New signing Hansen has sights set on silverware

New Panthers  signing Kenneth Hansen with club officials Carl Johnson, Ged Rathbone and Trevor Swales.
New Panthers signing Kenneth Hansen with club officials Carl Johnson, Ged Rathbone and Trevor Swales.

Kenneth Hansen is determined to make his popular return to Panthers a successful one.

The Danish racer was named as the city club’s first signing for 2017 earlier this week - eight years after being a star turn in the Elite League campaign of 2009.

And the 29 year-old, who delivered a string of super guest showings for Panthers last season, already has silverware on his mind in the newly-named in the newly-named SGB Championship. Panthers are one of 10 teams set to battle for glory and a possible promotion to the top flight.

Hansen, who arrives on a 6,74 average, said: “I’ve had talks with the club a few times in the years since I last rode for Peterborough, but we’ve never quite been able to make it happen.

“Everyone knows I enjoyed my time here in 2009 and the fact that I love racing at the East of England Showground, so I’m delighted everything has fallen into place for me to come back next year.

“It is ideal for me as I only live about 45 minutes away, but I’ve not signed for Panthers just because it is close by.

“I’ve come back here to try to win trophies and help the club to be successful, and I also want to fight to be the number one rider in the team.

“There are so many great people involved in the club and another factor in my decision was that the fans have always been brilliant to me, whether I’m riding for Peterborough or against them.”

And Hansen, on loan from parent club Wolverhampton, insists he had no qualms about signing on the dotted line for a man billed as being one of the most ruthless promoters in the sport.

Panthers supremo Ged Rathbone attracted plenty of criticism in the sport when dropping seven different riders during a 2016 campaign that ended in a nosedive out of Premier League play-off contention.

Hansen added: “Ged is very ambitious and wants to win things - and that’s great for a rider to know.

“Some people have criticised him for things he did last season, but he did them with a good heart and to try to deliver success for his supporters.

“I admire him for the passion he has for his club and the sport as a whole.”

The final curtain fell on the 2016 campaign following the Peterborough Panthers Speedway Supporters’ Club (PPSSC) end-of-season bash last Friday.

Three riders scooped accolades with Craig Cook named as the management’s rider of the year, Ulrich Ostergaard recognised by his team-mates with the riders’ rider of the year gong and Simon Lambert collecting the supporters’ award - despite missing half of the season through injury.