Boss looks forward to opening night

Having watched the new look 2011 Lakeside Hammers Speedway team put through their paces in the glorious sunshine at the official Press and Practice Day yesterday, the Hammers co-promoter, Stuart Douglas, confessed to being ‘very excited’ about the opening clash of the new season, against Swindon Robins, which takes place at the Arena-Essex Raceway this Friday night (25th March).

“Seeing the lads out on track was just the tonic to counteract the long winter the Sport has faced.” said Douglas. “And even with the uncertain, ongoing situation regarding the Polish riders’ governing body, Friday night will be just as it should be – two teams of seven guys, riding in pairs, as fast as possible. At 8pm, when the tapes go up, that’s all we need to know.

“I can’t wait – I am ridiculously excited. The weather forecast is fantastic, the riders can’t wait, and for an hour and a half I’m not going to think about the politics – I’m going to watch some Speedway!”

The gates will open at 6.15pm and for those people new to watching the Hammers the Arena-Essex Raceway is situated close to junction 30/31 of the M25 Essex side of the Dartford river Crossing. The entrance is well signposted from the A1306 east of the motorway.

There are large free car parks and the pay booths can be found at the top left hand side of the entry road. The parade of riders will take place at 7.45pm with the first race at 8pm. The admission prices have been kept at the 2010 levels of £16 for adults, £12 for Senior Citizens, disabled and students, £10 for unemployed and children 17 and 18 with children 6 to16 just £3.

Children under the age of 6 are admitted free of change provided they are accompanied by an adult. Proof of age or status for concessions may be asked for at the pay booths. In addition a full colour 24 page programme will be available for £2.50.

It is not necessary to book in advance but those wishing to do so should visit the Club’s online shop via their website at This recently upgraded website also provides full details of the Hammers meetings, riders, Community programme, contacts etc. plus available sponsorship and advertising packages.

Image: 2011 Hammer Kyle Legault in action on press day. (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)