EUROPEAN STYLE TEAM SPEEDWAY COMES TO KERN COUNTY RACEWAY – TONIGHT, APRIL 24thadmin
! BAKERSFIELD BANDITS RETURN AFTER 45 YEARS!
Speedway Motorcycle racing is back at KCRP on Saturday April 24th with a style of racing most often seen in Europe. The event will feature a team challenge between the Bakersfield Bandits, who were 1976 USA Speedway League Champions, and the Perris Pirates.
Though your typical USA Speedway meeting is individual competition, in Europe 95% of race meetings feature team racing. The race format is very simple. It is the usual 4 riders per race with two riders from each team taking part. Points score the usual 3 for a win, 2 for second, 1 for third. The team competition runs over 12 heats with points accumulating and the team with the most points being the winner.
Once the team competition is over, the top scorers will return for an individual main event with team loyalties no longer in place, it’s every rider for themselves!
Europe is the Major Leagues of Speedway. Professional Leagues exists in Britain, Sweden, Denmark and Sweden with up to 12 teams in a league. As the countries run league on racing on different week days (for example, Poland runs on Sundays, Sweden on Tuesdays), the top riders may race in several countries for various clubs. They may race up to 6 nights a week and take 10 flights to get from country to country.
KCRP Speedway Motorcycle race director, who is himself from Great Britain enthused, “Team Speedway brings out the best in the riders. If you have enjoyed our two recent shows, this one takes it to another level. As the riders are not just racing for themselves and have a team partner in each heat, strategy comes in. In a normal race if you get the hole shot you want to ride off into the distance and cruise to victory. In team events you are going to look to bring your team mate to the front with you for maximum points. So, you will block or slow down the opposing team’s riders to do that.”
“Back in the 1970s Team Speedway was tried in the USA and the Bakersfield Bandits were champions. Thanks to local enthusiast Paul Hitchcock, the Bandits are back after 45 years. We really want to build team speedway and have a proper league in the USA in 2022. I hope plenty of curious locals come out and make noise and support their team.”
Local riders Brad and Robbie Sauer are lined up to race for the Bandits who will also include North American Champion Max Ruml in their line-up. It is expected the best riders in the USA will join the rider list. Ten time AMA National Champion Billy Janniro, after last weekends ‘King of Kern’ race enthused on social media, “Great track, that was a hell of a race. Can’t wait till the next one.”
Admission is $20 with kids 12 and under $10 and 5 and under free. VIP all access pit passes are available for $25. Parking in free and full food and drink concessions are available. Tickets can be purchased at the box office from 5pm on race day.
The event also form Round 2 of the ‘Spring Triple Crown Series.’ The top four riders in points will contest a Dash For Cash race with $1,000 to the winner at the series final on 8th May.