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Rusty Harrison Testimonial - Race Day Update!
Photo by Dave Payne
Sat 11 Apr 2015 by Comets Press Office
With just hours to go there has been a further late change to this evening's line-up for the eagerly-anticipated Rusty Harrison Testimonial Meeting.
Coming in to replace former Comet Josh Grajczonek is current Comet Nicki Barrett, who actually shares a workshop with Rusty in Workington.

Grajczonek is still feeling the effects of an opening heat crash he had on Thursday evening when riding for Somerset at Ipswich. This caused him to turn down the chance to ride in the nominated heat at Somerset last night as he was feeling far from 100%.

Otherwise it is all systems go at what is currently a dry and sunny Derwent Park for tonight's Didgeri Do! event, which gets underway with a Grand Rider Parade from 6:30pm leading up to the first race at 7:00pm.

The meeting itself takes the form of a 16-rider, 20-heat individual meeting, with the top four point-scorers going into a Grand Final to decide the overall winner and Rusty has assembled a quality field for his well-deserved testimonial meeting.

Amongst the 16-rider line-up are plenty of faces that are familiar to Comets supporters.

Current Comets Kenneth Hansen, Kyle Howarth, Ricky Wells, Nicki Barrett and Rusty himself will be joined by a host of Rusty's fellow-Aussies; including the in-form Elite League star Rory Schlein, who rides for King's Lynn, Aaron Summers, Nick Morris and Kozza Smith (all Glasgow), Christian Henry (Newcastle) and Hugh Skidmore (Redcar).

They are joined by up-and-coming Dane Lasse Bjerre (Redcar), French number one David Bellego (Sheffield), Newcastle skipper Ludvig Lindgren and rising French star Dimitri Berge, who was a team mate of Rusty's up at Glasgow last season.

Also taking part is Rusty's former Comets team mate and Derwent Park favourite James Wright, who is currently without a club.

Joining the riders on parade will be local Team GB wheelchair racer Simon Lawson and Rusty's former team-mate ex-Comet Garry Stead – both aboard motorcycles and doing laps of Derwent Park.

Additionally, the cream of Britain's 125cc Youth racers will be taking part in a series of races while a special edition, 24-page, full-colour, large format souvenir programme will be on sale for the event.

Afterwards there will be an after-meeting celebration at The Waverley Hotel in Workington, where various items of memorabilia will be auctioned off and in addition there will also be a raffle and various presentations taking place.

Rusty, who is currently in his tenth season in a Comets race-jacket since first appearing for the club back in 2001, is now second in the Comets all-time appearance table and is very much looking forward to his big night after having the misfortune to have his meeting postponed twice last season due to the weather.

Rusty said: “I am delighted that this day has finally arrived and the sun is shining - let's hope that it stays that way!

"A huge thank-you to everyone that has helped me organise this and to all the riders that have agreed to take part.

"I just hope that everyone who comes along has a thoroughly enjoyable evening's entertainment and we get a good safe night of racing.

"See you all later!"

The full revised line-up for ‘Rusty's Didgeri Do' Testimonial Meeting is now (in riding order):

1 James Wright (unattached), 2 Christian Henry (Newcastle), 3 Nick Morris (Glasgow), 4 Rory Schlein (King's Lynn), 5 Rusty Harrison (Workington), 6 Lasse Bjerre (Redcar), 7 Hugh Skidmore (Redcar), 8 Ludvig Lindgren (Newcastle), 9 Ricky Wells (Workington), 10 Kozza Smith (Glasgow), 11 Nicki Barrett (Workington), 12 Kenneth Hansen (Workington), 13 David Bellego (Sheffield), 14 Kyle Howarth (Workington), 15 Dimitri Berge (Glasgow), 16 Aaron Summers (Glasgow).
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Last Updated :  Sat 11 Apr 2015, 14:07 UK
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Photography
Dave Payne, Adrian Randall