New-look Bandits are raring to go

Liam Carr will line up again for the Bandits
Liam Carr will line up again for the Bandits

Berwick Bandits have completed their starting line-up for the 2017 speedway season with the confirmation of four signings in the past week.

Newcomers Dimitri Berge and Luke Chessell will be joined by old-boy Claus Vissing and Dany Gappmaier, who retains his place from last season.

Berge, who hails from France, is a former Glasgow rider, and last season raced with Redcar in the then-named Premier League.

Chessell, who has been handed a two-point starting average, will make his debut in the second tier of British racing, the now-named Championship and will begin his Bandits career at reserve.

Vissing, who rode for Berwick in 2014 and 2015, last season raced with Workington, but makes a quick return to Shielfield Park, while Gappmaier continues in the team after making his British debut midway through the last campaign.

The quartet join skipper Kevin Doolan, local-based Liam Carr and Lewis Bridger, who is making the switch to the Championship for the first time, having spent almost all his career at Premiership (Elite League) level.

Promoter Scott Courtney said: “It’s a relief to get the team sorted so quickly and I can honestly say we are pleased with the side we have assembled.

“We have been able to put this team together because Liam qualifies for a two-and-a-half per cent reduction in his average and that has worked in our favour.

“The team has a well-balanced look about it and there is no reason why they shouldn’t do well.

“Kevin is a solid scorer and a proven captain. Liam is the local heroand is improving all the time, and Lewis should do well after stepping down. We expect him to be a big scorer at this level.

“Of the riders signed in the past week, everyone at Berwick knows what Claus is about and what he is capable of. Claus is 30 now, but on his day he is capable of beating the best in the league. He is a consummate professional and a true team man.

“Dany will be a year older and with a bit more experience than when he first arrived. He had never raced for an official team before he joined us, but he has adapted well.

“That leaves Dimitri, who is an exciting prospect, who has proved he can ride our track in the past, and he will also be contesting the World Longtrack Championship next year, which will give him even more experience.

“Luke is perhaps the unknown quantity as far as our supporters are concerned, but he looks right for the step up from the old National League and we are pleased to have signed him because he was much sought-after by other clubs.”

New team manager Gary Havelock said: This is a proper team!

“This is a team of Berwick track specialists, all hungry to do well.

“This is a team of racers, Saturday nights at Berwick will not disappoint in 2017 – bring it on!”