Panthers hero Hansen now set to ride against them

Spectacular Danish racer Kenneth Hansen has helped Panthers win their last four meetings, but next week he will be aiming to condemn them to defeat.

Thursday, 9th June 2016, 7:30 am
Updated Monday, 13th June 2016, 1:09 pm
Kenneth Hansen in action for Panthers.

Hansen has been a regular, and stellar, guest for the city club in recent weeks, stepping in for Premier League victories against Sheffield, Scunthorpe and Ipswich and also starring in a League Cup triumph against the Witches.

But the 27 year-old will be in the opposition when Panthers host Workington Comets on Tuesday night (June 14, 7.30pm) in a clash of two teams tipped as title contenders.

And Hansen is confident the Cumbrians, who also feature another ex-Panthers Dane in Claus Vissing, can provide a stern test at a track he believes has lost the fear factor of old for opposition riders.

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Hansen said: “I’ve been lucky enough to guest for Peterborough a few times and the track time has been really valuable.

“Both teams have strong riders in most positions and the crowd could be in for a classic on Tuesday. It wouldn’t surprise me if it went all the way down to the wire.

“I know Panthers feel they can make the play-offs and we believe we can do it as well at Workington.

“We haven’t won away yet and we tend to struggle on the smaller circuits, but Peterborough is a place where we feel we can do something though and we’ll be out to take Panthers by surprise.

“When I rode for Peterborough back in 2009, the track was very grippy and people did not look forward to going there. In fact I think some of them were probably beaten on the track-walk.

“But it is not like that any more and it is probably a bit too good for away riders.”

The Workington clash is the first of three Panthers home meetings now being staged on Tuesdays.

They have been shifted from Friday slots as part of a compromise arrangement with the British Speedway Promoters’ Association (BSPA) to ensure the signing of top British star Craig Cook, who is a former Workington rider, went through.

They also host Plymouth the following week (June 21) and then entertain rock-bottom Scunthorpe on July 12.

Panthers raced regularly on Tuesdays during the 2014 season when attendances dipped alarmingly, but current promoter Ged Rathbone is hopeful there will be no repeat of that.

He said: “There is no doubt in my mind we boast the best track in the country and some of the racing we’ve seen this season has been sensational.

“Hopefully that will be enough to tempt people along for the Tuesday meetings even though it might not be the ideal night for them.

“We’ve really started to fire lately and the backing from the supporters makes all the difference to the riders.”