Former Witch Scott Nicholls leads the field for the 16-Lap Classic.

Scott Nicholls, centre, won this event in 2008. Pictured with Troy Batchelor, left and Olly Allen. P

Scott Nicholls, centre, won this event in 2008. Pictured with Troy Batchelor, left and Olly Allen. Picture by Steve Waller - Credit: Archant

Scott Nicholls returns to Foxhall Stadium tonight as one of the favourites for the exciting 16-Lap Classic.

Ipswich-born Nicholls, one of the club’s most popular-ever riders, won the event, which sees eight riders in a 16-lap final, in 2008. but has only made the odd appearance at Foxhall since.

“It seems a long time since I rode at Ipswich,” he said.

“I’m not sure when it last was, but it’s good to be racing the 16-Lapper.

“It’s a cool race and although it doesn’t perhaps have the prestige it had in the ‘80s and ‘90s, as most individuals don’t now, it has stood the test of time.

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“For me it’s a bit of fun but I know what I’m like when I’m out there racing, I’ll want to win.”

Nicholls is joined a 12-rider field that includes six Ipswich riders, with Danny King and Nico Covatti two of the favourites, along with Nicholls.

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For the Suffolk club it brings the curtain down on a disappointing 2015, with the Witches only having a Fours Final at Redcar next Thursday to race for.

“I don’t follow the Premier League that well but I must admit when I saw the Witches team at the start of the season I thought they must win the league,” Nicholls said.

“On paper it had championship-winning side written all over it.

“But nothing is won on paper of course. I remember thinking at Belle Vue last year we had a good side, definitely play-offs, and we had a poor season.

“This year, with just a few changes, we are in the final!”

Indeed Belle Vue are.

Nicholls and the Aces race Poole next week in a two-legged Elite League play-off final clash.

But back to Foxhall tonight. Nicholls, Covatti and King will start favourites, while another Witch, Rohan Tungate, misses out with flu. Gino Manzares could be making his farewell appearance at Foxhall for a while, having not achieved a seven-point average to be allowed a visa to ride in Britain in 2016.

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