The Lakeside Hammers will not be making a change to their line up over the next fortnight after the team members backed the continuation of the Rider Replacement facility rather than the introduction of a new rider. The decision comes in the light of last Saturday’s meeting with Coventry where many of the team struggled.
The Hammers Co Promoter Jon Cook commented: “We have had the opportunity to bring in a rider with previous Elite League experience mainly as third heat leader and with a mixed record at the Raceway.
It was a call I was prepared to make if the boys felt that the use of Rider Replacement was beginning to be a burden on them but to a man they want to go ahead with the present unit and make up for a poor performance last week. In fairness to them the late start on track preparation caused by not actually getting access to the Raceway until 4pm worked against us as we were unable to make a usual preparation, particularly of the starts.
Although that’s a risk we would take again given the great commercial success of Saturday Speedway, I am pleased that the lads have shown a determination to make amends immediately, even though no damage was done as a result of the amended result.”
Ironically, for the next two weeks the Hammers will see changes to their line up as this week both of the Club’s Doubling Up riders, Kauko Nieminen and Stuart Robson, are unavailable through clash of dates with Premier League commitments and injury and next week Peter Ljung will be unavailable due to the Grand Prix Challenge.
Jon Cook continued saying: “It made that decision all the more important as this is a vital time for our final fling and it would have been asking a great deal for a rider to come in and master the Raceway immediately so as not to jeopardize our Play Offs aspirations.
Our plan is to win our last three matches and get to 46 League points, which Wolves’ Peter Adams says is the magic number as far as qualification is concerned, and then wait and see what the teams with fixtures in hand can do about it. Last year we fell at the final hurdle having spent all year in the top four after dropping home points to Swindon and Peterborough. They are the next two visitors so we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again”.
With the line up being rearranged to include the mandatory operation of Rider Replacement for Kauko Nieminen the Hammers include Davey Watt as a guest replacement on Friday for the visit of the Swindon Robins.
The Hammers team for Friday will, therefore, be: Lee Richardson (captain), Peter Ljung, Davey Watt, Piotr Swiderski with Rider Replacement for Kauko Nieminen. Robert Mear and Kim Nilsson will occupy the reserve berths.
A free to use e-flyer advertising this meeting can be viewed and downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/3jjpskr
The action gets underway against the Robins at the Arena-Essex Raceway at 8pm with the Grand Parade of Riders scheduled for 7.45pm.
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 pay booths on the night of the meeting or may be purchased in advance via the Club’s website at www.lakesidehammers.co
Picture: Heat 8: Kim Nilsson (blue), Travis McGowan (yellow), Peter Ljung (red) and Ryan Fisher (white) – Lakeside Hammers vs Coventry Bees, Elite League Speedway at the Arena Essex Raceway, Purfleet – 06/08/11 – CREDIT: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO