Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Bears' Bosses Want Thursday Races to Continue

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Bears' Bosses Want Thursday Races to Continue

Article excerpt


REDCAR speedway bosses Kevin Keay and Jitendra Duffill have vowed to defend their right to continue to race on Thursday nights.

The Bears' pair will make their pitch when all of Britain's promoters hammer out a blue print for the future at their annual conference in Tenerife, which begins today.

Pressure from overseas administrations and rider power - their instance on earning money in several different leagues - threatens to end a tradition on Teesside which goes back well over a half a century.

Currently there is racing somewhere in the UK on almost every day of the week throughout the summer.

For many years other European nations have concentrated their meetings on a particular night and there is a strong movement for Britain's top tier - the Premiership - to follow suit.

"Sweden operate Tuesdays, Denmark on Wednesdays and Poland on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so to fall in line with the others, that only leaves Mondays and Thursdays," explains Keay, who is nearing what he describes as an "educational' first full year at the helm.

The SG Petch Bears promoter has expressed anger that Britain should pick up the scraps and also points out that many tracks do have the full use of their stadiums due to sharing with other sports such as rugby and greyhound racing.

"Whatever the Premiership do has an impact on us," he stresses.

"Last season we had five riders 'doubling up' in both top divisions, so if the Premiership do opt for Thursday that leaves a big problem with availability for the Championship sides.

"Even if Redcar's team is not severely affected by racing elsewhere, the chances are that our opposition will be, and it has been farcical enough in the past using guests without the whole of the top division on the same night."

Thursday has been the regular race night since speedway first returned to Teesside in 1961, although former promoter Reg Fearman did experiment with Fridays in the early-1960s, with no great success. …

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