BSPA chief Buster Chapman says sorry after King’s Lynn Stars’ clash with Swindon Robins is abandoned
Buster Chapman issued a public apology after his beloved club produced a terrible advert for the sport he controls.
The head of the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) was 'absolutely distraught' after last night's meeting between King's Lynn Stars and Swindon Robins was postponed at 9.48pm. Only four races had been completed when the plug was pulled on an embarrassing evening.
The problems began when a pre-meeting downpour forced the start of the action to be delayed by 45 minutes. They intensified when another stoppage of a similar time was caused by the riders asking for remedial work to be done to the track.
And things got even worse when the farcical evening was finally put out of its misery as both teams continued to struggle with the slippery conditions.
Chapman immediately took to the public address system to declare: 'I'm absolutely distraught. I know you're all upset but I'm absolutely furious. I feel sorry for everyone involved. A little bit of rain shouldn't stop a meeting but it has.
'I've been on the track since 3am and produced a good race track. I didn't know the rain was coming. I get distraught when bikes can't handle these conditions. Sometimes it seems this sport is going backwards.
'No wonder crowds are going away. The bikes have got no lower power. It's practically impossible when it's this grippy. If people want us to put tarmac down it would make my life easier. But it's dirt racing. I'm ever so sorry.
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'I hope you continue to come. I know I'm fed up but please, please keep coming and watching the meetings. You spend your hard-earned money, travel all this way, and I'm just so sorry. I don't want to say any more as I'll get myself in trouble.
'Thanks for coming. Some of the riders will wonder why they won't have a job soon. But that's because nobody will be paying to come and see them racing.'
Swindon were leading 16-8 when referee Mick Bates officially called an end to proceedings. There had been fallers in every heat and Troy Batchelor's face said it all when he retired by choice in the last race after being absolutely covered from head to toe in shale.
He stopped, took off his goggles and looked up at the referee's box and wondered – like everyone else who had decided not to go home – why we were still bothering.
Kai Huckenbeck's heat-one crash saw him withdraw with a rib injury. And Robert Lambert added more woe to a night when fans were left feeling more than short-changed by storming through the tapes in a fit of rage after being excluded for cutting across the 'centre green'.