12.30 Update. New signing Steve Boxall has failed in his attempt to be fit for tonight’s Elite League match at the Arena Essex Raceway, against the Wolverhampton Wolves. James Wright rides at reserve for The Hammers.
Wolverhampton come into this fixture at full strength having seen off the Vortex Hammers on their Monmore Green track on Monday in front of the Sky Sports cameras despite the Hammers being all square after the opening seven heats. The Wolves eventually went on to win by fourteen points to ensure that the Hammers left the Midlands pointless.
The Vortex Hammers will be looking for revenge on Friday but go into the meeting without the services of their captain, Andreas Jonsson, who injured a knee whilst riding in Poland, and their vice captain, Richard Lawson, who will be riding for his Premier League club, Glasgow, in their match away to Scottish rivals, Edinburgh.
The Hammers management have brought in Australian Grand Prix rider Jason Doyle to cover for AJ and fellow Aussie Rory Schlein for Richard Lawson. With both captain and vice captain missing for the Hammers, Edward Kennett will take over those duties for Friday’s encounter against the Wolves.
Jason Doyle deputised for AJ in Monday’s match at Wolverhampton and Rory Schlein is no stranger to the Arena Essex Raceway as he is regularly seen in the famous crossed hammers race shirt. In fact he was the winner of the Rico Spring Classic Trophy in this season’s opening meeting at the Raceway.
Jon Cook commented: “We need to bounce back with the win on Friday, but with both tracks being similar it’s always a tough test against Wolverhampton.”
The action gets underway at the Arena Essex Raceway at the usual start time of 8pm, although there will be some junior demonstration races with youngsters from the Hagon Shocks Academy starting at 7.30pm.
Image: Heat 5: Kim Nilsson (red) and Adam Ellis (blue) – Lakeside Hammers vs Leicester Lions, Elite League Speedway at the Arena Essex Raceway. CREDIT: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO