NEW COMPETITIONS CONFIRMED FOR BRITISH SPEEDWAY

PAUL BURBIDGE

SGB Premiership clubs will compete in brand-new League Cup and Pairs competitions as the SGB Championship’s big events return for 2022.

The Premiership League Cup sees the six top-flight UK clubs split into two regional groups of three, with Belle Vue, Sheffield and Wolverhampton in Group A and Ipswich, King’s Lynn and Peterborough in Group B.

The sides will meet the teams in their group home and away, with the two group winners facing off in a two-legged final.

Meanwhile, the Premiership Pairs has been given a sensational revamp as it returns to the calendar after a 10-year absence.

Having previous been staged as a one-off event, the rebooted competition will see every team’s top two riders compete in a stellar series, which will see a round staged at all six clubs.

The British Championship Final will take place at Belle Vue’s National Speedway Stadium once again on a date to be confirmed.

New competitions have also been added in the SGB Championship, with the Championship Riders Championship and Best Pairs making a welcome return.

Poole will host the Championship Riders Championship – featuring all the division’s top riders – on a date to be confirmed, while league newcomers Oxford host the Best Pairs on August 12 – the night before the British FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff.

A new summer series has also been launched. The 11 second-tier clubs will be divided into three groups with Berwick, Edinburgh and Glasgow in the Scottish section; Leicester, Newcastle, Redcar and Scunthorpe in the northern section, and Poole, Plymouth, Birmingham and Oxford in the southern section.

The winner of each group will line up in a three-team final, to be staged on neutral shale at Sheffield.

The Knockout Cup will be staged once again, with 2021 winners Poole taking on Plymouth in the quarter finals.

The first round ties are Birmingham v Leicester for the right to face Scunthorpe, Edinburgh v Newcastle with the winner meeting Glasgow and Oxford v Redcar for the chance to tackle Berwick.

British Speedway chairman Rob Godfrey said: “With the 2022 season getting underway at a much more traditional time, there was a general feeling that we do need to be staging more meetings than we did this year when we had the late start due to the pandemic.

“Both leagues have therefore added more meaningful events to their schedules with some interesting new formats and more local clashes, and I’m sure they will prove to be well supported.

“It’s also good to have more of the shared events making their return – these have always proved popular, and fingers crossed it should all add up to a far more normal year for us all!”

Photo: Taylor Lanning

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