Peterborough Panthers sign another British champion

Craig Cook in action for Panthers in 2016.
Craig Cook in action for Panthers in 2016.
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Peterborough Panthers have completed their third signing for 2019 . . . by handing Craig Cook a third spell with the club.

The Great Britain international follows Chris Harris and Hans Andersen into the city club for their SGB Premiership return next year – and just like his new team-mates he is a former GP rider having raced in the World Championship last season.

Cook is also no stranger to Panthers fans after spending much of the 2016 campaign at the East of England Arena when they competed in the SGB Championship.

He was also given his first-ever taste of top-flight racing by Panthers when making nine appearances for them in the 2010 season – just his second year in the sport.

Promoter Ged Rathbone said: “The fact we’ve been able to bring Craig back here shows what we’ve done as a club over the last few years.

“We enjoyed working with him in 2016 and we’re looking forward to having him ride for us again next year.

“Craig has been at Belle Vue for a long time in the top flight and hopefully a move to a different club will re-ignite him in some ways.

“He’s still determined to be the very best rider and get himself back into the GPs having ridden at the highest level of the sport last year.

“I really expect him to produce the goods and firmly believe this will be a good move for him.

“He completes a very strong top three and the fact that all of our signings have averages under eight points means we can build for some strength-in-depth as well.”

Cook finished last season on a 7.73 average but that should be discounted to 7.54 as he is a product of the sport’s National League.

Cook’s arrival also means Panthers boast two former British champions in their line-up for 2019. He won the national crown in 2017 while Harris is a three-time champion having climbed onto the top step of the podium in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Panthers’ rapid team-building is expected to continue with a fourth signing due to be announced later this week.

Club bosses expect all seven pieces of their jigsaw to fall into place ahead of Christmas.