Swindon Robins will extend a hand of friendship to fans of former local rivals Reading Racers this season.

Homeless Reading will have a team in the Midland and Southern Development League and Swindon will welcome them to the Abbey for their home meetings.

It’s a move which will go down well with frustrated Racers fans who lost their Smallmead Stadium track a decade ago.

The famous winged wheel returned to competitive action in 2017 when a group of supporters led by Emma Pike, Mat Stevens and Gene Carter entered the Southern Development League racing their home fixtures at Eastbourne.

Swindon co-promoter Lee Kilby said: “To introduce development speedway to our fixture list in 2019 is a wonderful addition.

“I am a huge fan of this level of racing having been involved with the Midland development division in 2018.

At this level, Reading were always a team and a club that impressed me. They were always very well organised, and always professional in their approach.

“Offering them the chance to race at the Abbey is a win win for all concerned. It offers our supporters an additional six heats of action to watch at six of our scheduled home meetings, and it gives Reading and their supporters a much closer home track than the near 180-mile round trip they faced to race at Eastbourne over the last two seasons.

“We’ve already discussed as a management team about the benefits of running our home meetings a little slicker and to a tighter schedule reducing the meeting running time, and now we have these additional races to add in the programme, we’ve got another reason to do so.

“Many Robins fans will remember the stunning derby day races served up against the Racers by names such as Leigh Adams, Matej Zagar, Phil Crump, Per Jonsson, Bob Kilby and Anders Michanek, but I’m sure our Robins supporters will put all rivalries aside and offer a big welcome to our neighbours and cheer on the efforts of their development team.”

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