Gilkes, 19, will be the club’s official number eight rider which means he will be with the team for all home meetings and available to step in if needed as a member of the squad.
Every Premiership club is naming a stand-by British rider with limited experience to benefit their progress.
“It was great to be asked by Peterborough,” Gilkes said. “They’ve got a good team and I know most of the riders as I’ve been in the same team as some of them before.
“If I do get the chance to race for them during this season I’m sure it will be a great learning opportunity for me.
“This season is another one when I will be learning plenty and taking in as much information as I can.
“I don’t set any goals apart from having a better season than the last one. Being on the bike as often as I can will be vital for my improvement as a rider.
“I’m looking forward to getting the season under way. A few tracks are starting to open up so I’m looking forward to getting back riding.”
“Plymouth is going to be great this season and the club certainly have big ambitions for both teams to go places,” Gilkes added.
“We are now in to February and we will all be meeting up soon and getting to know each other. It’s a cool little track down there and is always well prepared. I can’t wait to get going now.”
With the season fast approaching Panthers are reminding fans season tickets are still on sale and represent good value for supporters. A season ticket also guarantees parking inside the Showground. Fans can enquire by email to [email protected]
The Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund meeting – ‘Ben Fund Bonanza’ – opens the Showground season on Sunday, March 27.
Panthers first competitive home meeting is against Ipswich in the League Cup on Monday, April 4. Belle Vue are the first Premiership visitors on Monday, May 9.