Managers set for important Fours role

REGULATIONS have been confirmed for the re-staging of the Premier League Fours Final at Leicester – and the team managers are set to play an important role.

REGULATIONS have been confirmed for the re-staging of the Premier League Fours Final at Leicester – and the team managers are set to play an important role.

Beaumont Park hosts the meeting on October 23, with the initial event having been abandoned after the semi-finals back in August due to heavy rain.

The Final now takes place over an expanded 20-heat formula, with the managers of the competing clubs – Leicester, Ipswich, Somerset and Workington – having freedom to choose who their representatives will be, and also who takes what could be an important reserve position.

Reserves can be included at any stage, subject to a maximum number of rides, and in addition a tactical ride facility will be available just as in a League match, with a programmed rider able to score double-points if his team are eight or more points down.

Series co-ordinator David Hoggart believes it promises to be a fascinating contest, and has emphasised that organisers are aware of calls to re-introduce a qualifying competition for the Fours at some stage in the future.

Hoggart said: “The meeting is being staged as a one-off 20-heat Final at normal club admission prices to compensate for the disappointment of the rain-off in August, and we have taken the opportunity to take the ‘brakes off’ the Team Managers with a number of tactical elements.

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“They can choose how to declare their team with a fifth reserve who has no programmed rides but can take four replacement rides between Heats 1 – 16, and one ride between Heats 17 – 20.

“This not only covers any starting offences to avoid three-man races, but also allows the Team Manager to use his reserve as he sees fit.

“The inclusion of the tactical ride rule if a team is eight or more down after four heats should keep the meeting alive and everyone on their toes.

“There have been many calls to re-introduce the Fours qualifiers and it is under consideration, but we need to get the formula for the final right to prevent the outcome being a foregone conclusion and consequently a financial disaster. “Ipswich, Workington, Somerset and of course Leicester are the finalists and I know everyone at Leicester will be delighted to welcome Elite League fans to the Premier League and Beaumont Park in particular.”

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