Wednesday, February 21, 2024

PREVIEW: Cheetahs pair eye first team silverware in eighteen years at Championship Pairs

The Monarch Oxford Cheetahs will be going for gold on Friday night when the prestigious Cab Direct Championship Pairs returns to Sandy Lane for a second successive year.

First run in 1975, the Championship Pairs matches the top two available riders from each team in British Speedway’s second tier against each other in a group stage turn knockout format.

Hoping to secure Cheetahs’ first piece of team silverware since the club lifted the Craven Shield in 2005 are number one Sam Masters and heat leader Lewis Kerr who will both be joined by Team Manager Peter Schroeck on the night.

As many as 3,000 supporters are expected trackside, with many stopping off at Oxford Stadium en route to the following day’s British Speedway Grand Prix at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Although Cheetahs are flying high at the top of the league table, Schroeck expects a tough night of racing on home shale.

“Friday night will be an example of Championship speedway as its very best,” said Schroeck. “We’ll have 18 of the division’s best riders going hell for leather with a view to etching their club’s name on the historic trophy.

“It’s a quick format and one where the champions are decided by a single winner-takes-all race to round off the night which really appeals to the fans and wider public.

“We’re entering the meeting full of confidence and there’s no doubt in my mind we have the ability to take top honours. But it is a seriously competitive line-up, and no Pairs fixture ever passes without its upsets.

“We’ll keep focused throughout the night and work towards our first goal of getting out of the group stage. From there, it’s a real lottery but our priority as with every meeting this season is to reduce last places to an absolute minimum.

“It will be a great night of racing and we look forward to welcoming supporters from across the country.”

Friday’s Championship Pairs will adopt a different scoring system with a greater emphasis place on team riding. Speedway’s traditional 3-2-1-0 points system is ditched and replaced by a 4-3-2-0 scoring method to encourage riders to help their teammate avoid last place.

Tickets for the 2023 Cab Direct Championship Pairs are on sale now and available to purchase via the Oxford Speedway website. Adults are priced £22 with 11–15-year-olds entering for £5. U11s go FREE!

Doors open at the earlier time of 4.30pm with the club’s pits bay open between 6pm-6.30pm. Tapes-up is at 7.30pm.


GLASGOW: Chris Harris & Benjamin Basso

POOLE: Richard Lawson & Ben Cook

OXFORD: Sam Masters & Lewis Kerr

EDINBURGH: Craig Cook & Josh Pickering

BIRMINGHAM: Troy Batchelor & Justin Sedgmen

BERWICK: Leon Flint & Jye Etheridge 

SCUNTHORPE: Ryan Douglas & Simon Lambert

REDCAR: Charles Wright & Danny King

PLYMOUTH: Kyle Howarth & Richie Worrall.