VIDEO: Dennis McCleary on Berwick’s hosting of GP Qualifier

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Berwick have received an unexpected boost with the news that they are to stage a Grand Prix Qualifier at Shielfield Park on Saturday, June 7.

The Bandits, who are one of only three FIM approved tracks in Britain, staged a similar event in 2012.

Shielfield will play host to another top speedway event. Picture by Kimberley Powell

Shielfield will play host to another top speedway event. Picture by Kimberley Powell

Originally, it looked as if the club was to miss out on on the FIM calendar events in 2014, and promoter John Anderson said that in truth they were not too disappointed, having staged a GP Qualifier in 2012 and the World U21 Final in 2013.

But organisational problems in Austria meant the world’s governing body were forced to look elsewhere.

Britain had only been allocated one FIM event in 2014 - the World Team Cup Qualifier at King’s Lynn at the end of July.

And when the authorities decided to switch the Austrian meeting to Britain instead, Berwick were handed the opportunity to stage it for a second time.

“The offer came completely out of the blue,” said Anderson.

“Having been honoured to have a GP Challenge event here in 2012, and one of the World U21 Finals last season, we honestly weren’t too disappointed not to be included in the 2014 international calendar

“However, the authorities have apparently been having organisational problems with the GP qualifier to be staged in Austria, at St Johann, on June 7, and so we are delighted to be able to announce that we have been asked to step in and stage the meeting instead.

“It is a great honour for us and will once again put Berwick on the world speedway map.”

More details of the event, and official line-up will follow, although British riders Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris and Craig Cook are already confirmed by the BSPA, with Redcar’s William Lawson listed as a reserve.

Indications are that the experienced Australian Jason Doyle could also be included in the line-up.

Berwick co-promoter Dennis McCleary said he was delighted top class speedway action would be returning to the Borders again.

“We only have a three year licence with the FIM,” he said, “so we thought our chance had gone, but this is another big feather in our cap.”