GP BACK AT GANDOR GREEN
Mansfield venue gets nod for fourth time
As expected Mansfield will be the venue for the SL8 British Grand Prix, the OLSA realistically having two choices, the 22,000 capacity Gandor Green Arena, or Totton’s Testwoood Arena—which can hold 24,300 paying spectators—the hosts of last years home nation round. In the end the sports governing body decided to continue their rotational policy between the two clubs, Long Eaton’s Perksdone—the next largest purpose built arena with a capacity of 10,000—simply not big enough to hold all those wishing to witness the meeting first hand. Rifles promoter Martin Smith though will be happy that his club have been allocated a World Championship 3rd round tie, it will become the highest ranked meeting ever to be staged on the east midlands circuit. Totton meanwhile will stage the British Championship Final for the first time in the club’s history, the decision giving hope that a five figure crowd will be attracted to the meeting for the first time, especially given it is highly likely home rider Simon Snow will be competing. Other winners in the OLSA hand-out include Bradford (World Championship 2nd round), Heath (WU21 semi final) and Stirling (Division One Riders Championship). The first piece of club silverware of SL8 will be awarded at Ferndown, hosts of this years Pairs Final. On the track Belfast were the only club to complete the pre-season challenge rounds with a 100% record, they start as favourites for the League Championship this season. Alex May meanwhile won the BU19 Final at Rowley, the Somerset second string successfully defending the title he won in SL7 by beating Harry Nichols in a race-off, both go on to represent the UK in the WU19 Final.