The Lions Promoter David Hemsley announced to a packed room of fans, club sponsors and business partners tonight at the Leicester Marriott Hotel in Enderby that Bjarne Pedersen will be racing for Leicester this season.
“Having operated at the highest level year on year and been part of so many successes at both club and international level along with being a seasoned competitor in the Grand Prix series Bjarne will bring a wealth of experience to the Lions team and the younger members of the side will gain a lot from his presence in the pits” stated Hemsley.
Pedersen is one of British Speedway’s loyal servants having completed fifteen consecutive seasons here since he first came over to ride for Newcastle in 2000. A year later Bjarne was part of the Diamonds team that won the Premier League Championship and it was to become the first of many successes during his long and illustrious career. He then left Tyneside and moved south to link up with Poole. It was whilst at Wimborne Road that Pedersen became a key figure in the Pirates trophy laden seasons of the last decade. Three Elite League Championship and Knock-out Cup medals; twice on the winning side in the Craven Shield competition; a League Cup winner and Pairs Champion was an incredible record during his time spent on the South coast. His scoring prowess became legendary and he is currently second in Poole’s all-time list of scorers.
In 2011 Bjarne was on the move along the coast-line to ride for Eastbourne and his stay lasted for just one term before a transfer to Birmingham. At the end of the season the former Danish Champion was on his way back to Eastbourne where he has remained until during the winter the Sussex club declared that they were dropping out of the Elite League and Pedersen became available for talks.
The first leg of the East Midlands Bowl between Leicester and Coventry will now take place at the earlier time of 12.00 noon at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium on Sunday 15th March to allow fans to travel to King’s Lynn for the Rory Schlein Testimonial which starts at 6.00 pm that evening.
During the second leg at Coventry on Friday 20th March, a collection will take place with proceeds going to Lee Richardson’s family, with the Memorial meeting for the former Great Britain international also taking place at Lakeside on that evening.
Leicester will open the new season with home and away fixtures against the Coventry Bees in March when the two teams will race for the East Midlands Bowl. The competition was once the traditional season opener between the two clubs and dates back to 1951.
“We were close to staging the event towards the end of last season but with Coventry qualifying for the Elite League play-offs there was not an ideal time to organise the event. Bringing it forward to the month of March, which was its traditional place in the calendar, is far better and the dates provide both teams with two meaningful meetings before the official Elite League fixtures begin. As our nearest neighbours, matches between Leicester and Coventry invariably creates a special derby atmosphere and I am sure that both sets of fans will be pleased to read that the East Midlands Bowl has been re-introduced” said the Lions Promoter David Hemsley.
Leicester will host the first leg at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium on Sunday 15th March (start-time 5.00 pm) with the return at Coventry on Friday 20th March.
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