying.
But guess what? Yep, yours truly took the flag, the honours, the trophy, bubbly, plaudits, whatever else you want to say. King of the Go Karts!
It was a great afternoon and in the evening we went and met the fans at the fans’ evening.
Again, it is always nice to meet up with the fans and although they all knew most of us, I know many of them enjoyed hearing from new-boy Michael.
He has certainly fitted into the team well.
I hope everyone gives him a bit of time to settle in. It’s all very new to him, riding in England. He is used to the big tracks of Germany and is a hot star in long track.
He clearly has the attitude to do well over in England. Here’s hoping he has a great season because if he does, he will be a big asset to the Witches.
I had a long day Sunday.
In the morning it was press and practice day at my Premiership club, Leicester Lions.
After having all the pictures taken, I had just a few laps of the track. That was because I was off to Sheffield in the afternoon to take part in Simon Stead’s Farewell Meeting at Owlerton.
I know Steady well.
We grew up together on the grasstrack and I’ve ridden with him in Poland and Sweden and I know his family well. He’s a good bloke.
His day went well, with a good crowd, the world champion Jason Doyle in town and some decent weather.
So, as I said, with a 4pm start, I didn’t have much time at Leicester and was out in heat one at Sheffield, alongside Doyley.
Off gate three I made a nice start and won the race. A great way to get my season underway, that first race is always a bit nerve-wracking.
I ended up with eight points and another heat win as well, so it was a satisfactory start.
By the time I got home it had been a long, but rewarding day.
I have been lucky enough to have two competitive meetings so far. I know many of my Witches team-mates have had none.
On Monday Leicester rode Somerset in a challenge meeting. I had three wins and two lasts.
My two lasts came when I was off gate one which was a bit frustrating.
But again, I had plenty of positives to come out of the meeting and I feel ready for Lakeside tomorrow.
It is certainly going to be a tough start against those Hammers.
I can see them being up there this season and they won’t lose many meetings at their home track at Purfleet.
We go there tomorrow night of course in the second part of a double header, but first we just must concentrate on beating them at Foxhall.
So, see you there tomorrow afternoon on the Heath.
Please come and give us a shout!
And remember KIDS GO FREE!
What a great way to start the Easter break.