Gary Havelock - Coventry Bees speedway fans are being 'ripped off' - The Coventry Observer

17th Aug, 2022

Gary Havelock - Coventry Bees speedway fans are being 'ripped off'

Steve Carpenter 3rd Jun, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

GARY Havelock feels speedway fans are being ‘ripped off’ by officials after Bees slipped to a 22-36 defeat at home to Poole on a rain-soaked Monday evening at Brandon.

Heavy rain before and during the meeting caused Havelock to question whether the fixture should have gone ahead.

And the match referees decided to end the contest after Heat Ten when the hosts failed to send any riders out for what turned out to be the last race of the night.

Havelock revealed he had spoken to the match referee on no fewer than five occasions to ask if it was safe, and he said he was unhappy with the reaction he got.

“I asked him to inspect the track because a number of our boys were saying it was too dangerous,” said Havelock.

“I asked him to go and inspect the track and he looked at his watch! That was the first thing he did after I asked him to go and inspect the track. It just about says it all.

“I asked ‘so what happens is someone ploughs into a fence? Is that going to be on your shoulders?’

“Complete fiascio are the right words. It’s another nail in the coffin of speedway.

“I’ve been badly hurt on a speedway bike so I certainly know how dangerous it is – it’s dangerous when it’s dry. I don’t want to have to go and visit my riders in hospital.”

The meeting was full of controversy with an eager Jason Garrity breaking the tapes in heat two which presented Swindon with a comfortable 5-1.

Bees bounced back with a 5-1 themselves in heat three but fast-track reserve Garrity continued his luckless night in heat five when he made a flying start only to be pulled back by referee Christina Turnbull.

And as luck would have it the young Brit’ missed the start as the Pirates moved 13-17 in front.

Despite cutting the lead to two points Bees’ fortunes worsened in heat eight when Garrity was excluded after taking a tumble in first turn while Danny King suffered an engine failure in the re-run.

Garrity was back in the spotlight in following race as he was excluded for causing his team-mate Robson to crash in the first turn.

And the meeting ended in farcical scenes with Havelock refusing to let his riders take to the tape in heat ten, believing the meeting should be a abandoned.

But officials stood firm and allowed the Pirates to take a second 5-0 before the fixtures was officially abandoned.

“It always seems to happen to Coventry again,” Havelock added. “The final last year was called off with two or three heats to go completely without any consultation with the riders or any consultation with the team managers.

“The sport unfortunately is turning into a big joke.

“If I’d have paid to come in I’d have felt completely ripped off. It’s the fans they’ve got to think about – nobody ever thinks of the fans.

“If you’ve got no fans you’ve no speedway and they’re leaving in their droves because of ridiculous situations like Monday night.”

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