This week brings just about the best news that anyone concerned with the Speedway Riders’ Benevolent Fund could wish to hear, namely that local hero Dan Bewley will be making his debut in the Ben Fund Bonanza at Workington on March 16th.
In an area which has produced the likes of Steve and Richard Lawson and Craig Cook over the years, no-one is likely to argue that Bewley is the best yet and a rider who is contention for the sport’s highest honours. Not that Dan himself would ever bother to make such claims.
He says “Over the years I have had a little bit of help from the Ben Fund but I’ve never done the meeting, so I should do it when I can. It’s for the good of the sport really to do it.
“I think the help I had was in 2018 but when you look at what’s been done for riders that had some more serious injuries, the Ben Fund has done a tremendous amount for the sport.”
It really suits Dan that it gives him the chance to ride competitively for the first time at the one-year old venue. “Obviously it’s my home track, the first time I’ve raced there too, so I couldn’t be more excited to be riding in it.
“It’s good to be a part of the meeting, and to be at Workington is a bonus. I’ve practised there a few times and it’s pretty cool, but racing’s different. I’ve watched a few meetings and there has always been decent racing there, but that was only National League and I feel the kind of riders who will be in the Ben Fund meeting will make it even better.”
The 24 year old Cumbrian is ready for another huge season. “I’m back with the same teams, a similar programme, so I’ll just try to score good points and see what we can do.”
It’s less than eight years since Bewley took to the track with Belle Vue Colts and Edinburgh in the Championship. Reflecting on that he said “When I first went to Edinburgh it probably helped me that I was that fresh to the sport, I didn’t really know too much about it or who I was racing against.
"I was probably a long way out of my depth but it probably helped me not really knowing that! I’ve been with some great clubs along the way and it’s been a blast.”
Of course his appearance at Workington will give something back to Steve Lawson who has played such a part in his development. “I probably wouldn’t have got interested if it wasn’t for Steve. With the new track coming back at Workington there’s a lot of people involved there, but he’s part of that and one of the key guys there.”
Dan will be heading for the States in early February and that will be the show on the road for another campaign.
Image: Ian Charles