STOKE Potters kick off their season with a friendly encounter against a select team from Poland on Saturday.
Club bosses are hoping for a big crowd with a large number of Poles now living in the area and new announcer Ian Lewsey, of Haslington, says all visitors will get a warm welcome at the Chesterton stadium in Loomer Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
He is trying to raise some more interest in the sport.
He says: 'Speedway is a huge sport in Poland and a lot of their riders also race for British teams. I can't speak any Polish, but saying Tomasz Gollob to a Pole is like them saying David Beckham to us Brits. He's a national hero over there.'
Ian has much speedway history in his family as his grand-father was at the first ever meeting in 1928 held at High Beech in Essex and he saw his first race in 1969.
He explains: 'It's a very family-orientated sport and the riders are far more approachable than in some sports. Most of them come into the bar after meetings and chat with the supporters.
'The sport is very exciting with four riders in each race going at speeds of up to 70mph on an enclosed oval track of around 300 metres.
'When you add to that the bikes are 500cc, run on pure alcohol and have no brakes, it certainly gets the adrenalin pumping.'
He adds: 'Stoke are one of the few tracks around the country who operate two teams. They have their senior team, The Potters, racing in the Premier League on Saturday nights and the feeder team called The Spitfires who race in the Conference League on Wednesdays.
'All meetings start at 7.30pm. The young lads in the Spitfires serve up some really great racing and I really enjoy seeing the stars of the future and maybe see a future world champion.'
* The club holds its annual press and practice day today (Wednesday). Starting at 3pm, fans can watch the riders as they prepare for the new season and possibly grab a few autographs.
* Saturday tickets range from £4 to £12, including programme, and Wednesday tickets are from £2 to £9. Under-5s are admitted free for both.
For more information call the stadium on 01782 566779 or 07789 028003. Stoke Clubcall is 09066 555 921.