Express & Star

Wolverhampton promoter Van Stratten: I would never run a meeting in heatwave again

Wolverhampton promoter Chris Van Straaten admits he would never run a speedway meeting in such sweltering conditions again following Monday night’s Premiership Pairs scorcher at Monmore Green.


Temperatures were knocking on the door of 40 degrees Celsius in the Black Country, creating an uncomfortable environment for all involved with the event.

And with the club suffering their lowest crowd since the gates opened again post-lockdown, the Parrys International Wolves chief says he fully sympathises with those supporters who opted to stay at home.

“Us Brits have never ever experienced anything like the temperatures we’ve had these past few days,” he said. “Whether you’re just sitting around doing very little or are on the move at work or something, it leaves you feeling very lethargic and not very enthusiastic about too much.

“The whole of Monday was such an uncomfortable feeling and I can completely understand why so many people decided to stay at home.

“It was a really difficult few days for our track staff as well but I have nothing but praise for all of them.

“They worked throughout Sunday and Monday to maintain the racing surface and do everything they could to try and prevent it from becoming a dust bowl – and I have to say they provided some really good conditions under the circumstances and we saw some good racing.

“If it was down to me, I wouldn’t choose to ever run a speedway meeting in temperatures like that again.

“I know we’re used to the term rain-off in speedway but if conditions like that were to revisit then maybe we’d have our first ever sun-off or heat-off!

“It was our smallest crowd and our most expensive meeting to put on since we came out of lockdown and that obviously equates to a problem.

“I have no issue with the Pairs though; I love the style of the meeting, I like the format and I think it’s an interesting competition.

“It was nice to see us a perform a little bit better in our home round as well but let’s get back to a more normal night of speedway all-round when we host King’s Lynn next Monday (July 25, 7.30pm).

Wolverhampton finished third in Monday’s fourth round, a result which moved them off the bottom of the Pairs standings – which are led by Ipswich, who picked up a third straight success.