Peterborough Panthers complete line-up with an Aussie ace

Peterborough Panthers have completed their 2019 team for a second time - with the capture of a new number one.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:39 pm
New Panthers number one Rohan Tungate. Picture: Taylor Lanning

The city club controversially axed British star Chris Harris from their line-up earlier this month due to ‘cost measures’ following the sale of the club from Ged Rathbone to British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) supremo Keith Chapman.

But they are now back to a full compliment again after clinching a deal for Asutralian ace Rohan Tungate who has been one of the most progressive riders of recent times in the SGB Premiership.

And the 29 year-old will arrive at Alwalton after an excellent winter Down Under where he finished second to former Belle Vue team-mate Max Fricke in the Australian Championship.

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Tungate said: “I’ve always like racing at Peterborough. It’s a good track that suits me a lot and I’m really looking forward to being a Panthers rider.

“I think the team looks really good and I’m just going to go out and do the best I can or them.

“I felt great in the Australian Championship and this is now a new challenge I can look forward to this year.”

Tungate has piled almost three points onto his average during the past season-and-a-half with Belle Vue.

It means he slots into the top of the Panthers order on a mark of 7.61 and forms a powerful top-three with club legend Hans Andersen and former Belle Vue team-mate Craig Cook.

Second-strings Charles Wright and Bradley Wilson-Dean and the reserve combination of Ben Barker and Lasse Bjerre complete the line-up.

Tungate is an asset of Ipswich – another of the three top-flight clubs owned by Chapman. The Suffolk club is also now home to Harris.

Panthers team manager Carl Johnson again declined to comment on the circumstances of Harris’ departure, but is thrilled with the signing of Tungate.

He said: “It’s great to have Rohan on board. The last couple of seasons have been his best and I don’t think he has hit his prime just yet.

“Finishing second in the Australian Championship is no mean feat and we’re clearly getting a rider with lots of talent.

“He has also showed his liking for our track many times in the past as an away rider and has also proven himself around another big, fast circuit at Belle Vue.

“I’m expecting him to score plenty of points and feel he is a great final addition to the team.”

Tungate will have a quick reunion with former club Belle Vue as they provide the opposition for Panthers’ first two fixtures of the new season.

The sides meet at the East of England Arena on April 1 and in Manchester on April 4 in the new SGB Premiership Supporters Cup.