Wightlink Warriors’ bosses Martin Widman and Barry Bishop are celebrating and relieved after the British Speedway Promoters’ Limited (BSPL) Board of Directors backed their plans for a full programme of events at Ryde’s Smallbrook Stadium.
The Island club withdrew from the National Development League (NDL) and the BSPL earlier this year after a fall-out over decisions made over the NDL’s future which, they believed, impacted severely on speedway’s future at Smallbrook. However, the co-owners took the decision to affiliate to the club to the NORA Motorsport organisation who licence clubs and riders in a variety of different forms of off-road disciplines on 2 and 4 wheels.
Barry Bishop says:
“Martin (Widman) and I are absolutely delighted to have secured the support of the BSPL for 2021 which goes some way to easing the pain of the last months.
“We have received an email that confirmed ‘at a recent Board meeting the Directors and the BSP Ltd discussed your advertised amateur events…..The BSP fully support you running amateur and practice events with Nora 92.’
“In my view this is a huge step forward for the Isle of Wight and the sport in general. We are of course saddened that we had to leave the Speedway Control Board (SCB) and BSPL but we feel this is a good start to improving our relationship with each other for the betterment of the sport, our riders, fans and overall product.
“Martin and I, along with I am sure everyone else associated with our club, fully welcome their decision and we have informed the SCB, Auto-Cycle Union and BSPL of the amateur NL standard team we intend to have, that BSPL fixtures will be given priority over ours in the event of a fixture clash, and that we remain fully open to an SCB/ACU track inspection at any time that will enable the Isle of Wight to host the fantastic Great Britain Young Lions training camp in February annually and a round of the ACU British 1000cc Sidecar Championships should either express an interest to use Smallbrook Stadium.
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“Now we fully look forward to opening on Thursday, June 24 with an excellent season ahead, and we wish everyone involved in speedway and shale track racing the most wonderful of seasons and I implore all fans to get behind their clubs in 2021.”
The Warriors have already announced an 11-meeting season, racing every Thursday (with 1 Tuesday exception) between 24th June and 2nd September. Events will include 5 National League level challenge matches, 3 rounds of the Island Masters Championship, 2 American-style handicap meetings and a Best Pairs.
In additional to conventional speedway, there will be additional attractions at every meeting including sidecars, Formula 2 speedway, youth events for riders aged from 5 to 16, and challenges between riders on a variety of different engines, both lay-down and upright.