April 13, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

The Kent Kings are back for 2024!

It’s going to be NORA racing at Kent Speedway’s Iwade track in 2024 with a packed programme of events planned and the return of both a familiar face taking the promotional reins and a much-loved team name seeing a literal on track Restoration.

Words by Kent Kings – Derek Barclay – Feature Image courtesy Kent Kings

“Kings” was of course the Kent Speedway club’s name throughout their tenure at the nearby (now sadly lost to the sport) Central Park Stadium between 2013 & 2021; but for the two campaigns which followed, it was as ‘Royals’ that a Kent team contested the NDL.

With the decision made not to carry on under SCB jurisdiction, the club will go into action (like the Isle of Wight before them) in 2024, by racing under the NORA (National Off-Road Racing Association) banner in competitions and with opponents which are to be announced later. And it’ll be the ‘Kings’ nickname, along with the iconic Invicta symbol back on the race jackets when they roar back into action.

Taking the helm (after previous promoter Si Kellow decided to step down from the hot seat) will be Steve Ribbons. And it’s a real ‘Back to the Future’ move there also as the Epping-based 57-year-old was actually the man who brought Conference League racing back to Iwade in 2004. Ribbons commented,

“People will know that over the past few years I’ve been working hard to take Speedway back to the track I first attended the sport at (and fell it love with it) back in 1978, Rye House. That battle is still very much going on and I remain 100% committed to bringing the sport back there. As part of keeping the Rye House Speedway name in the consciousness of the public I was badgering Si (Kellow) and Iwade track owner Graham Arnold to run a meeting against a Rockets side.

“So when I heard that Si was stepping down at Sittingbourne/Iwade due to health reasons and no one else seemed to be interested in running the club, I decided to step in rather than see the club close”.

Ribbons went on,

“I feel it is time to put something back into this excellent club – there’s been Speedway at Iwade every year since 1970, making it one of the longest continually-running tracks in Europe and I feel with the right vision rather than stagnating it needs to be driven forward in the coming years. An improved financial base is the key to achieving this and I can offer a sound business sense from my working life and over forty years of acquired knowledge of lower league Speedway.

“The NORA competitions that are going to be happening in 2024 along with other clubs coming on board will offer something different & exciting and give the loyal Kent public something really to enjoy over the forthcoming Speedway season”.

There’s also welcome news that the mid-day tapes-up deployed on Sundays under the previous Royals’ regime the past two seasons is to change in 2024 to a more traditional and customer-friendly 2pm start time. And the first meeting is confirmed for Sunday April 14th.: a full 15-heat challenge match against traditional local rivals, Eastbourne Eagles.

Ribbons has gone even further back in time to come up with an appropriate new club motto for the restored Kings – back in fact to the ancient language of Latin to announce “ex cinere phoenix!”.

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