King’s Lynn quick off the mark to sign Howe
King's Lynn Stars last night announced David Howe as the club's first confirmed signing for the 2012 Elite League.
The experienced racer was part of the Stars' squad towards the end of last season and will double up alongside his commitments with captaining Scunthorpe at Premier League level.
'I'm so pleased to have this chance,' he said. 'I loved riding for the Stars last year even though it was difficult because it came midway through the season and wasn't prepared. Now I have the winter to make sure I'm ready and also be a proper member of the team. I really needed to an Elite spot for the plans I have for 2012 and Lynn was always my first choice.'
Lynn have a team building limit of 41 points after the sport's annual promoters' conference confirmed the top flight will again run with ten clubs.
The Norfolk Arena club stepped up from the Premier for 2011 and finished third in the table to qualify for the play-offs where they lost to eventual champions Poole. The Stars will again not race in the 2012 Elite League KO Cup due to financial considerations.
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'We had a great year in the Elite League and didn't miss the Knockout Cup,' said Stars' co-promoter Buster Chapman. 'After considering the pros and cons we have once again decided to opt out of the competition, this is on the basis that it is not televised and would cost the club money to be in it as there is no additional revenue from Sky. Obviously other clubs must have ways of covering those costs but we decided it was safer to concentrate on spending our budget on putting together a competitive team to challenge for the league.'
Fellow co-promoter Jonathan Chapman insists Howe's arrival is a further signal the club's management are keen to finalise their team roster swiftly.
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'We always like to build a team quickly,' he said. 'Even though we were the last team in the Elite League last year, we were the first to announce a full team. We want to make as few team changes as possible. We thoroughly enjoyed the Elite League this year and we thought it was hugely entertaining and exciting. When something is this good, you don't want to change it.'
The Elite League Pairs' championship, which was held at the Norfolk Arena in 2011, has also been cut.
'Unfortunately the BSPA lost money running the event for the last two years,' said Chapman. 'It just goes to show that these type of events are becoming harder and harder to stage. As we found with the Pride Of the East at the end of last season, it is hard to balance prize money and getting a good enough line up to attract enough people to come and watch.'
Lynn have pencilled in March 21 as the first home meeting of the new season with the club also keen to schedule a Good Friday double header against rivals Peterborough.