The Island Masters competition that sees grass track riders take to the shale track on their specialist equipment starts its 3-meeting series tonight (Thursday) at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde.

A popular addition to the summer speedway programme in 2021, the Island Masters event was well received and it wasn’t a surprise when the Warriors management included 3 meetings in their 2022 schedule.

New to the action this season will be Arran Butcher from Hinkley, who’s been practicing regularly at Smallbrook over the winter. Hinkley turned in 3 impressive race wins last week as he represented the Wightlink Warlocks against the Wightlink Wizards in the development speedway fixture.

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The Upright Championship is an innovation for this season, and of late, interest in the older upright machines has flourished right around the country with more and more bikes being brought up to competitive racing standard and being ridden by recognised speedway and grasstrack names.

News that the Warriors were to stage a speedway championship has brought forth a significant number of enquiries from which Championship co-ordinator Lee Coleman has been able to assemble 24 entries. 8 of those have been seeded to the Grand Final – to be held at Smallbrook in August – and the remaining 16 will race off in 2 qualifying rounds of 8, the first of which takes place this Thursday (30th June).

Of additional interest to Island fans will be an on-track appearance by former Island number one and track record holder Nick Simmons. He has been invited back to take some demonstration rides by current co-owners Barry Bishop and Martin Widman and whilst Nick has no plans to return to competitive action, he just could not resist the opportunity to take to the Smallbrook shale again.


The line-ups are expected to be:

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  • Island Masters: Like Tuck, Harry Gent, Arran Butcher, Jody Hodgson, Dean Cutler, Giles Dismore, Bill Haynes, Rob Snow, Ian Leverington, Jon Freeman, Harley Freeman, Phil Spencer.
  • Upright Championship: Mark Anderson, Andy Hickman, Keith Cornell, Glyn Edwards, Nigel Coates, Dave Johnson, Phil Spencer, Shaun Bickley.

Gates at Smallbrook Stadium will open at 17:15, with spectators welcomed to visit the pits and listen to the rider briefing at 18:00.

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