Time to copy speedway USA style....by Harry Ward
As a new season starts with the winter yet to pass I often stand on the terraces and wonder why I do it. I like my meetings to be short, sharp and entertaining but how often does this happen?
Do the promoters, referees etc really understand how boring it can be when a meeting drags on for two and a half to three hours, freezing cold. You know the sort of night, the race is stopped for an unsatisfactory start and the riders have only done thirty yards and yet seem obliged to go back to the pits for the crucial teaspoonful of fuel and the cooling of the clutch for thirty seconds when I'm bleeding freezing.
Well I have been fortunate enough to watch racing in Southern California at a few venues and they all have one thing in common - Fast furious speedway on tight little tracks with around twenty eight races all done and dusted in around two to two and a half hours.
Handicap racing with eight riders per race, scratch races with the top boys battling it out for the nights honours. As soon as the race finishes the next batch of riders are on the track. No gimmicks needed, just good close racing on well prepared tracks.
If ever there was a good excuse to make a meeting last it's the Californian weather but they never need to take advantage of it. Why then do our tracks forget about those who pay to be entertained. I have to say that not all tracks are guilty. Len Silver runs a smooth meeting...no interval til the main match is over then a parade of the winning team then straight on with a second half. So if he can do it why do others need to make the gap between races average out at ten minutes?
So come on Promoters, look towards the future by not driving the fans away. You have a great product but its being ruined by those in charge. Wake up before the sport dies again. It's a competitive world out there with lots of other things to do.
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