Redcar Bears 2008 Premier League Speedway Preview
By Dennis Beeforth
Wednesday 05 Mar 2008 11:05:55
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Firstly let me introduce myself my name’s is Dennis Beeforth and many bears fans will know me as a steward at Redcar speedway and as a long time speedway fan. I have been a petrol head for many years  and enjoy many forms of motorsport but speedway has always been in my blood as a youngster I would have loved to have a dabbled but my old fella would never stump up to to give me the chance to have a go.

I starte
d going to Cleveland Park in the late seventies and have been hooked ever since. Like many a Middlesbrough Tiger or Boro Bear fan it was a joy to watch the likes of Steve Wilcock , Martin Dixon and  the then young Gary Havelock  around the Cleveland Park track and to witness their league success in 1981 and their fours wins in 1985 and 86.

As we all know speedway ceased
at Cleveland Park in 1996 and the sport died on Teesside until 2006 when Chris van Strattan, Gareth Rogers and Glyn Taylor relaunched the sport at the  South Tees Motorsport Park. And what a launch it was in their first season the Redcar Bears proved the pundits wrong by finishing in the play offs when it was predicted they would collect the wooden spoon.

Last season the Bears were hammered by injuries as one rider came back from an injury another would be absent. All but one member of the team was missing from one month to another. However, towards the end of the season although the Bears missed out on the play offs there was still silverwear to be had. The bears did the fans proud firstly picking up their first piece of major silverwear in the Jack Young shield by be
ating Birmingham home and away but also beating Newcastle Diamonds for the Tyne Tees trophy for the second year running.

The  new speedway season is only weeks away and prepar
ations are well on the way with the team and also at the south tees Motorsport Park. The 2008 team is complete with captain and ex world champ Gary Havelock leading the team for his third season back on Teesside. 2007 Bears rider of the year James Grieves is back for a second spell with the Bears and will be hoping to carry on were he left off last season with a string of high scores after a difficult 2006 with Newcastle.
It’s make or break year for Chris Kerr as he starts his third season with the Bears team. To enable Chris to carry on racing in
Britain in 2009 he has to gain an eight point average to obtain a visa. To add to this Chris has parted company with his main sponsor team Enzville so he is looking for local sponsorship to help him out this season.

Josh Auty is back for a second season after taking time during the close season to decide who to ride for as he did have other options. The Bears fans will hope he turns it on as he did last season before getting injured.

With M
athieu Tresarrieu going to be sidelined for most of the 2008 season after suffering a major knee injury while grass tracking the bears promotion have signed Aussie ace Ty Proctor. Known to Aussie speedway fans as the showman Ty has a style much the same as Matty and he recently put it to good use by finishing second in the Aussie under 21 finale so it bodes well for the Bears.

Dan Giffard is another returning Bear for his third season and another rider to be injured last season. Dan will be hoping for a better spell this year, having been in the team proper early last season Dan found it tough going and his average dropped so he will again be back in a reserve berth. However, this could be a trump card for the Bears as he will be one of the most experienced reserves in the Premier League and will give us strength in depth which we lacked
at reserve last season.

Arlo Bugeja is returning to the Bears after a difficult time when he joined last season. This time hopefully should be different as he fills the other reserve berth r
ather than having to go into the team proper.

Regarding the
Redcar speedway arena, work is well on the way. I popped down last week and Glyn and his team were working hard painting the new ply wood safety fence, a new grandstand is being built off site and should be ready sometime in May, extra track lighting has been put in on the back straight and as far as I know extra toilets are being installed.

But probably the best news is th
at Redcar speedway has landed a major team sponsor in TLS van rental from Billingham. This is a major preseason boost for the Bears in only their second full season of Premiership speedway. Credit has to go to Gareth Rogers and Steve Harland for landing the deal. One thing that has been noted by a lot of Redcar speedway fans is how open and forthcoming promoter Glyn Taylor is during the close season. He has kept us all informed of his plans for the team and arena on the Redcar Bears fans forum

whereas many other promoters keep the cards close to their chest. It’s a breath of fresh air to see this in the sport, so there you have it my first article for  I hope to add more articles as the season gets underway.



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