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‘We are in a very good position to start up’ - Witches hope to return on August 1

PUBLISHED: 14:14 08 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:14 08 July 2020

Ipswich Witches promoter Chris Louis hopes to get back to racing at Foxhall next month Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Ipswich Witches promoter Chris Louis hopes to get back to racing at Foxhall next month Photo: CONTRIBUTED

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Ipswich Witches promoter Chris Louis says the sport is ready to go – should speedway get the green light to return from August 1.

Superstar Jason Crump will ride for the Ipswich Witches this season Picture: STEVE WALLERSuperstar Jason Crump will ride for the Ipswich Witches this season Picture: STEVE WALLER

Louis is hoping that speedway will get Government approval as soon as possible to allow them to prepare for an early August start, as Covid-19 restrictions continue to be eased around the country.

A Premiership fixture list, that includes the Witches, is already in place and Louis has said the 2020 season could begin on August 1 because speedway benefits not just from being outdoors, but also from the fact stadia are big enough to cope with social distancing guidelines.

However, the Ipswich promoter has said he and his fellow promoters are fully aware of the overriding importance of crowd and rider safety. But with relaxations continuing to be announced, he hopes speedway will be back on the summer sporting calendar this year.

MORE: Racing in the UK is ‘an important education’ - Witches star Crump

Ipswich Witches 2019: Back row, left to right: Chris Louis (promoter), Richard Lawson, Chris Harris, Danny King (on bike), Cameron Heeps, David Bellego, Ritchie Hawkins (team manager). Front row, left to right, Krystian Pieszczek and Jake Allen. Picture: Steve Waller       www.stephenwaller.comIpswich Witches 2019: Back row, left to right: Chris Louis (promoter), Richard Lawson, Chris Harris, Danny King (on bike), Cameron Heeps, David Bellego, Ritchie Hawkins (team manager). Front row, left to right, Krystian Pieszczek and Jake Allen. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

“It’s good to see more easing of lockdowns around the country, including pubs and hairdressers,” Louis said. “And that gives us belief that speedway can commence soon. We just need the green light.

“Obviously people and rider safety is our number one priority for our sport but we feel we are in a very good position to start up. Most speedway clubs can run with a 25% capacity within the stadia - social distancing would not be an issue.

“We are confident we can do all that is required from a safety aspect at the turnstiles, with PPE for operatives, contactless payment, social distancing, santisers, etc. And we could make the pits area safe and Covid secure as well.

“I’m saying this now because I feel we can get our sport up and running - and safely. At the moment, some tracks can invite you into their stadiums, serve you food and drink, but not let you out onto the terraces, which is outdoors and has plenty of space.

“It’s good to see motor sport at Snetterton this weekend, hopefully now speedway can get the go-ahead. And the sooner we get the nod to go, the better.

“As a sport, we know we are capable of putting crowd and rider safety at the forefront of our plans. That coupled with the respect and common sense of everyone involved, speedway is ready to go.

“As a club, 2020 was - and still is - such an exciting prospect for us here at Ipswich. We have Jason Crump returning, as well as so many of our popular riders.”

As well as a Premiership season, plans are afoot for a Championship campaign that would also take place in 2020.


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