Eastbourne riders return to speedway action on Saturday - Newcastle teams are visitors
Eastbourne Speedway riders go into action at Arlington on Saturday (May 22) for the first time since September 2019.
The Covid-19 pandemic ruled out last year’s season and Eagles fans have been snapping up tickets for their first fix of racing in 602 days.
First up at 5pm will be the Eastbourne HG Aerospace Eagles v the Newcastle Diamonds in the Championship. Once that is done and dusted, the National Development League riders will move into the pits for the Eastbourne Seagulls, powered by Save Thurrock Hammers Speedway v the Newcastle Gems.
Eastbourne managers aim to make the gap between the meetings as brief as possible, the target being around 15 minutes. Admission to the meeting is only by ticket, purchased in advance, from the Eastbourne Speedway website. There is no on-the-day (walk-up) admission because of the coronavirus restrictions. A few tickets remain but they will go off sale at noon on Friday (May 21). After that time, no tickets will be available.
The local council has instructed Eastbourne Speedway that everyone must wear a face covering when entering the stadium and at all times when at the meeting, both inside and outside (unless medically exempt and children aged under 10).
A limited supply of Eagles branded masks will be available for purchase on the gate (cost £5 exact money only; no change) together with printed programmes £3. Please have exact money as no change or card facilities will be available outside the stadium. This does not apply to bar and food outlets inside the stadium where cash and card facilities are as normal.
Eastbourne co-promoter Trevor Geer said: “The whole team can’t wait to get started after such a long break. The shortened season means it is vital we hit the ground running and get three points on the board on Saturday.
"Our lads have all practised at Arlington and some have enjoyed a successful return to competitive action with their Premiership teams. It all bodes well and it will be a huge relief to see the tapes fly up for the first heat on Saturday.”
Eastbourne Seagulls v the Newcastle Gems sees the return of National Development League racing to Arlington. The club were NDL champions when they were last members of the league in 2018.
Team manager Will Pottinger said: “We have a great mix of experience and youth in our Seagulls team. “The last NDL team at Arlington set the standard for us all to aspire to.”
Eastbourne Eagles: Edward Kennett, Tom Brennan, Kyle Newman, 5.03, Lewis Kerr, Richard Lawson, Jason Edwards, Drew Kemp.
Newcastle Diamonds: Ben Barker, Adam Roynon, Connor Mountain, Max Clegg, Matthew Wethers, James Wright, Joe Alcock.
Eastbourne Seagulls: Jake Knight, Connor King, Chad Wirtzfeld, Richard Andrews, Henry Atkins, Nick Laurence, Nathan Ablitt.
Newcastle Gems: Max Clegg, Josh Embleton, Kelsey Dugard, Joe Alcock, Ryan Terry-Daley, Archie Freeman, Danny Smith.