Two more riders still to go but Panthers are refusing to panic

World champion Jason Doyle (left) is on his way to the Showground.
World champion Jason Doyle (left) is on his way to the Showground.
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Team boss Carl Johnson insists Panthers aren’t panicking - despite still having two empty slots in their 2018 team.

The city team have only recruited five of their seven riders for the new SGB Championship season which is now less than two months away.

Ulrich Ostergaard and Simon Lambert have been retained from the Fours and KO Cup double-winning side of last year, with Michael Palm Toft, Nike Lunna and Emil Grondal being brought in.

The club have been widely linked with a move for seven-time British champion Scott Nicholls to become their number one, but his eligibility to race in the second tier of the sport is currently unclear.

And Johnson has urged fans to remain patient as club chiefs attempt to slot the final pieces of their jigsaw into place.

He said: “I think it is important at this stage of the winter to reassure our supporters that we are working as hard as we possibly can to complete our team.

“We’ve had a deal in place with a rider for several months, but certain circumstances beyond our control mean we can’t confirm his capture at this stage.

“We know it is far from ideal, but as soon as we’re in a position to go public with confirmed signings we’ll do so.

“We all want more success after our achievements in the Fours and KO Cup last season - and we want to hit the track in March with the best possible team to challenge for honours.

“We’re delighted with the five riders we already have in place. Hopefully five will become seven pretty soon.”

While their own team may still need completing, plenty of big names have been secured for the season-opening Ben Fund Bonanza.

Reigning world champion Jason Doyle is the latest star attraction for the individual event on Sunday, March 18 (2pm).

He said: “I’ve ridden at Peterborough a few times and it’s a proper race-track with lots of lines on it. I haven’t been for a few years so hopefully it is still the same.”

Doyle joins Danish quartet Kenneth Bjerre, Hans Andersen, Niels Kristian Iversen and Bjarne Pedersen, British trio Nicholls, Chris Harris and Danny King, and fellow Aussie Nick Morris in the star-studded line-up.