The top three from last year's event Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Harrisons Again Sponsor the Historic Scottish Open

NEWS Wednesday 9th May 2018, 1:00pm

by Mike Hunter

Harrisons Ford Retail Centre of Peebles once again come to Armadale on Friday as backers of the 2018 Scottish Open Championship, with a 16-rider field contesting the title.

Sam Masters and Rory Schlein are the former winners in the field while the strongest home challenge should come from Ricky Wells and Erik Riss. It’s the 61st staging of this Speedway classic.

2017 winner Justin Sedgmen is not in the UK this year so can’t defend his title, and former Monarchs’ captain Sam Masters was the winner of the previous staging in 2014. But it is perhaps Rory Schlein who has the biggest incentive as he has been winner of the Open on 3 occasions (2004, 2008, 2011) and another one would see him equal the record of Peter Carr who won 4 times in the Armadale era.

The 2004 win was Rory’s first big individual success of his career. He said “It was one of my first big ones, one that meant more to me than probably anyone else I think. I’d watched video tapes and known the history of that meeting for a long time. It was a nice one to win and I’ve always enjoyed coming back and riding in it. I’d like to get four so I could be the same as Peter. The best rider I ever saw around Armadale was Pete so if I could get four that would be great, and if I’ve got time who knows I might get five!”

Team manager Alex Harkess added “As far as I am concerned though I'd love to see an Edinburgh rider win it and I'd love to see them all riding well. I hope it’s entertaining and the weather’s good, we’ve had some tremendous Opens over the years. There are several who can win it if it is their night.”

With 22 heats to be raced Friday’s meeting starts 15 minutes earlier than normal at 7:15pm.

Admission prices have been held at normal Pre-Matchday and Matchday levels, with over 50% more racing included in the price.

The Championship is not included as part of Gold Memberships, however Members and Blue Reward Card holders can pick up their usual admission prices. The 44 page souvenir match magazine is £4.

THIS WEEK’S MEETINGS:

Friday 11th May: Harrisons Scottish Open Championship, 7:15pm

Richie Worrall (Glasgow & England), Marius Hillebrand (Germany), Erik Riss (Edinburgh & Germany), Tobias Thomsen (Denmark), Sam Masters (Wolverhampton & Australia), Ricky Wells (Edinburgh & USA), Joel Andersson (Edinburgh & Sweden), Matt Williamson (Edinburgh & England), Paul Starke (Glasgow & England), Mark Riss (Edinburgh & Germany), Max Ruml (Edinburgh & USA), Josh Pickering (Edinburgh & Australia), Jordie Stewart (Redcar & Australia), Rory Schlein (Ipswich & Australia), Kevin Doolan (Berwick & Australia), Ben Barker (Redcar & England).

Sunday 13th May: Peterborough Panthers v Staggs Bar Monarchs (Championship) 5:00pm