Kings completed by Starke and Covatti
Kings completed by Starke and Covatti

Kent TouchTec Kings have completed the line up for their inaugural SGB Championship campaign and there’s British steel and Latin flair to make the perfect package to delight the fans of the county’s Speedway club.

First up is a British rider who is now one of the most experienced in the second tier having ridden for a total of 14 different clubs in a career which dates back to 2007. 

Paul Starke is 29 years of age and well known to both of Kent’s co-promoters who have had him under their wings at their respective former clubs: Len Silver giving the Herefordshire-born rider his first Premier League chance at Rye House in 2010 and Chris Hunt having him in his Isle Of Wight side in 2011-’12.

Starke has experience of riding the Central Park Speedway circuit in its early days – top scoring for Scunthorpe in an early season challenge in 2013 and then showing equal big points potential for Dudley/Cradley later that season and the next year: both being years when Starke was a member of a League-title winning outfit. 

From those National League beginning the extremely resolute racer moved up the divisions culminating in being part of the Poole Pirates top division Elite League & Shield winning side in 2015.

Son of former rider, Tony Starke, Paul appropriately is known as an iron man of the sport and brings that element of experience of all the circuits the new-look Kings will need to negotiate and a never-say-die attitude to racing which brings an essential element of steel to the ranks.

Chris Hunt commented of being reunited with one of his former proteges,“It was always an absolute pleasure having Paul in my side when at the IOW and dealing with his family, who are lovely people was always a pleasure too.  A rider of his experience is worth its weight in gold in a first season at an upper tier – one which he has ridden in for a number of years now.  I’m delighted we have secured Paul’s services”.

So that leaves the third heat leader berth and it’s to foreign fields the Kent management have turned to complete the septet: bringing in Argentinean-born Nico Covatti.  Having begun his Speedway career in his Argentine homeland (national champion there initially in 2008 and again in 2013), it was to the land of his forebears, Italy that Nico has turned and he is actually now licenced as an Italian rider: representing the European nation in the  Word (Team) Cup and Speedway Of Nations championships and twice being the home country’s pick as Wild Card rider in Speedway Grand Prixes (World Championship) held in Italy.  

And it’s a pizza of history for Kent as Covatti was also Italian Champion in 2013 meaning he joins new skipper Scott Nicholls as a national champion and former SGP rider in the very impressive-looking new TouchTec Kings’ line up.  

Of the former Birmingham, Poole & Somerset rider Hunt comments,“Nico is going to really thrill the Central Park faithful as he’s 100% one of the modern day sport’s entertainers – one to get the get the crowd of his feet.  Not many will get pasta Covatti in full flight!”

From his winter base 7,000 feet up in the snow-topped Alps, co-promoter Len Silver is warmed by the news and speaks of his two new recruits,“I am looking forward to getting to know Nico whose reputation as an all-action, never-give-up racer appeals to me.  He is highly recommended by Scott Nicholls and I think the Kent fans will love him.  Paul comes back into my arena which I am delighted about.  I worked with him at Rye House in his early career when I recognised his classy potential.  His pure enthusiasm to become a King made his addition very easy to achieve once Somerset agreed to his release and I thank Garry May from the Rebels for that.”