By Henry Chard

The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches have confirmed the signing of Danny Ayres as he becomes the fifth member of the team for 2020.

Ayres enjoyed an impressive season with Scunthorpe in the Championship last year and said that Ipswich was his preferred choice of clubs to ride for if he got a Premiership call-up.

“I wouldn’t say I was surprised but I was glad,” said Ayres. “Nothing had been in the pipeline, but I felt that I had improved enough this year to warrant a call and luckily the top of the wish list called! I didn’t mess about and grabbed it with both hands. I am over the moon and I feel this is the place where I will be taken to the next level.”

The 33-year-old came to many people’s attention at the 2019 British Final after a thrilling performance and the new signing is an entertainer on and off the track.

“I love doing what I do, you can’t buy that feeling when you win a race. It is natural to me, and I suppose I am quite lucky as no one else does it so it singles me out which is ideal! I am trying to make massive strides in the sport, and I adore what I do. It is a natural feeling what happens, and people love it.”

Ayres guested at Foxhall for the Witches in 2016, scoring 10+1 from reserve and also wore the Witches race jacket at Peterborough last season and he is relishing the prospect of racing at Foxhall every week in 2020.

“I have had some very good meetings there, I guested there and only dropped a couple of points. It is a man’s track and you are going to have to learn how to ride grip week in week out. That is what I want to do, I want to learn how to control the bike in the deepest of dirt because that is where you can make it or break it in the sport. Anyone can ride around on a slick track, it’s about getting close to that fence and bouncing off it. I want to learn, and I think it is a family unit there. When I guested at Peterborough last season I felt right at home and I am buzzing.”

The Suffolk-born racer was a latecomer to the sport starting his speedway career in 2014 and he explained how he made the switch from motocross.

“My mum’s side of the family, my gran and my auntie, who is a massive part of my life now, they are massive supporters of speedway and went to Mildenhall all the time. I was a motocross rider, I went and watched Mildenhall a few times, but I didn’t know anything about it until I started riding. I was watching it a little bit, Mark Loram and Chris Holder are the ones who came to me when I started watching it.

“The truth is I saw Lewis Blackbird riding for Eastbourne on TV, and I used to race motocross with Lewis. I always thought I was supposed to do something on a motorbike, so I got hold of Lewis and he put me on to Russell Paine from Ride n Slide and that is how is all started. I then bought a bike and it went bang in two laps. I then sat around for five months waiting for a call from Sean Wilson to go and pick up the bike. I did it a handful of times and then signed for Kent Kings and we haven’t looked back since.”

Ayres has had prior Premiership experience with Leicester in 2017 but feels that he is now ready to make the step up with Ipswich in 2020 as he arrives on a 3.36 average.

“I feel I am ready for it. Before, you were there because you were the best of the rest. Now I think I am ready to go at it and I am over the moon to have it all sorted and I can’t wait to get the season started really.

“I think the team looks great, I am buzzing with it. Personal goals will be just to improve throughout the season. Next year there isn’t any set goals, I could say I am going to go and get the number one jacket, but it probably isn’t going to happen next year, but I tell you what I will give it a good go! The goal is to hold my place, have a good year, show what I can do and hopefully be a gamechanger. I am going there with all guns firing.”

2020 Season Tickets are now available to purchase, all the details can be found here.

2020 team: Danny King ©, Nicolai Klindt, Cameron Heeps, Jake Allen, Danny Ayres