Witches delighted to sign Finnish star
SPEEDWAY: Ipswich Evening Star Witches finally secured their man last night when Joonas Kylmakorpi agreed terms for the 2002 speedway season. The 21-year-old rider, who is based in Sweden but was born in Finland, will be at Foxhall Stadium on loan for one season from Eastbourne Eagles.
By Elvin King
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches finally secured their man last night when Joonas Kylmakorpi agreed terms for the 2002 speedway season.
The 21-year-old rider, who is based in Sweden but was born in Finland, will be at Foxhall Stadium on loan for one season from Eastbourne Eagles.
Witches directors John and Magda Louis have been speaking to Kylmakorpi since he returned from a holiday last Monday.
Mrs Louis said: "The last few days have been crucial. Everything has now been agreed and we are excited about having Joonas in our team. All that remains is for the contract to be signed.
"We were let down by Shaun Tacey, but could not believe our luck when we found out that Joonas was not being used by Eastbourne.
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"This has not turned out to be plan B. Joonas could be another Jarek Hampel."
Kylmakorpi, whose birthday is on Valentines Day, February 14, comes into the Witches side with a 5.35 average. He is likely to ride at number two and partner skipper Chris Louis in three of his programmed rides, although there is a train of thought to start with Louis at number three this year.
Speaking from Sweden today Kylmakorpi said: "It is a relief to have everything sorted out. I may need a little while to get used to Foxhall but I have enjoyed riding there last season.
"My away average was higher last year than it was at Eastbourne. I think this will help Ipswich and I am sure I will master the home circuit with help from my new team-mates."
Kylmakorpi will stay with the same family near Eastbourne where he was based while in England in 2001.
On his two visits to Foxhall last season he scored two points from three rides and then a paid five points from five rides, including a heat three victory over Craig Boyce.
Ipswich now have a fraction over three points with which to complete their team.
They are talking to the Isle of Wight's Danny Bird about sharing one reserve berth with 'floater' Leigh Lanham and it remains to be seen who the final member of the side will be.