EXPERIENCED speedway rider Dean Felton is returning for a second season with the Buxton Hitmen.
Felton came in last year at short notice after Jonathon Bethell dropped out of the Hitmen’s line-up at the eleventh hour with a recurring shoulder injury.
“Dean did a good job for us last year and we are pleased to welcome him back to Hi-Edge,” said Hitmen chief Jayne Moss.
“He obviously has a lot of experience and is more than willing to pass that on to the younger riders which can only benefit them individually and the team as a whole.”
Felton, from the West Midlands, joins Tim Webster, Ryan Blacklock and Michael Neale as confirmed starters for the coming season.
“I’m so happy to be back at Buxton,” Felton said. “We have a good set of lads from last year and a couple of new guys. Hopefully we can hit the ground running. We came good at the end of the season last year but it was a little to late to make the play-offs.
“On a personal level I changed engine set-up last year and it seemed to get me going and towards the end of the season I was beating the number ones at home. I finished off with a maximum against Newport and am looking to carry on from there.”
He added: “We look a good team but so do the others and I think it’s going to be a close league this year, but hopefully we can come out on top. This will be my 20th year in speedway so it would be a nice way to celebrate with some silverware.”
Team plans aside, the fixtures for the new season are in the process of being arranged, with all teams having given their preferred dates to league co-ordinator Peter Morrish.
With eight confirmed teams in the league, plus the Knockout and Trophy competitions, there will be 11 official matches. The Trophy competition returns after a year’s absence and will be competed for by Stoke, Mildenhall, Isle of Wight and Buxton, who are the current holders.
l The press and practice day is pencilled in for Sunday April 8, with the usual go-karting competition taking place in the morning at Swains Centre prior to the afternoon track practice. Details of the karting will be available soon, with supporters welcome to put their racing skills to the test against the 2012 Hitmen.