Speedway: Scottish Open gains a new link

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David HARRISON MOTORS are the new title sponsors of the Scottish Open Championship which opens the speedway season at Armadale on Friday, March 23, and today Monarchs chief Alex Harkess said he is delighted that the Peebles-based Ford dealership has stepped in to back the star-studded individual event following the withdrawal of Keyline (Broxburn), who had funded the showpiece gathering for the past six years.

Harrison Motors sponsored a Premier League fixture at the Lothian Arena in 2011 and also advertise in the match programme, and Harkess says he hopes their first-time involvement with the Scottish Open could open the door for further partnerships in the future.

Harkess told the Evening News: “This is a marketing opportunity and you have to take these when they come along. It’s important to find a sponsor for something like the Scottish Open as it adds prestige to the event and also adds financial security. This is a new venture for Harrison Motors and we hope they get a lot out of it and they will be around for a long time.”

Harkess added: “Ford is a name which is very familiar within motorsport, especially in the world of rallying, but speedway is a new and welcome avenue for them.”

Bob Harrison, who runs the Peebles operation, said in these tough economic times they were only too glad to give Monarchs some assistance.

“We have a connection with the Monarchs,” he said, “and we were asked to step up to the mark after the previous sponsor pulled out. It’s all about an awareness-building opportunity for us, though, to be frank, it’s also about taking an interest in the speedway boys.

“We are all up against it in business right now and if Monarchs need a bit of help with sponsorship from time to time, you have to be able to try and help.”