Dan’s the man for Kings
Dan’s the man for Kings

Kent TouchTec Kings are revealing the riders to fill their three remaining team slots for their inaugural SGB Championship [SGBC] season in 2020 this weekend – with the first name being one very familiar and even more popular among the Central Park Speedway-going public, it’s the titanic teenager who was the find of the National League [NL] last campaign, Dan Gilkes,

Having risen up from a starting average of 2.00 and not having ridden a single competitive senior match before the start of last season, the youngster from Northampton rose up to heat leader level with an average in the NL of 8.00 – a brilliant effort of quadrupling his starting figures.

A delighted Gilkes, who certainly has a very mature head on his 17-year-old shoulders posted a video on his own social media platforms to declare,“I am delighted to say I will be stepping up to the SGB Championship with Kent in 2020!

“My first season with the TouchTec Kings in the NL was incredible.  The promotion, track staff and importantly the  supporters made me feel so welcome and everyone was incredibly supportive of me.  It will be a challenging year ahead with lots of learning.  But one that with the continued support I am sure, it will be another fantastic opportunity for me and the team to progress together.

“To learn from  Scott Nicholls was something that does not come to you every day. I  couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn, gain knowledge and experience from the seven-time British Champion and ex Grand Prix rider.”

Co-promoter Len Silver spelt out the way the team building has been going, as he expressed delight at getting Gilkes’ signature for another year at Central Park,“Chris and I have been very busy over the last month or so, and in particular since the day we were officially accepted into the SGBC, in finding riders who wanted to ride for the TouchTec Kings.  I can now reveal that we have agreements with all seven riders to wear the Touch-Tec body colours for 2020 and part of that successful and short series of negotiations is due to the help we received from our new No 1, Scott Nicholls, and I am very grateful for that.”

The veteran supremo went on,“The next signing for the 2020 season, I can tell you, is a very popular returnee from our NL side last season, Dan Gilkes,  Dan is picked in what will be his first season at this higher level because of his huge potential. He is investing in a new engine and clutch and, interestingly, Scott has asked that Dan be placed next to him in the pits.  That news was greeted with delight from the Gilkes family (and me!).”

And tantalisingly he went on,“There are now two names still to be placed in the public arena which, with the individual agreements of the riders themselves, these two will be disclosed over this week-end.  I am personally delighted at the seven who have chosen us. I hope all our loyal supporters are too.”

Finally, Silver had further updates concerning the club’s plans for 2020,“The NL promoters’ meeting was adjourned without any final decisions being made earlier this week and there will be another meeting in December.  However, if the numbers and format remain as being suggested  (showing a probable seven teams), then Kent will be part of it.

“On the team building front for the SGBC,  Rob Ledwith has been allocated a 4.00-point average by the BSPA in consideration of his previous history at second tier level and that It is expected that Ledwith and Gilkes will fill the 6 & 7 positions.”