A Bluffers guide to Speedway
With a top speed of around 80mph. Speedway bikes have no brakes, just one fixed gear, a clutch and 500cc engines which run on methanol fuel. In power to weight ratio, a speedway bike can accelerate from 0-60 mph, faster than a Formula 1 car. Click here to view a selection of races at the Lakeside Hammers
Speedway tracks are oval and vary across the country. They are covered with shale, a surface which allows riders to power slide around the corners in spectacular fashion.
Typical Speedway league racing is run between two teams over 15 heats (or races) which each consist of four laps. Each team has 7 riders with 2 riders from each team taking part in each heat with a simple objective – to beat the opposition and get to the chequered flag first! The Hammers riders are identified by red and blue helmet colours and their famous crossed Hammers racesuits.
If a rider wins a race he earns his team 3 points, 2 points for second and 1 point for third.
In addition to club racing, an individual world championship Grand Prix takes place throughout the year at some of Europe’s leading venues.
A guide to a night at the Hammers
About The Raceway
To find a range of directions to The Arena Essex Raceway, please click here. There is a large, free cark park outside the stadium and one set of turnstiles, which open from 6pm, leading into the venue. Once inside, the following short guide will help you enjoy a night at The Hammers. Remember that speedway fans are a friendly, knowledgeable bunch, who will be delighted to answer any questions you may have.
Before the meeting
Racing starts at 8.00pm, but the pits, where the riders prepare for the meeting are open to the public up to 7.15pm before the meeting and immediately afterwards. You will find all of the riders are easy to approach for an autograph, a photo or just a chat! You can also view the sometimes frantic pits activity, during a meeting from the raised banking on either side.
A parade takes place, usually at 7.45pm when the riders from both teams are introduced. Many speedway fans have a preferred place to watch a meeting. Unlike football, once inside the Raceway you are free to wander around to different vantage points. Our announcer will keep you informed of the meeting proceedings, whilst our trackside commentator explains how to fill your programme in and provides interviews with riders, management and fans as the night progresses.
The home straight /start line
Each race commences at the starting gate (known as the tapes) which are situated on the home straight. Standing on the first bend banking or in our main covered stand, you will really appreciate the bravery of all four riders in each race as they launch from a standing start into the first corner.
The back straight
Standing on either the raised banking or to get closer to the action, within a fenced off section of the stock car circuit which surrounds the racetrack, you’ll experience the speed of the riders as the exit the second bend. The back straight also offers a great vantage point as the riders leave and return to the pits for each race.
The Raceway Tavern
You can also enjoy the meeting with a refreshing pint, from the balcony vantage point of The Raceway Tavern, which overlooks the first bend. A range of other food outlets serving fast food and beverages are located throughout the raceway.