When Arenacross blasts off at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on January 17/18 the passionate Irish fans will get to cheer on three home heroes who’ve been given wild card rides for the opening two nights of the 2014 tour.
Gordon Crockard, Wayne Garrett and Ed Allingham will all be in action although for 23-year-old Ed the last-minute call-up has come out of the blue.
“I’m very happy to be racing,” he says. “I didn’t think I was going to get a ride but I’ve just found out that I’m in. I’ve now got a couple of days to build myself a track so I can get some practice in!”
The former British youth champion from Derry is no stranger to the cut and thrust of indoor racing but after a couple of years away from the intense Arenacross atmosphere he knows he’s facing a big challenge.
“I’ve raced Arenacross in the US a few times and raced at the Mini Olympics over there which is outdoors but the track style is pretty similar to Arenacross. I’ve also raced indoors a lot in Europe and a few years ago I was fourth in the Dutch championship so I can look after myself.
“I really enjoy racing indoors but I didn’t race it in 2013 and I was out injured for most of 2012 so I’m going to be a bit rusty but I’m confident I can get back into it quickly. Friday night will be about finding my form and getting used to a new bike and then Saturday I’ll be a lot smoother and faster.”
Ed will race for the Kawasaki Ireland team on a 250F machine provided by Lisburn dealership Norman Watt Motorcycles and he’s counting on the support of the home crowd to help him raise his game.
“The fans will definitely get behind me and give me a lot more confidence,” he adds. “There are some very fast guys racing but I’m fast too – so much depends on who gets a good start.”