By Henry Chard

Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches promoter Chris Louis gives his thoughts on the recent BSPL AGM which sees the club stay in the Premiership for the 2023 season.

The new season will see the return of the Knockout Cup, with the Witches facing top-flight newcomers Leicester in the first round and the points limit for team building has been set at 39.00 for six riders, plus a Rising Star.

“I was happy to see the Knockout Cup back,” said Louis. “It was always a competition I enjoyed doing and we welcome Leicester into the league which is going in the right direction. We need to make the league bigger at a sustainable rate.

“The points limit staying the same is right, we need to keep the league as competitive as possible and every opportunity to invite the top riders from the other leagues and the Grand Prix back to these shores is a good thing.”

The Premiership Pairs competition which Ipswich won in 2022 has been reduced to three rounds in 2023 which are to be held at Ipswich, Sheffield and King’s Lynn.

“The Premiership Pairs is three rounds; I quite enjoyed the series being over each track last year, but everybody saw the fixture problems last year which to some degree were down to some individual clubs as much as anything else. You can make all the excuses you want but it was inexcusable really, so I think it is sensible to reduce the size of the Pairs competition. It is a competition we won so I am probably bias, but I thought to a degree it was successful and I am looking forward to trying to retain that title next year.”

The new year will see a change in the scoring system and the return of the aggregate bonus point with the Super Heat concept extended to cover scenarios when the meeting is drawn or if the aggregate score is level.

“The points scoring system has changed which will give us a much more simple looking league table, that’s the main reason for that. With the bonus point we are back to something we did for many many years, and it worked quite successfully so I have got to say I am all for that. Retaining the Super Heat for drawn meetings is great and it is good the Championship now have that and all of that is the same in both leagues which is necessary, you can’t have different leagues with different points scoring systems.”

There is also a partnership between the BSPL and MYLAPS which will see transponders rolled out to all Premiership clubs during the 2023 season. This technology will provide accurate information for live timing, and assist in resolving close finishes, and will also be made available to Eurosport and the British Speedway Network for use during their broadcasts.

“All in all, it was a fairly simple AGM with a few tweaks but nothing radical. The inclusion of a MYLAPS timing system is great, it won’t fundamentally change the sport, but all the timings will be accurate and there will be no dead heats or poor decisions when it comes to the finish line. It is simple technology that has been around for a while that we needed to adopt, so it was all positive.”

Louis says that team building for the new campaign is going well with announcements to be made soon.

“Team building is going very well, and we are looking forward to making announcements in the coming week, so everything is going good.”

For more details on the AGM, head here.