Sam Masters barred from the Scottish Open by the BSPA
Former Edinburgh Monarchs skipper Sam Masters has been refused permission by the British Speedway Promoters Association to compete in tonight’s Scottish Open Championship meeting at Armadale Stadium.
Masters, who won the title in 2014, has been barred from riding over visa problems which govern which tracks he can appear at, Masters rides for Wolverhampton Wolves in the Premiership division.
Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell explained: “We first received notification of a problem by the BSPA last week, however we presented them with fresh evidence at the start of this week and were confident we would get the necessary permission to include him in the 12 man field.
“Unfortunately we were told he was unable to ride at Armadale.”
Masters’ place is taken by Ben Barker who was released by Redcar Bears three days ago. And Victor Palovaara, who has joined Monarchs as an injury replacement for Justin Sedgmen, requires time to work on his bikes so Monarchs reserve William Lawson steps in.
Australian star Rory Schlein, inset, is going for his fifth triumph in the event which would be a record in the modern era. Schlein’s victory in 2018 equalled Monarchs’ legend Peter Carr’s haul of four crowns and Schlein said: “It was a thrill to equal Peter’s total because he was the best rider I ever saw around Armadale.”
Monarchs fans looking for a home victory will give their backing to current captain Ricky Wells who has been runner-up in the last two Opens. Wells, by his own admission has been a bit inconsistent this season, but was back to something like his best a fortnight ago when he racked up 15 points from six rides against Glasgow Tigers in the Championship Shield.
Wells also defeated Tigers ace Craig Cook in the final heat to deny his rival a five ride maximum.
Cameron Heeps is the other Monarch who could scoop gold. He has made an impressive start to the season, and not just for Monarchs, he is showing good form for his Premiership club Ipswich Witches too.
Never scared to mix it against his rivals, Heeps, if he gets the breaks, could just find himself atop the podium clutching the Jack Young Memorial Trophy as a first time winner.