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[19 MAR 99] COVENTRY BEES SPEEDWAY FEATURE
Speedway Takes New Turn

Coventry ‘Bees’ open up their new speedway season tomorrow in a challenge match against their old rivals and title favourites Wolverhampton at Brandon Stadium.

But they will be without the fans’ favourite Billy Hamill who missed out in the pre-season whirligig to sign up riders.

Instead of lining up at the tapes for Coventry, Hamill will be several thousand miles away in his native California, a victim of the new system to restrict teams to a 40 points ceiling.

Each team can only employ seven riders whose average scores from last season total 40 points or less. Coventry have managed to compile a team which totals 39.8 and it will again be led by former World Champion Greg Hancock.

The American, who won the title in 1997 will be among the favourites for the individual crown when this year’s tournament gets under way.

Coventry form this season’s Elite League together with Belle Vue Aces, Eastbourne Eagles, Hull Vikings, Ipswich Witches, King’s Lynn Knights, Oxford Cheetahs, Peterborough Panthers, Poole Pirates and Wolverhampton Wolves.

Tomorrow they bed in the new team in a Challenge match against Wolverhampton at the Brandon circuit and the teams ride against each other again on Monday at Wolverhampton.

Both sides go into the season with new team managers. Tony Summers takes over from Colin Pratt at ‘Bees’ and John Westwood replaces Pete Adams at Wolverhampton.

Coventry have two new signings, both from Denmark. Rene Madsen, 26, has joined on loan from Berwick and 19 year old Charlie Gjedde is on a temporary transfer from Swindon.

The ‘Bees’ line up is completed by Hancock, Andreas Jonsson, Brian Andersen, Shaun Tacey and Stuart Robson.

This season, in league matches only, the last heat of the match will be run over six laps instead of the usual four. The promoters hope it will lead to more exciting finishes.
 

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CWN / Sport / Speedway / News / 19 Mar 99

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