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King’s Lynn start marshal off to Cardiff for speedway GP

Lynn Stars stalwart Paul Freeston will perform a start marshal’s role for a second time at the Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix tomorrow.

This weekend at Cardiff he will be assistant to the start marshal, Leicester’s James Spencer, and says it will be “the icing on the cake”.

It’s a double for the Stars as Lynn’s clerk of the course Sean Britton, another regular face at Cardiff, will also be on the Principality Stadium pit staff.

Two years ago Freeston, who is a regular visitor to the annual GP spectacle in Wales, was first called up as a start marshal.

He has been start marshal for Lynn, and before that for the defunct Boston team, for 15 years.

Freeston got another chance to ply his speedway trade in front of tens of thousands of fans from top FIM referee Tony Steele, who Freeston originally applied to three winters ago in order to land his first job at Cardiff in 2015.

“James will be the start marshal and I will be his assistant, which is still an honour to be out there, it really is, it’s such a fabulous event.

“I’ll get a chance again because obviously the organisers do switch it around. I tried in 2014 but it was being done by the Ipswich guys.

“I’ve been start marshal for Boston, then King’s Lynn with the Premier League and Elite League and all major events here, but Cardiff will be the icing on the cake.

“Tony said he likes people who can work together and those he can trust.

“This is not just a huge honour to myself but also to my club and its fans.”

Freeston added that it will be odd switching roles from spectator to official: “We were spectating last year and I said to my wife – we always sit looking down off the third bend – it did seem strange being sat up there when the previous year I’d been start marshal.

“I wanted to be out there again. There’s not quite so much pressure as last time, but there is, because you’ve got to get the flags right at the end of the day!

“The most dreaded things is a three or five-lapper, but you have just got to be switched on, and everything went smoothly last time.

“It was just very, very hot; the adrenaline was kicking in; and I slept like a log afterwards.”

Freeston also paid tribute to Terrington resident Nigel Freeman who he says helped in the Boston Premier League days at Lynn.

He added of his Lynn colleague Britton: “Sean was refuelling last year but he is usually there every year doing something around the pit area, wherever he can help.”

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