Aussie rider returns for the Hitmen

Buxton Hitmen's Robert Branford. �2011 Ian Charles.

Buxton Hitmen's Robert Branford. �2011 Ian Charles.

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AUSTRALIAN Robert Branford is to race for a third season with Buxton Hitmen.

The 18-year-old from Adelaide, who started his British career with the Hitmen, will race at Hi-Edge as well as for his parent club Redcar in the Premier League.

Branford finished last season as Buxton’s number one, a position he aims to retain throughout 2012. He was also a member of the all-conquering team of 2010 and is keen to challenge for some more silverware in what could possibly be his last season in the National League.

Branford said: “I’m looking forward to the season ahead and I am the most pumped I think I’ve ever been. I’m very happy to be doing another season at Buxton, the place is like home to me now and I really want to help get the team back on top like the 2010 season.

“I would like to stay at number one all year and am aiming to finish in the top ten of the National League averages. I will also be riding for the Redcar Bears again which I think will help with my racing and am aiming to finish the season with at least a five-point Premier League average and avoid finishing in last place throughout the season.”

Branford will line-up alongside the already confirmed Tim Webster, Dean Felton, Ryan Blacklock and Michael Neale.

Hitmen chief Jayne Moss said: “The team is coming together nicely and we are pleased to have Robert back with us for another year. He will form a good spearhead along with Tim and there is not much to choose between them average-wise.

“Rob, though, just has the edge and will start the year at number one. I’m sure that they both want the number one race jacket so there should be some good-natured rivalry between them.”

The first home meeting of 2012 at Hi Edge will be the visit of the American Touring Team on Sunday April 15 (3pm start).

Press and practice will take place on Sunday April 8, with the usual go-karting competition taking place in the morning at Swains Centre in Harpur Hill. Anyone wishing to book a place can call 01298 77299.