American star signs for title-chasing Scorpions
SCUNTHORPE SCORPIONS have swooped for United States World Cup star Gino Manzares as their sixth confirmed starter for 2018 – and, incredibly, the club’s first-ever American star will start the season in a reserve position, as Scorpions chase silverware in the Championship.
Meanwhile, Scorpions have also confirmed what will happen with the No 7 spot – it will go to the most impressive eligible British rider during the club’s hectic winter programme at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
24-year-old Manzares previously rode two seasons for Ipswich Witches. He burst onto the British scene in 2014 for Witches, pushing his average above 6.00, but had a tougher time in 2015, with his official Green Sheet average slipping to 5.43.
In the meantime, Manzares has represented the American national side with some aplomb. He top scored with the USA in the World Cup Event One at King’s Lynn in July 2017, registering seven points. His contribution did much to allow his country to upset the odds and finish ahead of the Czech Republic – with the double whammy of booking a place in the subsequent World Cup Race-Off and also avoiding the 2018 qualifying rounds.
Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey says: “I’m delighted to have secured the services of Gino Manzares, and thank the Ipswich promotion for giving us permission to talk to him.
“He is a high quality rider and it’s a further sign that we really do mean business in 2018. The message is clear – put Friday nights aside in your diary for next summer, because you don’t want to miss the first class speedway team in action at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
“Gino is the very best option we had with the remaining points. He showed real class when he rode in Britain before for Ipswich, and his average was much higher at one point than the one we’ve signed him on.
“He will start at reserve – but won’t stay at reserve for the whole season, that’s for sure. He’ll push another very strong rider down to the reserve position, since we’ve got six potential heat leaders. Whoever is at reserve is going to score a hatful of points.
“Gino was a real star turn for the USA in the World Cup last season, especially at King’s Lynn, and it’s great to have an American rider at the Eddie Wright Raceway – it adds a nice international flavour to our side. The 2018 Scorpions will consist of five Englishmen, one American and one Australian and I think that’s a nice mix.”
Regarding the No 7 position, Godfrey explains: “Gino’s average is 5.43, which leaves 2.11 for our final rider. In other words, our No 7 spot will be filled by a 2.00 newcomer.
“Rather than sign anyone here-and-now, we’re going to leave the place open to the rider who impresses us the most at the Eddie Wright Raceway over the winter months. There’s a whole host of young British riders currently in the National League who, I’m sure, will relish such an opportunity.
“Whoever we eventually decide upon will have no pressure on them, because we have signed a top six which is fully capable of winning meetings both home and away.”
Scunthorpe Scorpions 2018 (with starting averages):
Steve Worrall (9.13)
Jason Garrity (7.32)
Josh Auty (6.90)
Jake Allen (6.08)
Stefan Nielsen (5.53)
Gino Manzares (5.43)
British youngster – to be determined (2.00)