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The 2017 Bonanza will be at Glasgow, Sunday 12th March
Wednesday 21st December 2016
by Mike Hunter
The 2017 Ben Fund Bonanza, the ninth in the series which raises funds for speedway's injured riders, will be held at Glasgow's Ashfield Stadium on Sunday 12th March, start time 2pm.
It's the latest honour for a club very much in the news in recent times, and Paul Ackroyd has been very impressed with his dealings with the club owners.

He said "We are grateful to Glasgow Speedway for volunteering to stage the Meeting. They were very keen to have the meeting and have been most accommodating”.

"Invitations already sent out to several World Class Riders and we are hoping that their availability will allow them to participate. Also we are in discussion with a Hotel to offer discounted rates for fans wishing to come to Glasgow for the weekend."

Glasgow's long-time promoter Alan Dick of course is very happy to see another feather in the Glasgow cap. "I'm very pleased and it's an amazing start to the season, added to the fact that we have been awarded what will now I suppose be called the CLRC.

"Two fairly glamorous meetings, one to commence and one near the end, which is very nice to have been asked. We were delighted to accept.

"Probably more so in terms of what the Facennas have done to the facilities at the stadium. What is on offer now is markedly improved on the days when Stewart Dickson and I were merely tenants. The Facennas now own the entire complex including the football club.

"It makes it easier and it's one of the reasons why we've got the meeting. We'll be set to go on the 12th of March."

Of course it is always hoped that many of the most severely injured riders will be able to attend the Ben Fund Bonanza, and Ashfield is well equipped for that. "We've got a major disabled area just outside the bar, under glass, protected by glass, so all disabled persons and not just the riders will be very welcome on the day. Part of the Facennas' business of course is mobility vehicles, so that dovetails perfectly.

"Like most clubs, Glasgow have had riders who have been assisted by the Ben fund following injury. Kozza Smith previously, and in the season just ended, Nike Lunna who was out for six weeks with a broken wrist. For that reason I think Paul would like to have Nike involved in the meeting, at least as a reserve. I think Richie Worrall has been a recipient also."

Edinburgh's Neil Hewitt, injured in 1997, is a regular attender at the Bonanzas, and former Berwick star Ricky Ashworth has indicated that he will be at Ashfield too. Paul Ackroyd said "Ricky has assured me that he will be attending the Bonanza at Glasgow and he hopes that he will meet up with many of his Berwick fans, and urges as many as possible to try to attend the meeting."

Glasgow's regular race day in 2017 will be Saturday of course, but the Bonanza is a Sunday. Alan Dick explained. "We're racing on Saturday nights this year as you know but for the purposes of this meeting, it lets people travel, have an overnight stay in Glasgow and have a look at the city which has changed dramatically in recent times. Hopefully it won't be too cold!"

Although the participants are not yet known, it will come as no surprise that Ben Barker has already indicated that he wants to be there. He is of course the only rider who has ridden in all of the events since they started at Sheffield in 2009.


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