THE biggest speedway event ever held in the North East is staged at Shielfield Park tonight with Berwick-based Frenchman David Bellego taking on the best young riders in the world.
Berwick hosts the second leg of the FIM World Under-21 Championship Final featuring riders from Poland, Denmark, France, Britain, Latvia and the Czech Republic and which should attract the biggest attendance at Shielfield in years.
In searching for a rider of sufficient class and ability, the authorities could hardly have come closer to home – during the summer speedway season, 20-year-old Bellego lives 500 yards from Shielfield Park.
Bandits’ co-promoter Dennis McCleary said: “We are delighted to hear of David getting this late call-up to replace Russian rider Vladimir Borodulin, who has suffered a racing injury.”
David Bellego came to Berwick last season.
From Marmande in France, he first appeared briefly in British racing at Glasgow in 2011, joining the Bandits on a full-time basis last season. Co-promoter Ryan Anderson said: “This is a great honour for David and will do wonders for the stature of French speedway as well as for us here in the borders.
“We have fans coming from all over Europe – as well as from throughout the UK -- to see the racing.”
“We are so proud the FIM, and the British authorities, have awarded us this huge event.
“I take it as a massive compliment to our amazing staff, who worked miracles in staging our first FIM international meeting last season despite heavy rain before and during racing.”
Another local resident who will be involved is 18-year-old Joe Jacobs, who is second reserve.
Jacobs, although hailing from Suffolk, races his speedway for Glasgow Tigers.
Adults will pay ï¿½20, with concessions ï¿½16, children 12-16 ï¿½6, 11 and under free.
Newcastle Diamonds host Premier League leaders at Byker tomorrow night (7pm).
RIDING ORDER: 1 Artur Czaja (Poland), 2 Piotr Pawlicki (Poland), 3 Kacper Gomolski (Poland), 4 Vaclav Milik (Czech Republic), 5 Nichlas Porsing (Denmark), 6 Lasse Bjerre (Denmark), 7 Patryk Dudek (Poland), 8 Adam Strzelec (Poland), 9 Mikkel Michelsen (Denmark), 10 Adam Ellis (Great Britain), 11 David Bellego (France), 12 Mikkel Bech (Denmark), 13 Bartosz Zmarzlik (Poland), 14 Kyle Howarth (Great Britain), 15 Nikolaj Jakobsen (Denmark), 16 Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia), 17 Robert Branford (Great Britain), 18 Joe Jacobs (Great Britain)