By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches face the Peterborough Panthers at the East of England Arena & Events Centre on Monday 13th May in a Premiership fixture that starts at 7.30pm.
PETERBOROUGH: 1. Hans Andersen 7.60 © 2. Lasse Bjerre 6.14 3. Ben Barker 5.63 4. Charles Wright 5.46 5. Rohan Tungate 7.36 6. Aaron Summers 4.97 7. Bradley Wilson-Dean 5.27 Team Manager: Carl Johnson
IPSWICH: 1.Chris Harris 7.82 2. Richard Lawson 6.93 3. Danny King 6.38 © 4. David Bellego 6.14 5. Krystian Pieszczek 6.50 6. Cameron Heeps 4.84 7. Jake Allen 4.67. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: M. Bates
VENUE: East of England Arena & Events Centre
WHAT’S THE STORY?
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches make the trip to Peterborough on Monday for another local derby in the Premiership. Ipswich were in Supporters Cup action last Thursday at Poole as they were beaten 46-44 in a last-heat decider that all but puts them out of the cup. The focus now turns back to league action and Monday represents a chance to build on the cup performance in Dorset and start collecting points on the road in the league. The Witches have gone well at Peterborough in recent years and all four Premiership sides that have gone to Peterborough so far this season have come away with at least at point which will give the Suffolk side hope ahead of the meeting.
The riding order changes again with Ritchie Hawkins admitting that the traditional 15-heat league format suits the side better than the cup competition. Captain Danny King moves back to number three, with David Bellego at four and Krystian Pieszczek back at five. Most speedway riders will say they enjoy racing at Peterborough and the Ipswich team are no different with several riders having had strong performances there in recent years and it is an opportunity the management will be keen to take on Monday.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Monday’s clash…
“We are disappointed after the defeat at Poole but on Friday morning we are looking at Peterborough on Monday. Everybody will be looking forward to getting together and getting back racing. I would say 99% of speedway riders look forward to racing at Peterborough so I am sure we will be excited to get there and carry on this good thing we have building in the camp.
“On a personal level I love to get a win at Peterborough as it gives me bragging rights! It’s a local derby and the rivalry has built up in recent years being in the Championship together and I am sure we will take a lot of fans there on Monday. If we perform like we did at Poole I am sure they will all go home very happy.
“Krystian had never been to Poole before and I thought he handled a very tricky track there very well last Thursday and Peterborough should suit him.”
Peterborough, like Ipswich, made the move up to the Premiership in the winter and were bought by Buster Chapman. It was somewhat of a busy winter for the club with new promoters fronting the club’s step up to the top flight in Colin Pratt and Carl Johnson. The Panthers were also forced into a couple of changes to their line-up before the season began. The Panthers had to release Chris Harris from his contract due to unforeseen circumstances and they lost Craig Cook on the eve of the new season as the two parties failed to reach a contractual agreement. With the winter behind them the club are now focused on making a successful step up to the Premiership on track. Their home form so far this season has been mixed, losing to Belle Vue in the Supporters Cup, drawing against King’s Lynn but beating both Wolves and Poole 46-44 in tight encounters.
Former Witch Hans Andersen captains the side and has plenty of experience at the highest level and Witches asset Rohan Tungate is at number five, having come in for the outgoing Harris this winter. There’s another ex-Witch at three in Ben Barker and Aaron Summers is at reserve having come in for Cook on the eve of the 2019 campaign.
ON THE ROAD…
Peterborough ride in red and black kevlars and race at the East of England Arena & Events Centre. The track measures at 336 metres with the track record belonging to Max Fricke who set a time of 57.9 in April of 2019. An adult ticket costs £18, concessions £16, juniors (aged 16-17) £10, children (under 16) free. Facilities include a 2200 capacity grandstand, grass banking on the back straight, fast food outlets on the grandstand side of the track and a licensed bar. For travel information head here.
For more information about the club head to Peterborough’s official website.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway