Stars fans celebrate the return of speedway.Picture: IAN BURT.

SPEEDWAY: King’s Lynn co-promoter Dale Allitt has hailed promoters throughout the country for keeping the sport alive during the coronavirus pandemic.

And he had special words of praise for Minors & Brady Stars owner Keith Chapman, who faced up to the challenge of continuing to meet the overheads at the Adrian Flux Arena, despite having no income for several months.

Speedway and oval racing has returned to the popular venue with Lynn back in Premiership action, albeit with restricted capacity. Crowds have flocked back to see the sport they love.

Only Swindon and Somerset have failed to come back to the tapes for 2021 – and there are strong hopes that both will return next year – as the rest of the sport gets back on its feet.

Allitt said: “It’s been a massive effort to get the sport back up and running. Every club has different guidelines set down by their local council and we are all hoping that by June 21 the restrictions will be a lot less.

“I want to credit Buster (Chapman) for keeping this venue going. Last year thousands of pounds went down the drain because we couldn’t run events at the Arena but Buster still had overheads to pay.

“Those clubs who don’t own their own venue were better off because they didn’t have those overheads and they didn’t need to pay their stadium rent.

“Buster has not only kept the venue alive and kicking now, he also revived the fortunes of this club all those years ago. I believe that should never be forgotten.”

λ Erik Riss has admitted he had given up hope of racing going ahead in Britain this year.

As the virus soared throughout the UK over Christmas and into January, the German rider made a decision to rule himself out of a return to Lynn and to concentrate on racing in Poland and Sweden instead.

However, the success of the UK vaccination programme changed his mind. The British League is now in full swing, while racing still hasn’t started in Sweden.

Riss said: “I made a decision not to come to England but then I was looking how things were improving in the UK.

“I thought I had probably missed my opportunity to come back because all the teams would have been sorted so I was pleasantly surprised when both Lynn and Birmingham could find room for me.

“The vaccine has saved the season in my opinion. 

“It’s what has got fans back into stadiums and it’s so good to see speedway back with supporters.”