The man who inspired Panthers most famous success is back.
Hans Andersen, a star of the city club’s unforgettable top-flight title triumph of 2006, will again be a Peterborough rider next year.
And the 38 year-old Danish ace has only two things on his mind as he returns for the club’s new SGB Premiership adventure . . . being able to race regularly at the East of England Arena track he loves and leading Panthers to more glory.
“It is no secret that I have a big liking for the track,” Andersen told the Peterborough Telegraph. “I haven’t raced on it for a long time with Peterborough having been out of the top league.
“When they announced they were returning to the Premiership I was immediately interested in coming back.
“I have great memories of riding for the club in the past and I’ll never forget being part of the team of 2006. That was a long time ago, but Peterborough haven’t come back up to make the numbers up.
“There’s only seven teams in the league and hopefully we can challenge for silverware. Up until this year with Leicester, I’d been in the play-offs for six seasons on the trot and that’s where I want to be again.
“I’m still fully committed to my racing and always give 110 per cent. I’ve always wanted my team to win as it’s always more enjoyable to be part of a successful club.
“I feel I have a lot to offer on track and also in the pits, and being back at Peterborough will really suit me. It’s really important to me to enjoy my racing because we have to make a lot of sacrifices to have this career.
“And it will be nice to see a lot of familiar faces again. I always had a great relationship with the fans and I’m sure that will carry on.”
It will be the fourth Panthers spell of former Grand Prix winner Andersen’s long and illustrious career.
He first raced for the city club in 2003 but it was his return in 2006 for which he will always be remembered.
That second stint with Panthers eventually ended sourly during a difficult 2008 campaign as Andersen made a mid-season switch to Coventry.
Andersen then returned for a brief four-meeting spell at the end of the 2011 campaign after number one Nicki Pedersen was sacked. He went on to win a second Elite League title with Swindon the following year.
This will be Andersen’s 19th consecutive season in British speedway stretching back to his debut campaign with Poole in 2001. He has also ridden for Ipswich, Coventry, Belle Vue and Leicester, where he spent last season.
Andersen slots in on a 7.56 average with fellow new recruit Chris Harris expected to come in on a mark of 7.78. Those two men were also Panthers team-mates in 2003!
* Another of the Panthers’ title-winning class of 2006 has moved on.
Ulrich Ostergaard has confirmed he won’t be making the jump into the SGB Premiership with the city club.
Ostergaard has joined SGB Championship newcomers Birmingham to end a five-season stay at the East of England Arena.
The 37 year-old can be considered one of Panthers’ most successful riders after starring in the SGB Championship KO Cup and Fours double of 2017 and helping them retain the latter trophy last season.
He also won the second-tier individual riders’ title back in 2015 while a Panthers racer.