Towards the end of 2007 a Scorpions’ fan and amateur rider, Andy Harrison, persuaded the club that running amateur meetings would be a good idea. The first meeting was run on 26th January 2008 and, largely due to the commitment of the large band of volunteers that run them, they have proven to be an overwhelming success. Three more meetings were run before the start of the season and there was big demand from Conference League riders (and an odd Premier League one or two) for pre-season practice in the Open Class. Following that an eight round Summer Championship was arranged and a six round Winter Series.
The meetings are so popular that there are separate meetings for flat track classes. In the speedway meetings there are now six adult classes:
– Open (for riders who are league standard to second-half riders)
– Novice (for beginners through to riders who can normally get a full slide on)
– Support (for riders who are between the two classes)
– 160cc (where the upper engine size limit allows 125s, 140s and 160s to compete on a relatively even playing field with a limited racing budget required. This class is flourishing)
– Then there are two ‘Upright’ classes, split on ability, for anyone riding an upright engine that doesn’t want to go in the Open, Support or Novice Classes. The Upright Class is irrespective of engine make or age.
– there are four Junior classes (Youth 500, Youth 250 and two Youth 125/150 classes split on ability)
In the flat track meetings there are classes for
– flat track (plus separate vintage flat track class)
– inappropriates (bikes never designed for racing on road tyres)
– street tracker (an intermediate class for bikes more suited or modified to oval racing)
– MX/Dirt Bike (plus separate vintage class)
– two adult pit bike classes
– two junior classes
– separate scooter and ladies classes in the summer (April to October)
The meetings cost £40 (£40 for adult classes and £30 for youth classes) and, as with all competitive practice/racing, a paramedic is in attendance. At the very least fuel and oil is available to purchase and trophies are presented to the top three in each class. A race card is always produced and the Betty Boop Diner is always open. It is free entry for spectators and the meeting dates can be found on the Track Calendar page.
– Helmet colours are required (although can be borrowed) and Dirt deflectors are compulsory in the Open, Support and Youth 250 and Youth 500 classes.
– Riders will not necessarily be excluded for touching tapes at the start but if they are broken the rider will be allowed to ride but will not score any points. However, riders must sit still at the tapes as re-runs will be ordered if ‘rolling’ starts occur and serious or persistent infringements will see riders excluded.
– When a qualifying race has to be stopped ‘in the interest of safety’ the rider deemed the primary cause will be able to re-start from the tapes but no points will be scored. Races may be awarded at the referee’s discretion after 2 laps have been completed.
– Gate positions in the finals are selected by riders based on their finishing order in qualifying. Ties are separated by the races between the tied riders, then the count back method (wins, seconds, thirds etc.), if possible race winning times and then by the toss of a coin.
– Series points are awarded on the results of the finals. However where a rider qualifies for a final but is unable to take part they will be awarded the place immediately behind those who did take part in that final. For example Rider X qualifies for a B final but can’t take part. The B Final decides positions 5 to 7 so Rider X is awarded 8th.
– If finals can’t be run then places will be decided on points scored, result between the riders, countback and finally fastest times. If all methods fail to split riders then they will share a position.
– Tied championship placings are decided on head-to-head over all championship rounds and then by the count back method (the number of first places, then second places, then third places etc. etc.) If still tied the championship position will be tied.