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
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 years tournament gets under way.
Coventry form this seasons Elite League together with Belle Vue Aces, Eastbourne
Eagles, Hull Vikings, Ipswich Witches, Kings 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.