Three Comets in this Sunday's Ben Fund opener
Photo by Jeff DaviesWed 04 Mar 2015
Three of the Comets 2015 side have the opportunity to get some early season competitive action at Swindon this Sunday afternoon when the season-opening Ben Fund Bonanza takes place.
Kyle Howarth, Rusty Harrison and Kenneth Hansen will all be taking part in the meeting, which this year adopts a four-team tournament format, when they line-up for England, Australia and Denmark respectively; with Poland providing the fourth side in the event.
Comets team manager Tony Jackson said: "It is a perfect opportunity for the three lads to get some laps in and try out their machinery ahead of our season without any pressure, while also getting some competitive racing in to sharpen their reflexes. But, most importantly, it raises money for a great cause from which so many riders have benefitted from down the years. Full credit must go to Paul Ackroyd and his many helpers for the work that they put in to staging this very worthwhile event each year."
This has become the traditional season opener and organiser Paul Ackroyd said: “Someone said to me at the weekend that this is the most important meeting of the year. It should be one of the events that every rider and if possible supporter has in his calendar as one to be involved in.
“Every rider knows that serious injury is possible in our sport and that could have a big impact on their lives. For some it already has. I can guarantee that every one of our ten paraplegic riders would give anything to be out on the track at Swindon racing.”
The only former Bonanza winner in the meeting is Ben Barker, also the only ever-present, because reigning champion Craig Cook has had to pull out due to not having his machinery ready.
This event remains the most important vehicle for raising funds for injured riders, something which is bound to remain such an important part of speedway.
The Ben Fund spent over £99,000 on injured riders last year when the Leicester staging of the Bonanza was a very good one and contributed £45,000.
In 2014 the Ben Fund assisted 40 riders, and the top track collection again came from Berwick with £1,350. The Comets SRBF collection at Derwent Park raised £1,000 last year. However the total of track collections was less than £20,000.
Also representing England are former Comets Richard Lawson and Adam Roynon, in what is expected to draw a bumper crowd of speedway fans eager to see their first track action of 2015.
Meanwhile, Swindon boss Alun Rossiter has given the Abbey Stadium track his seal of approval ahead of this Sunday's event, which gets underway at 4pm (doors open at 2:30pm).
The meeting, which takes place at a different venue each year,is taking place at Blunsdon for the first time.
Rossiter, who is also of course the Team GB manager, said: “I went down to the track last week and the whole place looked fantastic, we cannot wait for Sunday.
“As a club we are very proud to be hosting this meeting and we look forward to seeing a big crowd for a very worthy cause.”
The sides line up as follows:
ENGLAND: Ben Barker, Richard Lawson, KYLE HOWARTH, Adam Roynon.
AUSTRALIA: Rory Schlein, Sam Masters, Nick Morris, RUSTY HARRISON.
DENMARK: Bjarne Pedersen, Thomas Jorgensen, Jan Graversen, KENNETH HANSEN.
POLAND: Szymon Wozniak, Jakub Jamrog, Greg Walasek, Adam Skornicki.
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Last Updated : Wed 04 Mar 2015, 11:54 UK