All set for tapes up as speedway's NICE Challenge arrives at Wightlink Warriors' Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde

Georgie Wood will be among the Wightlink Warriors contesting the NICE Challenge. Picture: Ian Groves/Sportography
Georgie Wood will be among the Wightlink Warriors contesting the NICE Challenge. Picture: Ian Groves/Sportography
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Six members of the Wightlink Warriors are ready to go full throttle for the NICE Challenge.

Hours of planning will come together when the thrilling event makes its overseas debut at the Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde on Thursday night (7pm).

After successful trials in Poland last year, organisers accepted an ambitious proposal from Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop.

And now Danno Verge, Georgie Wood, Ben Morley, Chris Widman, Connor King and Scott Campos will do battle with international stars on the Isle of Wight shale.

The NICE Challenge aims to level the playing field – bolting identical engines into the frames of each competitor in a bid to see the best rider prevail.

And Bishop reckons the 12-man event, which will comprise of 12 heats, two semi-finals and a final, will go down a storm with the Smallbrook Stadium faithful.

He said: ‘The level of interest I have received has been amazing and taken me by surprise.

‘I have had riders, supporters and other speedway officials all getting in touch and fine-tuning the possible start list has been no easy task.

‘However, we have tried to create a balanced programme that covers all levels of experience.

‘We are thrilled to be able to introduce Tomasz Orwat, who won the first staging of this meeting in his home country, to British fans.

‘He will be joined by Great Britain international Steve Worrall, Ben Barker and Paul Starke, who we rarely get to see on the island, plus most of our Warriors and other National League favourites.’

Bishop is delighted to be able to bring the groundbreaking event to the Isle of Wight.

But he admits it would not have been possible without some expert help.

Bishop added: ‘I have to thank Peter Waite, the former Berwick Speedway promoter for the introductions, the Nice organisation and their directors for presenting this meeting.

‘We will be delighted to welcome them all on the night.

‘This test meeting could have influence on the future of our sport and I will be looking forward to receiving feedback from the riders, sponsors and supporters, who I am sure are in for a compelling night of action.’

Gates open at 5.30pm, with practice from 6.15pm.