Relief for fans as Wasps officials confirm they'll compete next season
7:00am Monday 21st November 2011 in Sport
NEWPORT Wasps will defend the British Premier League Knockout Cup after club officials declared the team will run again in 2012.
However, Newport Speedway is to ground-share its Queensway Meadows Stadium home track with stock-car racing run by Hampshire-based Trojan International.
The stock-car racing will take place every other Saturday starting in March next year, with the Wasps primarily now switching their race nights to Friday.
The decision not to close down Newport Speedway comes after months of uncertainty, mainly due to financial circumstances.
Only last week the club revealed National League side Newport Hornets had been disbanded for financial reasons and there were many who believed the Wasps were heading for the same fate.
But after returning from the British Speedway Promoters’ Association AGM at Rugby, Newport co-promoter Steve Mallett confirmed the good news.
“We go again in 2012,” remarked Mallett, whose co-promoters are son Nick and Dudley-based dentist Peter Mole. “We have had the offer from Trojan International for a time now, but it was only last Wednesday night that I finally made up my mind to accept it.
“But I could not inform anyone of it until I had confirmed it to the BSPA AGM and now we can plan for next season.
“Trojan International owner Craig Robinson will actively become involved with Newport Speedway and we are all looking forward to working with him.”
After starting the 2011 season in disastrous fashion with only two wins from their first 11 league meetings, the Wasps climbed off the bottom to eventually finish fifth following team re-building.
Mallett took over Newport Speedway in time for the 2009 season after the sport had been lost to the city for 11 months following the death of previous owner Tim Stone.
Now, however, the offer from Trojan International means speedway being handed a life-line and it’s believed team re-building will start immediately.
Influential skipper Leigh Lanham and dashing Dane Charlie Gjedde had already stated their intentions to ride again for Newport, while it is also understood Aussie teenage reserve Todd Kurtz has indicated his desire to return in 2012.
- Newport Wasps’ Knockout Cup defence will start with a first-round, two-leg clash against Leicester Tigers.