SPEEDWAY: FORMER Coventry Bees team manager Peter Oakes says it is an ‘absolute scandal’ that the club has not been racing this year, writes Robin Allen.
Oakes managed the Bees alongside long-term friend and colleague Colin Pratt between 2004 and 2009, in which time they masterminded one of the most successful spells in Coventry’s history, winning eight trophies.
The pair were reunited last week as they took charge of a Coventry team which included Scott Nicholls and Rory Schlein in a challenge meeting at Leicester ahead of the tenth anniversary of the treble winning team.
“For me, it was good to be back in management for the first time since 2009,” said Oakes.
“Being able to put Scott Nicholls and Rory Schlein out in heat 15 at Leicester was a bit of nostalgia because they, along with Chris Harris and the others were part of some very successful years.
“I do not think there was any denying that Coventry were not the strongest team on paper during our time in charge but quite often that happens.
“The way the team worked together on and off the track, it was just a shame that the team had to be broken up.
“My association with Coventry goes back a long way because I used to do the programme every year for the British Final for Charles Ochiltree, back in the days where you would knock on the door with trepidation to ask if Mr Ochiltree was in, but in the end we became good family friends having holidays together.
“He was a man that everyone in speedway should try to emulate because he was responsible for all the success at Coventry for 1947 and 1948 onwards, built up a lot of championship winning sides bringing a lot of big, big names to Coventry with the likes of Nigel Boocock – the showman that he was.
“And then you had Ole Olsen, a world champion at Coventry and Hans Nielsen, it went on and on.
“It is hard to think of another situation like Coventry are in, I recently went to visit Brandon and it really is unbelievable to see the stadium is standing.
“Okay, things may have been taken down inside but it is incredible to think with three to four weeks work the track could be the home for one of the most successful clubs not only in the UK, but in the world, hosting thousands of fans along the way.
It is an absolute scandal that Coventry have not being racing and it is uncertain whether they will be in the near future.”
Picture: Chris Simpson.