Yep, 15-minutes to complete that race, and why do riders need to return to the pit gate for mechanical adjustments, each time it gets stopped for a tapes infringement. I think the time allowance in circumstances like that, should be one minute, and not the customary two.
I agree with some comments about various racing lines having disappeared, which has reduced some of the excitement, but as Buster said, he's still working on that, and hopefully will be sorted soon, so Panthers fans can enjoy the racing they are accustomed too. Having said that, after Belle Vue, I still think it's the next best racing strip in the Premiership by a country mile.
As for the meeting, I did enjoy it very much, and it was a sheer joy to see Kasper Andersen perform in the way that he did for King's Lynn, and hope that gives him the confidence to now move forward with his career.
Will I return to the East of England Arena again this season, the answer is no. Tractor racing after Heats 2, 4, 7 and 10 (this admittedly was part of a 13-minute interval) just doesn't float my boat, and from a racing point of view, it didn't need it. I notice Hans N Andersen said in his programme notes, there are times the track shouldn't be graded, and that they need to be a bit more shrewd !!
Mildenhall raced on a blistering hot afternoon the previous day, but didn't have to resort to these sort of delays, and produced some good racing.
On top of that, we had a delayed start to allow late comers to get into the stadium, with one of the reasons being mentioned was the local football match. POPPYCOCK, would the football match have been delayed if some of the public had not been inside the ground at the scheduled kick-off time, of course they wouldn't, so why should the speedway? Totally unfair on those that had been inside the East of England Arena at 4.30pm when the gates opened. If the football kicked off at 3.00pm (I don't know if it did), it would have been over by approximately 4.45pm, which leaves more than enough time to get a couple of miles or so up the road to their next sporting choice. Just not acceptable for me I'm afraid.
Anyway, I hope both clubs go on to enjoy a good season, and thanks for the entertainment between delays.
And since when have refs ever been consistent, especially Carrington.
But a decent meeting with a fair result, the crowd was magnificent easily our best of the season so far with a fairly full grandstand and the fifty fifty winner got £290, another season best.
Supporters hut had a few programmes left but the turnstiles sold out and not a speck of dust all night on a quite warm evening which shows it can be done if prepared properly.
It was very disappointing for Eastbourne that neither Gordon, Kelly or Ron turned out for 'The Eagles' in 1983 having all putting in superlative performances the previous season. There was a very interesting interview with Ron in an edition of 'Backtrack' some years ago (I'll hunt it out) but if memory serves he decided not to return to the UK because he was involved in setting up his own speedway in the States. He rode with a knee injury picked up while at Poole which, if I recall, always caused him some issues. A great talent and lost too early in the UK.
I'd certainly usually be of the opinion that two hours is the maximum time for a meeting. Yesterday, though, given superb weather, good company, a cracking meeting and absolutely no reason to get home promptly it didn't seem to matter much. Better than a freezing cold midweek meeting when you have to get up for work the next day.
Having said that, the delay at heat 15 - which caused much of the damage - was apparently due to a squabble over the line up. Given that Belle Vue's place in the PSC final was assured by then, it should never had happened because it made no difference who was riding.
There was a lot more watering than normal. Andy Meredith told me that he intended to water after every two heats (he did the same at the Colts meeting on Friday) and after heat 4 did just that. If he hadn't, we would have had a dustbowl and it was only because he was unaware of the daft heat 15 delay that we got the dust in that race.
Better a few minutes more on the clock than being covered in crap and unable to see the racing (that's precisely what happened at Sheffield the day before and they have been savagely criticised for it).
To give Belle Vue credit, Neil Drummond did announce why there was a delay and Chase the Ace was thrown into the breach to keep the crowd entertained. At many places, neither the announcement nor the floor show would have happened.