Friday February 10, 2017
LEICESTER Speedway is planning to increase the track time that their two mascots Dan and Joe Thompson enjoy at Beaumont Park this season.

The twins who have ridden demonstration laps of the track as part of the pre-match presentation are now set to feature in a series of races against riders of comparable age after the main team event.

The twelve year olds from Atherstone excelled in last season’s Youth Championship competition. Joe won four of the eight rounds and in the British 125cc Class Individual Championship Dan came first in the final ahead of his brother who was the defending champion having won the title the previous year. The brothers are busy making preparations to race at a higher level of competition when the season starts by entering the 250cc class section.

The twins’ father Darren Thompson said: “On a personal note this is new territory for the boys moving forward to the next class of 250cc. We have nearly completed building the bikes and without the support of some fabulous sponsorship it would not be possible. Moving to250cc is extremely costly and with everything times two can sometimes seem like an impossible task. We have sold all our 125cc equipment to enable us to get the 250cc engines tuned and are just hoping to get the last few bits to complete. We have had a lot of help from Chris Harris supplying us with his last season's parts at a very good cost.

“It looks as though it will be almost the start of the season by the time we are ready for first practice but I'm sure the boys will pick up where they left off. They are so desperate to get back on their bikes again and although this year may not be as competitive as last year until they get used to the new engines. I'm sure it will be a great learning year, but this is Dan and Joe so who knows they will probably hit the ground running with a view to taking the chequered flag first from day one.”

The Lions Promoter David Darcy said: “We have taken great interest in Dan and Joe and watched them grow year on year into competent speedway riders in their age group. We believe that they both have a great future ahead of them and decided to offer them further opportunities to help them increase their skills particularly as they will be learning how to handle a higher capacity engine. To make our initiative possible it has meant that we will no longer be hosting Long Eaton’s Midland Development League fixtures at Leicester and we wish them well in their quest to find a stadium of their own.”

The Beaumont Park Stadium has been the home venue for the Long Eaton Invaders since speedway came back to Leicester in 2011 and in their first season the Derbyshire club were champions of the Midland Development League.

Long Eaton’s Project Director Martin Widman said: “Whilst this is a small setback of the aim of keeping the Invaders name alive, and of course giving those up and coming riders a chance to participate in a competitive team competition, work continues behind the scenes trying to secure land on which to build a track and run a team in the National League. The management of the Invaders wish the Leicester Lions every success in 2017 and thank them sincerely for their generous support in hosting the Invaders in the Midland Development League since its inception in 2011.”

Beaumont Park will again host a round of the British Youth Championship for the sixth consecutive season. The competition is seen as a learning ground for many of today’s riders who have progressed to make a career out of speedway and it is expected that Leicester’s two mascots Dan and Joe Thompson will be competing in the 250cc class section.

Picture shows Dan in red helmet and Joe in blue (Courtesy: STEVE DIXON)

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