As a Birmingham speedway fan I am obviously delighted with the news that Chris Harris has been given the wildcard entry at the upcoming British GP in Cardiff. But I am left wondering. Would I be so happy if, for instance Scott Nicholls had been given the spot? And how is Danny King feeling? He has arguably been the top British contender this year with the exception of Tai Woffinden who is in any case a full time GP rider.
It has been usual in preceding seasons for the winner of the British Final to be awarded the wildcard slot at the British GP (or highest rider not already in the GP). And this has certainly added a lot to the proceedings come British Final night. So why have things changed this year? Well the first thing to note is that this is not the decision of the much maligned BSPA. In fact they have gone to great lengths to let us know that they were not behind the decision. (Which as a side note demonstrates that contrary to popular opinion they actually do care about what we the fans think.)
This is down completely to the organizers of the GP series. For me this demonstrates one of the things that is wrong about the GP series in its current form. Namely that it isn’t run for and to the benefit of speedway but solely for its own benefit. The real reason, of course, that Chris has been chosen is because of his history in Cardiff. 2007 may seem a long way off (and off course as Brummies fan it’s a year that I hold dear.) but the memory of that night is still clear in most speedway fans minds. Bums on seats is the real reason. Is that right? Probably not but it is understandable from a business point of view. The real problem is that the business in question is GP and not speedway.
Incidentally it is encouraging to me the amount of resources and effort that Sky have put into airing live EL (and PL) matches this season. They at least appear to be supporting speedway and long may it continue. I just hope they can pick some more interesting and less one sided matches for our viewing. I think the upcoming match between ourselves and Poole may well be a humdinger. Looking forward to it.