THE Somerset Rebels have a break from competitive racing tomorrow (Friday), but this does not mean that there will be any let-up in the action at the Oaktree Arena as a Somerset Select side take on a septet representing the Isle of Wight Warriors, with admission prices cut to just £10 for adult and concession categories.
The Isle of Wight are returning to the speedway fold after taking a sabbatical from the sport over the past couple of years, and will compete in the National League, which is the speedway’s third tier of action in the UK.
With this in mind, Somerset are tracking three of their main Premier League side, namely Jake Allen, Bradley Wilson-Dean and Zach Wajtknecht, the latter two being amongst the National League’s top riders in 2015.
To this trio the Rebels add club asset Nick Phillips and 15-year-old Henry Atkins, who was the long-standing Somerset mascot until his elevation into the adult ranks at the start of this year, they being joined by the Cradley duo of Luke Chessell and James Purchase.
The Isle of Wight have put together a team combining youth and experience for their inaugural season back racing, the experience being provided by three ex-Rebels, Lee Smart, Mark Baseby and Benji Compton, and ex-Weymouth and King’s Lynn rider James Cockle.
The ‘youth’ element of the side comes in the shape of Kelsey Dugard, whose father Martin is an ex-British Under-21 Champion and winner of the 2000 British GP, Matt Saul and Tyler Govier, the latter being a regular for Exeter in their series of 2nd half matches staged at the Oaktree Arena.
For Friday’s match, however, Somerset’s Charles Wright will line up at number 1 for the Warriors in place of Compton.
“There were a couple of highly entertaining National League standard matches staged at the Oaktree Arena last season, and this has the makings of following in their tyre-tracks,” said Somerset team manager Garry May.
“From our point of view, it gives some of our newer riders the chance to get some more competitive laps under their belts, whilst also casting an eye over some of the up and coming riders, who, I am sure, will be looking to put one over the more established riders, so all in all, it should be a good match.”
Somerset Rebels Select: Jake Allen [c], Bradley Wilson-Dean, Zach Wajtknecht, Luke Chessell, James Purchase, Nick Phillips, Henry Atkins.
Isle of Wight Warriors Select: Charles Wright, James Cockle [c], Mark Baseby, Lee Smart, Kelsey Dugard, Matt Saul, Tyler Govier