Guiding speedway to new era leaves King’s Lynn Stars chief Buster buoyant

No Caption ABCDE ANL-160314-102459001
No Caption ABCDE ANL-160314-102459001

King’s Lynn Stars owner Keith ‘Buster’ Chapman is buoyant following a wholesale restructuring to British Speedway at the annual meeting last week.

The British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) supremo has made his stamp on the sport by guiding the UK through a revamp, including promotion and relegation between the top two levels for the first time.

Chapman said: “The sport needed a shake-up. The changes mean it brings the two leagues closer together, and it makes it more interesting for the fans.”

The BSPA also intend to work with the new Gerhard engine after a visit to the Switzerland base of the GTR.

This will reduce costs for riders with engines typically needing a fraction of the servicing of other engines.

More details will follow once the arrangement is concluded.

He commented on this measure: “We’ve made measures so that it’s a cheaper sport for the riders.

“We’ve tried to bring their costs down, and it’s all about trying new things, and with both leagues operating under the same rules.”

He emphasised the team effort involved in passing the proposals which meant club representatives were all pulling in the same direction: “It’s the whole committee, not just me.

“It’s not just ‘I want this and I want that’, as I think everybody in the room wanted the same thing.

“What to me is amazing is that I have never seen so much agreement in the same room.”

New league structure

SGB PREMIERSHIP 2017: Belle Vue, Coventry, King’s Lynn, Leicester, Poole, Rye House, Somerset, Swindon, Wolverhampton.

SGB CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ipswich, Newcastle, Peterborough, Redcar, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Workington* (*subject to confirmation).

Two home, two away, top four into play-offs.

KNOCKOUT CUP DRAW

PREMIERSHIP: Preliminary: Somerset v Leicester. 1st Round: Rye House v Swindon, King’s Lynn v Leicester or Somerset, Wolverhampton v Coventry, Belle Vue v Poole.

CHAMPIONSHIP: Preliminary: Peterborough v Redcar, Workington v Newcastle. 1st Round: Scunthorpe v Peterborough or Redcar, Glasgow v Workington or Newcastle, Berwick v Ipswich, Edinburgh v Sheffield.

MAJOR EVENTS VENUES (highlights)

BRITISH FINAL: TBC

PREMIERSHIP RIDERS’ INDIVIDUAL: Belle Vue.

PREMIERSHIP PAIRS: Rye House.

MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE: Keith Chapman (chairman), Rob Godfrey (vice-chairman), Chris Van Straaten, George English, Colin Pratt.