LAKESIDE Hammers have been promoted to the SGB Championship.
It means a swift return to the professional leagues after a season at National Development League level.
And club bosses have already got some exciting plans in place for their 2018 team with the intention of pushing for a top four spot.
The move also means some mouthwatering clashes with the likes of Ipswich and Peterborough visiting the Arena-Essex Raceway.
Promoter Jon Cook said: “Everyone at the club is delighted at our return to the professional leagues and the new challenge of the championship.
“We will be revealing our plans in greater detail over the coming weeks and I’m sure the Hammers fans are equally excited by this move.”
Championship racing will be taking place between Thursday – Sunday inclusive in 2018 as the Premiership have fixed and protected race nights of Monday and Wednesday to avoid fixture clashes.
Promoters made key decisions at the British Speedway AGM at the weekend including the following points:
PREMIERSHIP and Championship leagues team points average increased to 42.5 with the Premiership permitted one rider of an average of 8.00 or more. Championship has no restrictions.
CHAMPIONSHIP season starts with three league cup sections – 1) LAKESIDE, Peterborough, Ipswich 2) Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Redcar, Newcastle 3) Glasgow, Edinburgh, Berwick, Workington.
Championship KOC 1st round: Scunthorpe v Sheffield or Redcar, Ipswich v Lakeside or Peterborough, Berwick v Edinburgh or Glasgow, Newcastle v Workington.
TACTICAL SUBS: Black and White double points replaced with tactical substitution permitted in heats 5 to 14 (excluding heat 8) when a team is 6 points or more behind. For clarity there are NO double points.
THERE will be no promotion or relegations between the two leagues but the top four from each league will compete in their own league Play-offs.