Speedway fans ready for a marathon at Arlington

Eagles' reserve Timo Lahti looks set for a busy night at Arlington on Saturday.

Eagles' reserve Timo Lahti looks set for a busy night at Arlington on Saturday.

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Eastbourne Speedway fans need to get set for a marathon tomorrow (Saturday) as the Eagles stage two matches at Arlington.

The rare “double header” sees the home club take on Birmingham and then Peterborough in what the club hopes will be 30-heats of virtual non-stop racing.

Eagles' will need a real No1 performance from Bjarne Pedersen on Saturday.

Eagles' will need a real No1 performance from Bjarne Pedersen on Saturday.

Club managers have been forced to stage the two meetings on one night because of the early-season wet weather, which caused postponements, and the looming cut-off date for the Elite League play-offs.

Eastbourne co-promoter Mike Bellerby is delighted that both matches are meaningful. Birmingham are vying for top spot in the normal league season – that gives them first pick when it comes to the play-offs while Peterborough are trying to maintain a late charge to snatch the final play-off spot from either Lakeside or Poole.

“As it has turned out, both matches are set to have a huge impact on this year’s league. Birmingham and Peterborough are coming south desperate for points and we cannot afford to slip up as we seek to go up the table,”Bellerby said.

Eastbourne certainly need points to try avoid the wooden spoon spot this year; although Coventry’s recent collapse has helped that cause while Belle Vue’s winning run has taken them clear of the bottom.

The Eagles will be using rider replacement to cover for the injured Lukas Dryml.

Hopes of a late-season surprise big name signing were dashed when the No1 target declined.

It does mean that some of the Eagles could end up with between 12 and 14 rides on the night. The last time there was a double header – in 2011 – Cameron Woodward took 14 rides.

Team manager Trevor Geer has no worries on riders’ fitness. “I have no worries about the riders’ fitness. At this stage of the season they should take these matches in their stride.

“I have asked our boys to put in extra time in the workshop this week to ensure their equipment is ready for two meetings in one night,” he said.