OPENING FIXTURES ANNOUNCED

Tuesday January 23, 2018
BIRMINGHAM will get their 2018 campaign underway with a special two-legged Challenge against Midland rivals Coventry.

The new-look Brummies will race together for the first time on Sunday, March 25 (4pm) at Leicester's Beaumont Park - Coventry's temporary home for the year.

Birmingham will then host the Bees at Perry Barr for the return on Wednesday, March 28 (7.30).

It will be the first fixture of the Peter and David Mason regime, and the latter has called it a fitting tie.

"We think it had to be Birmingham v Coventry for the opening meetings for a number of reasons," David Mason explained.

"First of all, Coventry are back on track competitively after a year out and what better way to return than a derby head-to-head?

"Those were the two teams who also met in Tony Mole's Farewell in October - the night my dad and I were unveiled as the new promoters and owners of Birmingham so that's special too.

"It's also a long-standing rivalry that has existed for years and years and it promises to be a thrilling tie over the two legs this time around.

"Coventry will want to make a winning return - but there's so many reasons why we would love to get off to a winning start too!

"Naturally my dad and I would love the team to win our first meeting as promoters and there's a lot of links within our team too.

"Mitch (Davey) and Callum (Walker) have both raced for Coventry in the National League previously and team manager Laurence Rogers would love to get one over his old team too!

"Coventry also include our former captain Jack Parkinson-Blackburn and he'll want to come back and try and prove a point I guess.

"So all in all it's certainly mouthwatering and while the result will have no bearing on anything, it's one the supporters will want to win and hopefully both meetings are well attended too."

Meanwhile Birmingham are facing a number of Tuesday home meetings throughout 2018.

Premiership and Championship fixtures are set to be released on Wednesday, affecting the potential availability of doubling-up stars Mitchell Davey and Danyon Hume.

But David Mason is determined to track his declared team in all meetings and is keen to build a special relationship between riders and fans.

"I have to pass on my huge thanks to Laurence Rogers who is taking on our fixture planning for 2018," Mason said.

"He has a lot more experience than myself with this sort of thing and it is certainly going to take a lot of careful planning.

"We wanted Mitchell in our team regardless of whether or not he gained a Premiership team spot.

"He has done just that which is great for him and although Swindon have been allowed to ride some of their home meetings on a Thursday, there are some Wednesdays he will be unavailable for.

"Now I'm not a fan of using guest riders or rider replacement if I can help it - I would like to use the same seven riders as much as I possibly can.

"It's important for team spirit but I also think it's important for the supporters point of view.

"It's no good turning up one week and watching a rider then seeing he's not there the week after.

"I want to build a special rapport between the team and our supporters, so having the same 1-7 as often as we possibly can is key for me.

"One thing we may have to do on occasions is move the odd home meeting to a Tuesday night from a Wednesday.

"We want to track a consistent looking away team as well so that will take even more planning when we know for definite which Championship matches are taking place when.

"Once the finalised list is released on Wednesday, we then have a week or two to draft a list together and I'm told the National League fixtures will then be released in early or mid February.

"I know Wednesdays are our traditional racenight and I'm hoping it won't cause too much inconvenience for our supporters.

"But we want to be honest and have a good relationship with our supporters and we wanted to prepare them for what may have to happen with the best interests of the team at heart."

Anyone with any queries regarding season tickets or racenights should e-mail leekilby@birminghambrummies.co

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