Lowdown on King's Lynn Stars leading the Premiership glory charge
King's Lynn Stars are through to the Premiership play-off final... CHRIS LAKEY takes a look at the riders who will carry the club's colours as they aim for the first top-flight title in their history.
1 Robert Lambert
The undisputed star of 2018. Lambert is a Norfolk boy, born and bred – but has truly become a man this season. Aged just 20, Lambert, from Foulsham, has been riding on two wheels since he was three and began grasstrack racing at six.
He rode for King’s Lynn Young Stars in the National League in 2013, scoring 15 points at his first meeting, winning five of his six races. The following season he was in the Stars’ Elite League team with the early fixtures arranged to ensure he reached the age of 16 before the first meeting. It’s been onwards and upwards ever since - he raced for GB in the 2014 Under-21 World Cup and last year won the European Under-19 Cup and the European Junior Championship. He also won the British Under-21 title, which he retained this year – and added the British title to boot. A Star of today, and a Star of the future.
2 Erik Riss
The 23-year-old German is a former two time world longtrack champion, whose British speedway career saw him race for Edinburgh Monarchs in 2015 and Leicester Lions lasts season before joining the Stars in August, going into the main body of the team with Michael Palm Toft moving to reserve.
“Erik has a lot of quality and with Michael moving back down to reserve it gives us added strength in that department,” said team boss Dale Allitt at the time.
3 Ty Proctor
Has been plagued by injuries of late, but the Australian has proved a quality signing for the Stars. Proctor has actually been on the Stars radar on a number of occasions, but this time, a deal was able to be worked out.
Proctor – who has doubled up with Championship club Workington – had not raced in the top flight since 2014 when he was with Wolverhampton, where he won the Elite League Championship in 2009 and the Elite Shield in 2010 and 2011. Has also raced for Redcar, Peterborough, Plymouth and Sheffield.
4 Thomas Jorgensen
The 26-year-old Dane doubles up with the Redcar Bears in the Championship. Has previously raced for Scunthorpe.
Wolverhampton, Berwick and Workington. Jorgensen impressed Stars hierarchy last season and was one of those signed up nice and early for the current season. First began racing at the age of four on a 50cc mini speedway bike.
5 Niels-Kristian Iversen
The 36-year-old Great Dane led the side from 2011 to 2016 but returned this season, determined to get the Stars back on top. Winner of seven Danish championships in a row, a shoulder injury ended his 2017 Grand Prix campaign and he then missed out on a wild card place. The shoulder is still hampering him on the track, despite undergoing surgery to fix some nerve damage in May.
He said: “I’ve had a really good year with King’s Lynn and also (his Swedish club) Smederna. Things are getting close now – the play-offs and medals. I just need to do the best I can with I’ve got, which I have done all year. It has been going well so far and I can’t really complain too much about my form.”
6 Michael Palm Toft
The 28-year-old Dane first raced on these shores in 2011, with Scunthorpe. The next season he spent at King’s Lynn, going on to also represent Plymouth and Belle Vue. Returned to Lynn in April after fans’ favourite Lewis Rose stood down.
Team boss Dale Allitt said: “He’s ridden for the Stars in a couple of seasons previously and he made a good impression when we brought him in for the second half of last year.” Put in a stunning match-winning performance at Belle Vue in the semi-final first leg.
7 Simon Lambert
Bags of experience with Boston, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Stoke, Leicester, Rye House, Somerset, Workington, Kent Kings and Peterborough – as well as previous spells at King’s Lynn.
Known as Rambo, the 29-year-old had a testimonial meeting at the Adrian Flux Arena last season. He rejoined the Stars in July 2017.