Wednesday June 02, 2021
BIRMINGHAM’S return to action at Perry Barr didn’t go to plan as their Knockout Cup clash with Redcar was abandoned on Wednesday.

A crash involving debutant Valentin Grobauer and the visitors’ Jordan Stewart left the venue with a lack of medical cover with the track curfew also reached.

It means the 31-23 scoreline in favour of Redcar after nine races does not stand due to the necessary rulebook regulations - and Friday’s return on Teesside now becomes the first leg with a new date at Perry Barr to be confirmed.

After 630 days away, it was a far from ideal return and team boss Laurence Rogers has thanked supporters in attendance for their patience and co-operation.

“Anything that could’ve gone wrong did go wrong unfortunately,” he said.

“First and foremost the management of Birmingham Speedway would like to thank the supporters for their patience, co-operation and understanding on what was a very frustrating night for all involved.

“We must’ve ran over 50 black cats or something on the way into the stadium because it was just one thing after another.

“Firstly we had an unexpected issue with our temporary stand zones which delayed admission a bit, but we’ve got to the bottom of that now and that should all be resolved for future fixtures.

“Then as that was being resolved we heard the visitors in particular weren’t too happy with the track.

“So we had to delay the start for around an hour or so while some work was carried out but it’s not an easy task on limited resources as well as being up against the clock.

“Don’t forget as well the track hasn’t been used for 18 months or so and press and practice last week was the first time we’d had the opportunity to get bikes back out there and try and turn the track over.

“We’ve been working a hell of a lot on the track lately but we have to admit that we’re struggling massively when it comes to equipment and resources too.

“With the break-ins and the fire vandalism, we’ve got two essential pieces of equipment still being repaired, we’ve had another tractor break down on the night and it’s just one thing after another.

“On the day itself as well, because of the greyhound trials that were happening on Wednesday this week, we couldn’t get to work on the track properly until after 2pm.

“That was far from ideal and with it being 26 degrees, no sooner were we getting water onto the track it was drying up more-or-less instantly.

“Then the weather changed suddenly and all of a sudden it wouldn’t dry at all.

“It was slushy in places and after a few comments from the away team we tried to do some more with it - then the tractor broke down part way through that.

“We eventually got it into a state that both teams were happy enough with and we did get some racing going.

“Unfortunately it’s all null and void because Heat Ten didn’t get completed but we wish both Valentin and Jordan the best of luck and send them our best wishes.

“Valentin crashed in Poland at the weekend and was battered and bruised as it was and Jordan was off to the hospital for checks on collarbone, arm and leg injuries.

“It was a horrible way to round-off a far from ideal night - but the only way is up I suppose.

“We would just like to thank everyone again for their understanding and patience and apologise for the inconveniences throughout.”

The two sides meet again on Friday at the Media Prima Arena - and a reminder that will now be the first leg of this Knockout Cup tie.

BIRMINGHAM 23: Chris Harris 6, Paco Castagna 4, Erik Riss 4, Ashley Morris 4, James Shanes 3+2, Jack Thomas 1, Valentin Grobauer 1.

REDCAR 31: Jake Allen 7+1, Jordan Jenkins 5+1, Michael Palm Toft 5, Charles Wright 5, Anders Rowe 4+1, James Sarjeant 4+1, Jordan Stewart 1+1.

Abandoned after Heat 9 (medical cover) – Result does not stand.

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