The disappointment of last week’s rained off meeting has quickly passed and the Wightlink Warriors speedway team are fully prepared for a renewed challenge from the Cradley Heathens and Oxford Cheetahs as leg 2 of the three match tournament comes to tapes this Thursday (12 August) at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde.
Leg 1 saw the Warriors power ahead of the opposition taking a fifteen point advantage over Cradley and eighteen ahead of Oxford. Warriors are set to be unchanged and will be lead by maxi-man Danno Verge (pictured leading Oxford’s Ryan Terry-Daley in leg 1), whilst Cradley have opted to introduce former Warrior Chris Widman into their line-up. Oxford, injury ravaged from leg 1, bring in ever-popular Connor Coles and Charley Powell to stiffen their ranks.
Adding to the excitement of the evening will be a special appearance by the ‘Crazy Kiwi’ Bruce Cribb who will take to the Smallbrook shale on an ice speedway bike loaned to him for the occasion by Warriors’ co-owner Barry Bishop. Cribb is one of the very few conventional speedway riders to have mastered the different requirements of ice racing with three World Final appearances evidencing his mastery of these lethal machines with their heavily spiked tyres. These days he provides occasional demonstration races as part of his charitable efforts for the Permanently Injured Riders Fund.
Opening the show at 6.15 pm will be three heats of PeeWee racing and at least three races for lady riders as the Island’s own Steph Whitlock and Anastasia Sallee will go wheel to wheel against two opponents from Kent. The main three team tournament event will be under way at 7.00 pm and to add some nostalgia, teams representing engine manufacturers Jawa and Weslake will battle out an ‘Upright Challenge’ which will be integrated into the three team event. In total 27 races are expected with the stadium opening at 5.15 pm with the Premier Lounge, Retreat Snack Bar, track shop, sweet stall and pits area ready to welcome spectators.
Barry Bishop said, “Having to call off last week was so disappointing not to mention costly. We were fine until lunchtime with our weather guru’s suggesting we would be ok , but we were hit by a couple of hours of horrible wind and rain that flooded parts of the track and left us with no option but to cancel.
Now we go again with the second leg of the Cliff Peasley Trophy and fully expect our visitors to come out fighting. Oxford in particular had bags of misfortune last time, but I’m sure Gordon and Rob (Kennett and Peasley – joint team managers) will be working overtime to get the handicap tactics just right.
They might just have a slight advantage as Warriors’ team manager Steve Piper will miss the meeting with illness and his replacement, John Carpenter – coincidentally the meeting sponsor – will be new to the new handicapping and nomination system used.
It will also be great to welcome back old friends Chris Widman and Connor Coles, albeit in opposition colours. Both guys have been terrific ambassadors for us in the past and remain hugely popular at Smallbrook.
We’ve also got Bruce Cribb here on my ice bike. Cribby has been very supportive of our 2021 plans and I can’t wait to see how he handles our track. Add in the PeeWee’s, the Ladies and the Upright Challenge and it’s going to be another packed show for everyone to enjoy”.
Warriors: Chad Wirtzfeld, Alex Spooner, Danno Verge, Morgan Williams.
Cradley: Luke Harris, Chris Watts, Scott Campos, Chris Widman.
Oxford: Ryan Terry-Daley, Charley Powell, Connor Coles, Jamie Sealey.