Ipswich Witches ring the changes.... two riders out, two riders in

Foxhall Stadium

Changes have been made to Ipswich Witches line-up - Credit: Ipswich Speedway

High-flying Ipswich Witches have made two changes to their team as the season heads towards the Premiership play-offs.

The Suffolk side have signed former rider Rohan Tungate as an injury replacement for Erik Riss, subject to BSPL approval, and Aaron Summers as a replacement for the suspended Ben Barker.

It has been a difficult couple of weeks for the club with Riss suffering a broken left ankle whilst riding for Landshut meaning he faces a period of four to six weeks on the sidelines. Tungate’s move is part of a double change with Summers coming in for Barker.

Tungate is a club asset and has plenty of Foxhall experience having rode for the club from 2012 to 2015. The former Australian champion will make his first appearance since re-signing away at Belle Vue on Monday.

Team manager Chris Louis with Rohan Tungate

Witches owner Chris Louis, chatting to Rohan Tungate, right. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Team manager Ritchie Hawkins explained why the club has decided to bring Tungate back to Foxhall.

“Erik is going to be out for a month at least and that takes us to the end of the league season and that is quite a while,” said Hawkins. “We don’t want to be running R/R for an extended period of time, so the opportunity was there, and Rohan was available.

"It keeps the team very strong bringing him in and he knows the club very well being our asset. We needed to make that work, without Erik’s injury things might have been different and we certainly were not looking to change the team before then but that’s speedway. We are dealing with this 75% of meetings rule and we needed to get it sorted."

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Meanwhile Summers arrives as a replacement for Barker.

A dejected Ben Barker waves to the crowd following the Ipswich v Somerset (Premier League Play-off s

Ben Barker. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Barker had his SCB registration suspended after he provided a ‘Non Negative’ result following a random Drug and Alcohol test held at Oxford Speedway. His registration will remain suspended until further results have been confirmed from laboratory results which are still yet to be received. 

Summers recently came out of retirement to return to racing with Oxford in the Championship and has been scoring freely. The Australian will make his debut for Ipswich away at Belle Vue on Monday.

“With bringing Rohan in we didn’t quite have enough points, so we had to make another change,” said Hawkins

“We have brought Aaron in, and he is another rider who has come back in and is flying. He has been going very well and he is a rider we have spoken to on numerous occasions over the last few years and we have had deals agreed and he is someone I would have liked to be part of the club."