World champ Tai Woffinden in town for King’s Lynn Stars season opener

British Championship speedway semi final 
Tai Woffinden yellow hat
British Championship speedway semi final Tai Woffinden yellow hat

Reigning speedway world champion Tai Woffinden is in town tonight for the King’s Lynn Roger Warnes Transport Stars’ season opener.

The Stars will launch their season with the mouth-watering International Pre-Season Cup against iconic Polish side WTS Sparta Wroclaw at the Adrian Flux Arena.

Along with the seven members of the Stars team, Niels-Kristian Iversen, Robert Lambert, Rory Schlein, Mads Korneliussen, Kai Huckenbeck, Carl Wilkinson and Lewis Rose, club boss Buster Chapman has booked Great Britain international Scott Nicholls to add strength.

Each team will have eight riders with everyone getting a chance to fight for their side. Raced over 16 heats, the battle between the two teams is expected to be a hotly contested one with experienced internationals and young rising stars up against each other throughout.

WTS Sparta Wroclaw will send over a strong side with two-times world title winner and Great Britain ace Woffinden plus Grand Prix star, the former Lynn rider Maciej Janowski, leading their team.

Both will offer a test to the Stars top-end and that will produce some close action.

The International Pre-Season Cup will finish with a bang. The final race of the night, heat 16, is one not to missed. The top points scorers from each team will take to the Saddlebow Road track with pride and crucial points at stake.

“I can’t wait for it.” said Stars owner Chapman. “We had an excellent Ben Fund meeting at the Adrian Flux Arena to open the 2016 season last week and I am expecting more of the same this Friday.

“Both teams are evenly matched and that will produce close, exciting racing for the supporters.

“It will be the first time that our team will come together this year. Niels, Robert, Rory and Mads have all been in action over the last week, so they have had plenty of competitive practice.

“The riders will get together before the meeting and I am sure Rob (team boss Lyon) will get them fired up. We want to get off to a good start and hit the ground running.”

Stars number one Iversen warmed up by winning the Ulrich Ostergaard Testimonial with a 15-point maximum at Peterborough on Sunday.

Reserve rider Rose raced in the Stars’ previous pre-season challenge with a Polish side, which took place versus Zielona Góra in 2014 in front of a massive crowd.

The 26-year-old scored two points that night early in his Elite League career with the Saddlebow Road stadium side.

He said of that clash two years ago: “It was a pretty good experience for me against those guys. Hopefully one day I can be racing against those sort of riders on a regular basis. That was a good meeting to be involved with, obviously. We lost that meeting but I think we did alright.”

Gates at the Adrian Flux Arena open at 6pm. The parade is set to take place at 7.30pm with tapes up for the first race at 7.45pm. Admission prices: Adults £17, concessions £14, juniors £5 and under 11’s free.

Roger Warnes Transport Stars: 1 Niels-Kristian Iversen, 2 Rory Schlein, 3 Scott Nicholls, 4 Mads Korneliussen, 5 Robert Lambert, 6 Kai Huckenbeck, 7 Lewis Rose, 8 Carl Wilkinson.

WTS Sparta Wrocław: 1 Tai Woffinden, 2 Nick Morris, 3 Szymon Woźniak, 4 Tomasz Jędrzejak, 5 Maciej Janowski, 6 Maksym Drabik, 7 Damian Dróżdź, 8 Adrian Gała.