NEW SIGNING: Bacon could be a sizzler

New Panthers signing Tom Bacon with Ged Rathbone (left) and Trevor Swales (right).

New Panthers signing Tom Bacon with Ged Rathbone (left) and Trevor Swales (right).

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Panthers chief Ged Rathbone is tipping new signing Tom Bacon to shine - just like one of his former team-mates did last season.

The city club have made the promising British talent their second capture for the 2017 season.

Bacon will operate at reserve on an introductory average of just two points as he steps up to racing at SGB Championship level for the first time after helping Birmingham to an honours double in the National League.

And Rathbone is hopeful the 23 year-old will be able to make a big impact at the bottom of the Panthers order just as another Brummies rider - Tom Perry - did during 2016. Perry almost doubled his starting average after a fine run of form before injury halted his progress,

Rathbone said: “We’ve monitored Tom closely during his two seasons of National League racing and also at practice events.

“He is a rider on the up and I’m sure he will take his opportunity in the SGB Championship. We’re delighted to bring him to the club.

“We saw Tom Perry do brilliantly in the number seven role for us last season and climb into the main body of the team.

“Hopefully Tom can also come in and score some important points for us and build his average up.”

Bacon was something of a late starter on the shale after not taking up speedway until he had completed his education.

He has only been riding for two seasons in the National League and combines his racing with a career as a business development manager.

But Bacon, who has a degree, is determined to take the next step up on the track and is relishing the task of scoring points in the second tier of the sport.

He said: “I did four guest bookings in the Premier League, as it was called then, towards the end of last season and managed to score points in all of them.

“That was really encouraging and hopefully I can do it on a regular basis next season.

“I know it’s going to be tough, but I know all about what Tom Perry did at Peterborough last season. The way he improved his average shows it is possible.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge and I feel sure I’ve joined the right club.”

Bacon joins popular Danish racer Kenneth Hansen as a confirmed member of the Panthers team for 2017. Rathbone confirmed further signings are imminent.