Chris 'Bomber' Harris is Witches No.1 for 2019 season and Bellego makes it a full seven for Louis' team
Ipswich Witches have swooped to sign Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris as the club’s No.1 rider for 2019.
Harris, 36, from Truro, is a former Grand Prix star and three-time British Champion who won the Premiership with Poole last season.
He looked set to be racing for Peterborough Panthers this year, but due to what the Alwalton club described as ‘unforeseen circumstances’, Harris was released from their roster last week. And the Witches, now back in the Premiership themselves, jumped in to sign the popular Cornishman.
“As soon as I heard the news that Chris may become available I was immediately on the phone to him,” said Ipswich promoter Chris Louis.
“We have been considering a number of very credible options from around Europe, but to have a British rider of his standing suddenly becoming available has made our decision so much simpler.
“Chris has proven his loyalty to British Speedway over a number of years and we’ll be hoping that his impressive record of winning league titles can continue as we strive for the play-offs.”
Harris is highly experienced at the top level, having competed in 103 Grand Prix, famously winning in Cardiff in 2007. Louis is hoping his exciting style will provide some memorable moments at Foxhall in 2019.
“Nobody needs reminding of the flair and skill that took him to that thrilling Cardiff GP success and the breath-taking moves he makes when the pressure is on. I can think of no better rider than Chris to lead this team and inspire not only his team mates, but our loyal fans too.”
And to complete the Witches septet in 2019, Louis has recruited Frenchmen David Bellego, much to the Ipswich promoter’s delight.
“This move has also enabled us to add David to the side,” Louis said.
“David’s first ride on these shores was at Foxhall when he travelled over with his compatriot Mat Tresarrieu and although we were unable to snap him up that time, it is great to finally see him at Foxhall.
“His experience of the Premiership will stand him, and us, in good stead as we travel away from Foxhall, but it is his determination to become a Foxhall specialist that is most pleasing.”
The 25-year-old has been racing in Britain since 2011 when he joined Glasgow and subsequently won the league in his debut season with the Tigers.
He admits he is looking forward to a new challenge in Suffolk.
“I spoke with Chris (Louis) a few weeks ago and I told him I would be interested in joining Ipswich and he told me he was interested as well,” said Bellego.
“We came to an agreement and I am looking forward to starting the season with Ipswich. It is a new club for myself and a new track. It is a smaller track which will be really good for myself to spend more time on a small track to be more consistent in the league. I am really looking forward to it.
Bellego will have a busy calendar in 2019, riding with Fjelsted in Denmark, PSZ Poznan in Poland and Masarna in Sweden but he believes being busy is best for speedway riders.
“We want to be on the bike as much as we can, that is the key to the sport I believe. This year will be a big year for me and I am looking forward to it. I am working really hard, I am going to be fit, and I have two seasons under my belt in the Premiership so I have a bit of experience now.”
The Witches 2019 Premiership team will line-up: Chris Harris, Richard Lawson, Danny King, David Bellego, Krystian Pieszczek, Jake Allen and Cameron Heeps.