Published: 08:43, 15 September 2020
A quartet of Kent Speedway teenagers will finally get into competitive action carrying the Central Park-based club’s colours in the GB Under-19 Speedway Championship Final on Sunday.
The meeting will be held in front of spectators (albeit a reduced all-ticket attendance following strict Covid-19 guidelines) at Scunthorpe Speedway and will feature Kent TouchTec Kings’ Dan Gilkes (who will go into the meeting as one of the favourites) plus his team-mates from the Kent Iwade Garage Royals’ ranks: Jordan Jenkins, Jake Mulford and youngest rider in the field, Sam Hagon.
Kent followers making their way up to North Lincs for this one will be hoping that history can strike twice, as last season this coveted crown was taken by a then Kings man in the form of Drew Kemp. The rider, who’s now linked up with his home town club Ipswich, is in the field again though and will be the man to beat as he looks to defend his crown. Kemp is amazingly one of nine riders in the field who have been national champions across the age ranges at youth levels of Speedway showing what incredible talent there is at the junior levels in the UK.
One is Hagon who is the reigning 250cc GB Under 16 Youth Champion and has now recovered from a broken collar bone suffered during a BMX accident earlier this year. Mulford and Jenkins, who both hail from Norwich, were members of the Kings side which got to the final of the play-offs in the National League last season. For Jenkins it’s a third GB U-19 Final, while Mulford is competing for a first time in a GB Speedway national final.
The other former GB champions in the field include the Thompson twins, Joe and Dan, who were in the Leicester side which pipped Kent to that NL crown last season.: Joe taking the 125cc national title in 2015 and his sibling Dan succeeding him the following year.
Chris Hunt, Kent’s team boss, is happy that finally the bikes will roar into action with four of the club’s young talents entering the mix.
“It’s great that finally the youngsters have a chance to get competitive action and it really is a very good field which will test their mettle," he said. "We hope to see some of their more senior Kings counterparts in the British Final the following weekend (the full field for that event at Ipswich awaiting confirmation) as speedway finally begins the journey to get back on track.
"We are full steam ahead with our preparations at Central Park to get the team sport back home in March 2021 but 2020’s national individual championships are the priority right now.”
Riders (in draw order): 1. Henry Atkins (Plymouth); 2. Jake Mulford (KENT); 3. Leon Flint (Berwick); 4. Jordan Palin (Scunthorpe); 5. Tom Brennan (Eastbourne); 6. Elliot Kelly (Mildenhall); 7. Dan Thompson (Leicester); 8. Jason Edwards (Eastbourne); 9. Sam Hagon (KENT); 10. Archie Freeman (Newcastle); 11. Joe Thompson (Leicester); 12. Harry McGurk (Belle Vue); 13. Daniel Gilkes (KENT); 14. Drew Kemp (Ipswich), 15. Kyle Bickley (Berwick); 16. Jordan Jenkins (KENT). Reserves: 17. Kean Dicken (Leicester); 18. Mickie Simpson
A limited number of tickets for this grassroots sporting event are available at www.scunthorpe-speedway.com.