King's Lynn Stars chief gives an insight into coronavirus outbreak in Germany
King’s Lynn Stars speedway team boss Peter Schroeck has given some insight into the coronavirus outbreak in his mother country, Germany.
Cases of Covid-19 initially rose more quickly in Germany, which reached the 50,000 infection mark before the UK.
However, Germany at the beginning of May had under 10,000 deaths as opposed to more than 28,000 on these shores at the same date.
This has been attributed to a number of factors including a more widespread use of testing in Germany, where some small businesses are now allowed to reopen.
Schroeck comes from Aschaffenburg, which is in Bavaria and is south-east of the nearest big city, Frankfurt. He is now based in Ware, Hertfordshire.
The former Wolverhampton, Wimbledon and Poole rider, who both rode and managed at Rye House, said: “It’s obviously very dicey. We’re constantly in contact with home.
“In Germany, they’re advanced in things, with the testing.
“We hear every day on the radio that they’re quite switched on with things. Their lockdown has been a lot longer than over here, you know.
“I speak to my family and my brother and with one thing and another they’re all safe, and so no worries there. It is difficult.
“We had Michael (Hartel, Lynn’s new German rider for 2020) who came over for the press day, but within a day he went straight back home - and within a couple of days he wasn’t allowed to come out of the house - and that’s quite a few weeks now.”
On another compatriot, Minors & Brady Stars heat leader Erik Riss, Schroeck added: “Erik could be back with his father in Germany, but he’s stranded over here.
“The situation is not great, obviously, but hopefully it will improve somewhere along the line.”
On his background, Schroeck said: “I grew up in Aschaffenburg, which is at the northern end of Bavaria, but I’ve been in England since I was 16 years old. I went backwards and forwards a little bit but I’ve lived here probably since 1988 constantly, so I’ve been here a long time.
“I’m a trained car mechanic and work for Martin Hagon at Hagon Shocks (former speedway, grasstrack and longtrack rider whose business is well-known in motorsport circles). We’re still manufacturing and people are still ordering things because people are at home now and they get to do things which they normally don’t get around to doing.
“We still try to keep ourselves busy and positive, and get all the spare parts ready, all that sort of stuff and just pray we get a phone call and get the all-clear soon.
“We’re trying to keep the morale high and carry on working, basically, and see what happens.
“I’m trying to find the positives, but it’s difficult at the moment. All I know is, the boys are ready to go.”