Monarchs face new outfit in Championship as team limit is increased

Edinburgh Monarchs will take on Lakeside Hammers next year. Pic: TSPL
Edinburgh Monarchs will take on Lakeside Hammers next year. Pic: TSPL
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Edinburgh Monarchs will race in an expanded 11-team Championship next year and will be able to use a higher team-building points limit after alterations were made in the wake of the British Speedway Promoters Association’s AGM.

National League side Lakeside Hammers, who race at the Arena Essex Raceway in Purfleet, have joined the second tier from the National League and in another change, the team limit has been moved up to 42.50 with no restrictions in comparison to last season’s 40.

Monarchs co-promoter Alex Harkess welcomed the move, saying: “The limit has returned to what it was a few years ago and with no restrictions we don’t have to worry about finding two British riders at reserve, which should make things a lot easier.

“Last season you were building from the bottom because there were not enough young riders to go round. You were scratching around trying to find suitable candidates.”

It has also been announced that the Premiership will race on set days in 2018, with Monday and Wednesday chosen as the fixed days. The Championship will run between Thursday and Sunday.

Monarchs have been drawn in the northern section of the League Cup alongside Workington Comets, Berwick Bandits and Glasgow Tigers, while in the KO Cup first round, the Capital side host Glasgow. The winner will face Berwick in the second round.

The Championship programme will consist of all teams facing each other once at home and once away. The top four teams at the end of the season will contest the play-offs.

Monarchs are now focusing on assembling their team for next year. Harkess added: “We have not spoken to anybody yet but we have in our mind an idea of what the team will be.

“It’s all about who wants to return from last season and our priority will be to open talks with our top end-riders first.”