Simmons hoping for Hawkins boost

Ritchie Hawkins

Ritchie Hawkins - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Witches team manager Pete Simmons is hoping Ritchie Hawkins, right, can prove a trump card at reserve.

Ipswich Witches team manager Pete Simmons is hoping Ritchie Hawkins, right, can prove a trump card at reserve.

The Peterborough-based rider returns from an absence due to ‘personal issues’ and swaps places with Cameron Heeps in the Witches team – Heeps moving to No.2 and Hawkins to No.7 – after the new averages came out on Monday.

The Witches travel to Redcar tonight in a Premier League fixture and race at Edinburgh tomorrow in the semi-final, first leg of the League Cup.

“I hope moving down to reserve gives Ritchie a boost,” said Simmons.

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“If he can have a good heat two race, it could set him up for the night and set us up for the night.”

The Witches race at a Redcar track this evening which has seen the Suffolk side draw and win on their last two visits.

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With confidence high Simmons admits a point is the least they will be looking for.

“We always target at least a point wherever we go. But with our record at Redcar and our performance at Workington, means we will be looking for a win.

“If we start as we did at Workington and had at Glasgow before it was rained off, we have a chance.”

There is little doubt Redcar are wary of the Witches after they themselves lost to Workington at the South Tees Motorsports Park last week.

Bears team boss Jitendra Duffill is aware of how tough the Witches will be.

“Ipswich are packed with capable riders. We are guaranteed another exciting clash,” he said.

“We all know about Ben Barker, but it will be fascinating to see how our reserves Max Dilger and Carl Wilkinson get on racing their reserves, especially Adam Ellis.”

Matej Kus is still missing for the Bears, who use rider replacement for him, although with the new averages in force, Bears’ No.1 Ulrich Ostergaard cannot take an extra ride, as he could last week during the June averages.

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