Final Foxhall fix for Witches fans as the 16-lapper takes place
Ipswich Witches fans have their final ‘fix’ of speedway racing tonight for another year, as the club brings down the 2014 season with the ever-popular 16-Lap Classic.
A unique sight in world speedway, the final race involves eight riders over 16 laps and has tried to be repeated elsewhere, but without success.
At Foxhall Stadium however, the 16-Lap Classic is just that – a classic of a race – rightly described as the most gruelling speedway race in the world.
The final produces the unique spectacle of eight riders, off two starting gates, all heading towards the first turn at the same time.
Over the years there have been plenty of crashes and drama, riders running out of fuel, machines giving up the ghost.
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The event has been running since 1979 and there still appears to be no shortage of riders who want to pit themselves and their machines against the stresses and strains of the unique final.
Ipswich co-promoter, Chris Louis, knows more than most what it feels like to win this unique event having done so six times.
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“I know from my own experiences that I faced the 16-lap final with dread and excitement in equal measure,” Louis said.
You want to qualify well from the back grid and attack from the off. I’ve often heard riders tell me how they’re going to pace themselves, ready to attack when everyone else is tired.
“The one big flaw with that is I can guarantee they will be far too tired to launch any sort of attack themselves!”
All the Witches are taking part this evening and they will be joined by Foxhall experts Danny King, Rory Schlein and Ricky Wells – among others – in fact it’s a good line-up and very hard to judge who may come out on top.
Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins is one rider looking forward to the event.
“It’s always a good meeting to be in,” he said.
“Although I don’t actually know what it’s like to do 16 laps around Foxhall because I’ve never actually got through to the final!”
Morten Risager won the event last year.
Rohan Tungate, Cameron Heeps, Morten Risager, Gino Manzares, Richie Worrall, Ritchie Hawkins, Adam Ellis, Danny King, Ricky Wells, Jason Garrity, Richard Lawson and Rory Schlein.