Fans' favourite Vadim wants a second season at Peterborough Panthers...should the city club get a stay of execution

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New sensation Vadim Tarasenko is hoping Peterborough Panthers get a reprieve – so that he can spend a second season with the club.

​The Russian ace wowed fans on his home debut, top-scoring with 14 points against reigning Premiership champions Belle Vue Aces on his first sight of the East of England Arena track.

And at the end of his opening showstopper he revealed he definitely wants to race in the UK again next year.

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Tarasenko became an instant idol to the success-starved Panthers fans both on and off track.

Vadim Tarasenko at the Panthers v Belle Vue meeting. Photo: David Lowndes.Vadim Tarasenko at the Panthers v Belle Vue meeting. Photo: David Lowndes.
Vadim Tarasenko at the Panthers v Belle Vue meeting. Photo: David Lowndes.

He won four of his six races and then spent half an hour, still in his race gear, signing autographs and posing for selfies with supporters.

But the best news of all for those who have already taken the Polish passport and licence holder to their hearts is he is ready to sign a new deal for 2024 if there’s a chance that Peterborough can stave off the threat to their continued existence at the Alwalton raceway.

They have already been told this will be their last season but there is a glimmer of hope with the plans to build up to 1,500 houses on the Showground yet to be approved by Peterborough City Council.

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The longer it takes for councillors to decide whether or not the proposed £50 million leisure village can go ahead, the more hopeful the Panthers’ management will be that they can get another stay of execution.

And Tarasenko says he wants to be part of the club’s future, if there is one, in the city.

He said: “I want to ride in England next year. I feel I need it for my career and I would like to do it on this track as I know the boys in my team now.

“I hope I’ll start here again. I wanted to start a long time ago in England, but it was not possible because of the paperwork and documents I needed.”

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And he’s also vowed that he will improve on his meteoric start to life with the Panthers, claiming: “I must learn a little bit more about the track and do better.

“I feel happy with my scoring. It was okay, but I always want to do better for my club and my team and we are trying to do that. I have never been in England before and it is all new for me.”

But not for much longer as he has already discovered one of the delights of life in this country, admitting: “My manager told me about fish and chips – I am going to have some!”

Tarasenko has pulled out of the Premiership Pairs event at Leicester tonight (Thursday). He has been replaced by Ben Cook who will now partner Richie Worrall.


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Peterborough Panthers have had only 12 race wins in their last three Premiership matches, all of which ended in defeat.

New signing Vadim Tarasenko, riding at Belle Vue, Ipswich, and the East of England Arena for the first time, has taken the honours six times already in his 16 races, but has had very little backing.

Niels-Kristian Iversen has three victories, Richie Worrall two (both at Ipswich) and Hans Andersen finished in first place in his opening ride at home against the defending champions Belle Vue on Monday night.

Panthers boss Rob Lyon said: “You only have to look at the race-by-race scorecard for the reason we aren’t winning matches.

“Four race wins at Belle Vue, three at Ipswich and five in front of our own fans on Monday, tells its own story! Too many last places and not enough heat wins says it all.”