The Lakeside Hammers will make an injury ravaged last stand for Play Off qualification this coming Friday, 19th August, when the PeterboroughPanthers visit the Arena-Essex Raceway.
The Essex Club have been further weakened with the loss for the season of Polish Star Piotr Swiderski, who crashed in his homeland on Sunday suffering a broken leg, but the Club are determined to overcome this blow, which follows the loss of Adam Shields and Stuart Robson, and still qualify for the end of year Elite League Play Offs as well as reach the Cup Final, with the Cup Semi Final to race for on 30th September.
The Hammers Co Promoter Jon Cook commented this morning: “Firstly, we wish Piotr a speedy recovery. He has been excellent for us and in the last two weeks, with the added pressure of Play Offs in his homeland, he has travelled over late to our meetings and shown great commitment when here with no suggestion of going through the motions like some riders. I will be talking to his Parent club this week as we would definitely offer him a contract for next season as things stand.”
On the team front Cook said: “We have now lost three of our top four riders in the average and it gives us a mountain to climb. Our first priority is to make sure we are competitive for this Friday’s match against Peterborough and from there we will be going back to the riders we have been talking to and chasing for much of the time since Adam’s injury.
“The Polish Play Offs are in full swing at the moment and the riders we are looking at are involved in them so, for this week, it’s unrealistic to expect them to move equipment and travel here but even in the few hours on Sunday evening following Piotr’s crash we have made some progress and we would hope to have at least one, if not two new riders, in place for our home match against Birmingham on 26th August. The cut off date for signings is not until the 15th September so we have room to manoeuvre and we hope to give the fans that news on Friday evening”.
In the meantime the Hammers have added Swindon’s young Dane Nicolai Klindt as a guest in their team for Friday. He joins Wolverhampton’s Ty Proctor as a replacement for Peter Ljung, who will be competing in the Grand Prix Challenge Final, whilst Kauko Nieminen returns to the side after having missed last Friday’s match against Swindon due to his Premier League commitments with Leicester.
The Lakeside Hammers team for Friday is, therefore, expected to be: Lee Richardson, Ty Proctor, Kauko Nieminen, Nicolai Klindt, Robert Mear and Kim Nilsson with ‘Rider Replacement’ for Piotr Swiderski.
The action gets underway against the Peterborough Panthers at the Arena-Essex Raceway at 8pm on Friday with the Grand Parade of Riders scheduled for 7.45pm. However, prior to that there will be a series of four races, starting at 7pm, involving eight British Under 16 riders, with four riders in each of the 125cc and 250cc classes.
Admission prices are: Adults – £16, Senior Citizens, Students and Disabled – £12, Unemployed and Children aged 17 and 18 – £10, Children aged 6 to 16 inclusive – £1 with children under 6 – Free if accompanied by an paying adult. Proof of age or status may be asked for. Tickets will be available from the paybooths on the night of the meeting or may be purchased in advance via the Club’s website at www.lakesidehammers.co
Picture : Piotr Swiderski of Lakeside Hammers – Lakeside Hammers vs Swindon Robins, Elite League Speedway at the Arena Essex Raceway, Purfleet – 12/08/11 – (Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO)