Newly formed Bullets to take to track for first time
The tapes are set to rise on a new season of speedway this weekend at Berwick with the launch of the club’s new National League side, the Bullets.
This is the first time since the early 1990’s the club will have a side competing in the third tier of British Speedway, and their fixtures will run simultaneously with those of the first team, the Bandits who will race in the Championship.
As in previous years they will also have a NE Development side in action, which means that for the first time in their 52 year history, the club will have three teams taking to the track in 2021.
“After a year out it’s important that we get back in the swing of things as quickly as possible,” said co-owner and promoter Jamie Courtney.
“We obviously haven’t been idle behind the scenes during lockdown and a lot of work has gone into preparing the new shape track, improvements to the stadium (including new noice reduction measures) and of course building our teams and getting all our sponsors on board.”
COVID-19 restrictions meant there was no competitive racing at Shielfield in 2020, and the ongoing absence of supporters until May 17 means that so far this year team action has been none existent at the border track.
However, the Bullets will launch the 2021 campaign with a home match against Armadale on Saturday (May 1), a meeting which will be staged behind closed doors. A return match between the sides will be held at Armadale next Friday (May 7) also behind closed doors.
The Bandits will then launch their season on Saturday, May 22 (with supporters) with a home meeting against Birmingham, which will be followed by the Bullets v Belle Vue from Manchester.
“After a year out I can’t wait to go racing again,” said Courtney, “and I am sure the riders and the fans all feel very much the same way.
“The introduction of the Bullets is something we have been working towards for some time as it now forms a natural pathway from the Development League, which we have always been involved in, right through to the first team.”
Representing the Bullets will be Leon Flint and Kyle Bickley, who will both also ride for the Bandits, Ryan MacDonald, Greg Blair, Kieran Douglas, Mason Watson and Ben Rathbone.