2017 BSPA Shared Events Announced
Issued by the BSPA Press Office on Thursday 16th February 2017
BRITISH Speedway's Major Events series has an early start in 2017 – as SGB Premiership clubs contest the Pairs at Somerset on Friday, March 31.
The top-flight Pairs is back on the calendar for the first time since 2011 when Poole duo Chris Holder and Darcy Ward took the honours over Belle Vue in the Final.
Holder has switched to King's Lynn over the winter, but the Pirates' powerful top two of Krzysztof Kasprzak and Hans Andersen are both also former winners of the event.
It will be the first of two major Pairs events at the Oaktree Arena as the Championship clubs then take centre stage on Friday, July 21, with the meeting retaining its place in the calendar the day before the British Grand Prix at Cardiff.
Home club Somerset won in 2016 but their elevation to the SGB Premiership ensures a different name on the trophy this year.
Coventry and Ipswich star Danny King will be looking to defend his British title at Belle Vue on Monday, June 19 having triumphed in tricky conditions at the National Speedway Stadium last year with a daring move in the Final.
The line-up for that meeting will be formed from the semi-finals which take place at Sheffield (May 4) and Newcastle (date TBC).
Meanwhile the British Under-21 Final will be staged at Poole on Wednesday April 26, with six seeded riders whilst ten more will qualify from the semi-final at Peterborough on Tuesday April 11.
The Showground will also be the staging venue once again for the SGB Championship Fours, which this year reverts to a one-day event on Sunday August 6. Workington's planned league visit to Glasgow on that date will now take place on Sunday April 23.
Last season's Fours were run across a weekend with Plymouth emerging victorious – but BSPA vice-chairman Rob Godfrey has explained how logistics prevented that from being repeated in 2017.
Godfrey said: “We were keen to keep the Fours at Peterborough because it's the traditional home of the event and it works commercially.
“The Showground is only available for one day and the fact that there are less teams means we are just doing the one day.
“All ten clubs will be included and I'm sure it will again be one of the highlights of the season.”
Both of the individual league riders' championships have new staging venues in 2017, with the cream of the SGB Premiership lining up at Belle Vue on Saturday September 16 with Wolverhampton's Freddie Lindgren the current holder.
Meanwhile, the Championship equivalent (won as the PLRC by now retired Sheffield star Simon Stead last year) moves to Glasgow on Sunday September 24.
BRITISH SPEEDWAY MAJOR EVENTS 2017
SGBP PAIRS: Somerset, March 31
BRITISH FINAL: Belle Vue, June 19
SGBC PAIRS: Somerset, July 21
SGBC FOURS: Peterborough, August 6
SGBP RIDERS' CHAMPIONSHIP: Belle Vue, September 16
SGBC RIDERS' CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow, September 24
OTHER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP DATES
BRITISH UNDER-21 SEMI-FINAL: Peterborough, April 11
BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Poole, April 26
BRITISH SEMI-FINALS: Sheffield, May 4; Newcastle, Date TBC
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Last Updated : Thu 16 Feb 2017, 12:35 UK