Bjerre – who earned the tag “Pure Dynamite” during his eight seasons with Peterborough - steps in for Jason Garrity, who faces an expensive repair bill and wait for new machinery after blowing an engine to smithereens at the East of England Showground on Sunday. The 2010 World No.7 and national Champion, the diminutive Dane is also a former World Cup winner. In addition to his tenure with the Panthers, he knows the Adrian Flux Arena well from three seasons in Norfolk, and has recently joined Belle Vue following the closure of Coventry.
Simon is thrilled to have him on board, explaining that “Kenneth actually approached ME for a place! I originally asked him some time ago, but he had to decline because of a Polish commitment. When that fell through, he came back to me. To have a top rider like him asking for a spot is mind blowing!”
About-to-be-fifth season Scorpion and former Peterborough star Michael Palm Toft, meanwhile, jumps in for Brady Kurtz, who has reluctantly been forced to withdraw due to a call-up from his Polish club.
Like Bjerre, for MPT, it is effectively a case of being in the right place at the right time. Explains Simon, “Michael was at the East of England Showground on Sunday to watch the Panthers’ opening meeting, and he told me that he wished he could have been in my Testimonial. When Brady Facebooked me yesterday to apologise that he now had to ride for (his Polish club) Pila, I was on the phone straight away to get him on board.
“He’s a funny guy, decent lad and a smashing team man for sure. I really enjoyed riding alongside him for Peterborough in 2015 and part of last season.”
The full revised field for Sunday is:
Niels Kristian Iversen, Danny King, Sam Masters, Craig Cook, Todd Kurtz, Kenneth Bjerre, Josh Grajczonek, Ulrich Ostergaard, Kenneth Hansen, Michael Palm Toft, Ricky Wells, David Howe, Thomas Jorgensen, Carl Wilkinson, James Sarjeant and Simon himself. Reserves: Danny Ayres and Tom Perry. There will also be support races from the U-16 Young Lions roster.
King’s Lynn legends Tomas Topinka, Terry Betts and Ian Turner are the meeting’s special guests, with Simon, Tomas and British Champion Danny King (complete with national trophy) planning to be on hand inside the entrance to pose for photos and selfies with fans from 12.30 to 1.15.
Admission is: Adults £16, Concessions £13, Aged 12-18 £6, with Under 12s going FREE.
In addition to the meeting raffle and post-racing auction of the riders’ race jackets, the day will also mark the launch of a special Silver Ski Holiday raffle, which will be drawn at Peterborough on August 16th.
The proud meeting sponsors are Lambert’s Transport and Warehousing.
Says Simon as the countdown continues: “There’s been a lot of hard work from my committee throughout the winter to pull this day together, but we are virtually there.
“We’ve got a great looking line-up, with no less than three reigning national champions and some great racers in the mix. I can’t thank the guys enough for riding.
“I’m also really grateful to – and humbled by - all the sponsors and advertisers who have backed my meeting. We’ve had great support from so many businesses and individuals.
“I have even been assured that the weather will be good on Sunday, too, so I’ve got no complaints there! I’m really looking forward to making it an occasion that everyone will remember.”PS Talking of remembering, please don’t forget that the clocks go forward on Sunday, so don’t arrive late!