Published: 10:00, 16 June 2020
| Updated: 10:48, 16 June 2020
Kent Kings Speedway have taken advantage of the coronavirus shutdown to switch race days when the 2020 season eventually gets underway.
The Kings had originally wanted to race on Tuesdays following their promotion to the British Championship - racing’s second tier - but that clashed with racing in Sweden. Many riders at the top level would alternate between leagues.
It meant the Kings were scheduled to race on Wednesdays - clashing with three other clubs in the south - but coronavirus has changed everything.
Co-promoter Len Silver explains: “The club were advised that Tuesday was the day that the leagues at this level operate in Sweden and with a number of Scandinavian riders dividing their time between clubs in Sweden and over here in the UK, this meant Tuesday was not a possible race night for us.
“But along came coronavirus and the closure of the sport for many months. I did some investigating and discovered that no Swedish riders were intending to race in the Championship this year and with air fares, plus the virus situation in Sweden, making it almost impossible for them to race at our level in the foreseeable future.
“The ‘Swedish day’ definition for Tuesday looked a whole lot different. I gave my plan to all the other promoters in the league and asked for their support.
“I was pleasantly surprised to find that support for us changing then to a Tuesday race night was almost unanimous and I thank all my fellow promoters for their understanding and help.”
Mr Silver apologised to fans who had planned for a season of Wednesday action but says Tuesdays is best.
With three other southern teams racing it meant many weeks of racing away from Central Park. Thursdays were out as that’s the night for greyhound racing at the track.
The King say that it would have represented a backward step but said: “As it happens the very circumstances which have led to the season’s start being so significantly delayed has allowed a change to the situation.”
Silver added: “I apologise to those supporters who might feel a little ‘messed about’. That was never my plan but it is so important for us to race on a day that we can use each and every week.
“This is the perfect arrangement for that and will further cement the future of speedway, even in these troubled times for British sport and us all, at Central Park.”
The Kings had raced on Mondays but promotion to the next level means that day is not possible either.
There will, however, be racing at Central Park on Bank Holiday Mondays when action resumes in the form of the Kent Royals matches in the National League.
Silver said: “The Bank Holidays have always proved highly popular and will be the perfect vehicle for our NL side to display themselves in the smaller number of home matches they will have in that division.”
Speedway riders have been given the green light to resume training and teams are now awaiting further news.
The King said: “Should all continue to go well with the pandemic and responses to it and the various authorities move to allow resumption and spectators back in arenas, to the sport they love being back, it is hoped, by late summer or early autumn.”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell
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