Shielfield track gets green light to host world-class speedway

Sheilfield Park can now host top speedway events.
Sheilfield Park can now host top speedway events.

SHIELFIELD has been given the green light to stage world-class speedway events, starting with the GP Qualifier in June, after being granted a three-year licence.

Confirmation has been receieved by Berwick Bandits in writing following the inspection by FIM (FÉDÉRATION INTERNATIONALE DE MOTOCYCLISME) official Christer Bergstrom from Sweden last week. The agreement is a three-year licence allowing the club to stage top FIM events starting with the GP Qualifier on Saturday June 16 this year.

Berwick director George Hepburn said: “Mr Bergstrom, who some fans may recall was Young Sweden Manager at Shielfield in a Test Match in 1970,visited us last week along with ACU Official Tony Noel and BSPA Chairman Alex Harkess and met with myself, John Anderson, Ian Rae and Dennis McCleary.

“It wasn’t a five-minute job either I can say! Mr Bergstrom inspected all aspects, not just the track as you can imagine and there were many other matters to oversee including, safety fence, jury room, referee box, medical/dope control room, changing rooms, pits and the like and I have to say a big thank you to Berwick Rangers and their Supporters Club for all their assistance in helping with several of these issues.”

Hepburn added: “Christer Bergström was highly impressed with Shielfield and fair enough, there are about five or six minor matters to be resolved but nothing that will lose us any sleep! It is onwards and upwards now to June 16. A lot of hard work lies ahead to get that meeting spot on, but we look forward to it with relish.”

Now that the stadium has triumphed in its final early season inspection by FIM officials, it is all systems go for the GP Qualifier on June 16, which could be the first of many FIM events to be staged inside the polyfoam safety fence – the system which has made everything possible.

Riders so far nominated to contest the GP Qualifier are being added to all the time. Among them is Australian Davy Watt, who rode so well at the Bandits’ Fence Fund Challenge. He was nominated by his Australian management, whilst others include British aces Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris and Tai Woffinden, Emiliano Sanchez and Facundo Albin of Argentina, Germany’s Christian Hefenbrock and a former Berwick hero Tero Aarnio of Finland.

Further nominations are eagerly awaited from Australia (one more) and the USA (two) plus one each from Russia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Holland, Sweden and Poland.