Speedway is considered to be one of the rawest and most exciting motorsports on the planet.
Four riders race around oval circuits, consisting of shale and dirt, of around 300 metres in length in an anti-clockwise direction for four laps at a time.
To get around the tight corners at high speed the riders have to accelerate to bring the rear wheel out and initiate a ‘skid’. The bikes have no brakes, one fixed gear and run on methanol.
The first man across the line picks up the heat/race win and three points for either his team or himself (individual meeting). The team, or rider, with the most points at the end of the meeting wins.
King’s Lynn Stars
The club’s senior team may have never won the top-flight (Premier League is the second tier) but are one of Britain’s most recognised sides. The struggles of the 1980s have been overcome and replaced with second-tier dominance in the 2000s and a return to the Elite League (now called the Premiership) in 2011 – where Lynn have reached the play-offs twice.
View the fixtures here: http://www.kingslynnstars.co/fixtures17
King’s Lynn Young Stars
The National League is seen as the first major stepping stone on a young rider’s career. A host of the sport’s top stars, including two-time world champion Tai Woffinden, earned their spurs in the third tier as promising rookies. Lynn’s senior side continues to benefit from having a ‘second team’ with many homegrown talents progressing from it.
History of the Stars
Saddlebow Road started staging greyhound meetings from 1951 while a handful of grass track events were held at the stadium in ‘52 and ‘53. Stock car racing was also staged at the ground for a couple of years before it was left standing derelict.
Violet and her husband Maurice Littlechild, along with Cyril Crane, obtained a licence to hold speedway meetings at the venue and on Sunday, May 23, 1965, staged their first. It was won by Terry Betts who went on to become a club legend. Lynn were accepted into the British League in 1966.
Maurice Littlechild died of cancer in 1972 and his widow, Violet, became co-promoter alongside Crane. Journalist Martin Rogers’ influence at Saddlebow Road grew and he served as general manager between 1973 and 1979. Crowds of around 10,000 attended some of the biggest meetings to be staged at the home of the Stars.
Rogers quit Lynn to become Leicester boss while Crane took on a more hands-on role. He and Littlechild then sold out the speedway promoting rights, but retained ownership of the stadium, to Rogers. In 1988 Bill Barker and Malcolm Simmons came in as new co-promoters as the club sought an upturn in fortunes on and off the track. The decade will, however, sadly be remembered for three riders dying after accidents at the track.
With Barker going it alone, new heroes were found in the shape of young talents Mark Loram and Henka Gustafsson. Yet in 1992, Barker stood down amid growing financial concerns with Keith ‘Buster’ Chapman taking over the reins. Lynn did not run in 1996 with Chapman unable to to come to a rental agreement with the stadium owners. He spent a year as Oxford team boss but returned in 1997, now as stadium owner, to relaunch Lynn – rebranded as the Knights. The stadium was renamed the Norfolk Arena in 1999.
Nigel Wagstaff came in alongside co-promoter Brian Griffin, who arrived with Mike Western at the back end of the 90s, but when he left for Oxford in 2002, Chapman came back in. The club dropped back to the Premier League in 2003 and became known as the Stars once more. Memorable treble-winning seasons arrived in 2006 and 2009 under the management of team boss Rob Lyon.
Chapman’s massive financial investment saw huge improvements made to the venue – now considered as one of the best in Britain. A main stand, known as the royal box, and refurbished bar area are two of the finest upgrades which helped Lynn host five successive World Cup meetings from 2010. A huge sponsorship deal, agreed in ‘15, saw the stadium become the Adrian Flux Arena.