Danny Ford hopes new shale delivery will ‘improve the entertainment’ at Wimborne Road

DANNY Ford is hoping a 28-tonne delivery of shale from Scotland will “improve the entertainment value” for speedway fans at Wimborne Road.

Poole Pirates have not had a home meeting since defeating Birmingham Brummies 54-36 two weeks ago, a win which extended their lengthy unbeaten run at Wimborne Road, which stretches all the way back to September 2019.

Speaking after that meeting, captain Danny King said: “The track caught me out a bit as there wasn’t quite as much material on it as I had thought during the track walk.”

After a slow start, King recovered to post a score of 12 on the night, winning his last three races.

Since that meeting with Birmingham, Poole have invested in some new shale, giving track man Terry Chrabaszcz some work to do ahead of the visit of Newcastle Diamonds tomorrow evening (7.30pm).

“We’ve had 28 tonnes delivered down from Edinburgh,” Ford told the Daily Echo.

“It’s not very straightforward, but hopefully that provides our track man Terry exactly what he needs to be able to do the job that he’s been doing so well, so far.

“At the minute, the track is as smooth as it has been for as long as I can remember. But the problem is, there just wasn’t enough material on there to make much of it if you didn’t make the gate.

“But we have a setup at Poole on the gates that works perfectly for our riders and you don’t want to change that and then it affects a winning team.

“But we are adding a little bit more material to the track so that it makes it a little bit more ‘racey’, which I hope will improve the entertainment value, while not changing it so dramatically that it negatively affects our team.”

Pirates have had a mixed start to their Championship campaign and, at the time of writing, sit fifth in the division following a heavy defeat at Plymouth Gladiators last time out.

Discussing the start to the season, promoter Ford said: “It’s been a funny one. A bit stop-start, much like we had last year when, during the COVID restrictions, we chose to run only a couple of meetings.

“We haven’t really built any strong momentum just yet, but there’s been really positive signs.

“We just need to build that momentum and get everyone clicking on the same night because I think once all the riders click on the same night, we’re going to be a real force to be reckoned with.”

He added: “I think other than Richard (Lawson), who has been sensational from start to finish so far and probably has been the standout performer, everyone has kind of been a bit up and down, which is to be expected.

“We haven’t really had a good run of fixtures.

“I think going into the season we knew there were some real strong teams and it was going to be a really competitive year.

“I said at the start of the year, I think there’s probably eight or nine teams that you could count as being contenders for the Championship. I think we’re seeing that.

“A lot of really dominant home performances, a lot of teams have built really strong teams on their own tracks, which is making things difficult when you go away, to pick up anything.

“There’s a lot of teams this year I think will go unbeaten at home, hopefully we’ll be one of them.”

Pirates will be expected to bolster their points tally when they welcome struggling Newcastle tonight.

Rob Grant’s Diamonds sit bottom of the table having lost five of their six meetings so far.

They have drafted in guest Kyle Howarth at number one, in place of Bradley Wilson-Dean.

“I think we’ll definitely go into that meeting as favourites, as we will for probably most home fixtures this year,” Ford admitted.

“We’ve made this place a bit of a fortress, but we can’t be complacent.

“We’ve had a disappointing result last time out at Plymouth.

“We need to bounce back, get our confidence back and hopefully get on that upward trajectory.”

Pirates: Danny King, Zach Cook, Steve Worrall, Ben Cook, Richard Lawson, Drew Kemp, Nathan Ablitt.

Newcastle: Kyle Howarth (guest), Matthew Wethers, James Wright, Max Clegg, Paul Starke, Lee Complin, George Congreve.

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