Kent Kings opt for Tuesdays
Kent Kings opt for Tuesdays

Kent Speedway, looking positively to the future of the club in the changing environment, have announced that when the motor cycle sport is able to resume at Central Park Stadium in Sittingbourne, the regular race night will be Tuesdays.

Since the sport opened at Central Park in 2013, the race night has been Mondays, with the TouchTec-sponsored Kings side operating in the National League, Speedway’s third tier.

However in 2020 (albeit a season which due to Covid-19 has yet to be able to rev up and get away from the starting tapes), the Kings are moving up to the second division, the Speedway Great Britain Championship [SGBC] league and that made Monday a day no longer available.

Kent co-promoter Len Silver takes up the story, “When we first applied to join the Championship, our first choice was Tuesday to give Kent sole use of that day with no other SGBC side racing on Tuesday – giving uninterrupted fixtures. But 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”.

The consequence of having instead to opt for Wednesday was far from ideal as Mr Silver goes on to explain. “With Thursday also out for SGBC sides and Friday taken with Greyhound Racing at our Central Park Stadium home, it left no choice than to move to Wednesdays – this though caused us considerable difficulties as there are three other clubs, all in the south, who race on that night.”

“That would mean (reflected in the initial fixture list we put together) a huge interruption in our fixtures, having to race away on our race night a minimum of six times during the season – that would be six Wednesdays when our loyal home support would have no Kings’ action at Central Park.”

Having operated throughout the previous seven seasons with racing every week on the race night throughout the season, this would have represented something of a backward step; and 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.

Len goes on, “But along came Coronavirus and the closure of the sport for many months. So 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.”

“So 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.”

With Speedway riders around the country now given the green light to start practising, the end is finally looking to be in sight for the lockdown which has so far stymied the 2020 campaign and Kent TouchTec Kings’ fans can look forward, 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.

That’s not likely to include the August Bank Holiday (though it may yet) and Silver announced how Bank Holiday Mondays will figure in the club’s plans going forward, “On Bank Holiday Mondays we will stage Kent ‘Iwade Garage’ Royals matches in the National League (so they’d be no Tuesday meetings in those four weeks in 2021).”

“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”.

The club is aware that some fans will have made changes in routines around work, family and other leisure activities thinking that Wednesday was earmarked for Speedway this year – Mr Silver is appreciative of this and concludes, “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.”