Podium for Patrick?


Belle Vue asset Patrick Hougaard has his sights set on a podium finish in Saturday’s Peter Craven Memorial but admits he faces an epic battle with his fellow speedway stars for the top spot.

The 27-year old Danish international has a busy weekend pending as he prepares to take his place  for Somerset in the 2017 Premiership Pairs on March 31 at the Rebels’ Oaktree Arena home.

It’s then back to Manchester on April 1 for his parent club’s prestigious season opener, something which Hougaard is thoroughly relishing in the wake of his experiences at their new track in 2016.


Patrick Hougaard

He said: “Belle Vue’s new track definitely suits my style. I raced a handful of meetings there last year and I’m really looking forward to coming back and taking part in the Peter Craven meeting.

“Everyone will be going into this fixture wanting to win. If we didn’t, we wouldn't be racing! I want to do the best I can and see how far I go. But it’s still the early season and the field is wide open.

“At Belle Vue especially, it’s one of those tracks where everyone can pull up to the tapes with the potential to produce something special and when riding the right lines it can be difficult to pass.

“With the line-up they’ve got, I think we can assume there will be some fierce competition. It’s a well rounded field. It looks good and I'm sure we’ll have a good night with some great racing.”

When quizzed about what he feels will make the club’s season opener more of a challenge for the non-resident riders, Hougaard continued: “I’d have to say the shape, because it’s so unique.

“You've got to keep your wheels in line all the time, especially if you’re behind someone and looking to overtake because if you’re not careful then you can lose a lot of speed in no time at all.

“There’s no relaxing. You really have to race your bike to the maximum. That track has no time for those who hesitate.” He added: “It is an excellent place to race and I’m looking forward to it.”

Tickets for the Peter Craven Memorial on April 1 are still available online via the club’s website. For the latest news, fixture information and for event ticket prices, visit www.bellevueaces.co.

The speedway box office at the National Speedway Stadium will be open for ticket sales Tuesday to Thursday from 10:00am to 4:00pm, with telesales also available on 0161 711 0828.

2017 PETER CRAVEN MEMORIAL - APRIL 1ST, 7:30PM

1. Patrick Hougaard; 2. Todd Kurtz; 3. Matej Žagar; 4. Charles Wright; 5. Rohan Tungate; 6. Kenneth Bjerre; 7. Jason Garrity; 8. Brady Kurtz; 9. James Sargeant; 10. Joe Jacobs; 11. Ricky Wells; 12. Max Fricke; 13. Ben Barker; 14. Troy Batchelor; 15. Josh Grajczonek;
16. Justin Sedgmen (17. Tero Aarnio; 18. Lee Payne)

Photo - Steve Dixon

Wednesday 29th March 2017