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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Speedway Grand Prix: One Man’s Far-flung Journey Behind the Scenes

All our heroes today have become digital apparitions haunting our mobile devices’ screens, even Speedway’s heroes. The fast action thrills, spills and glamour of the Speedway Grand Prix can be seen like never before. But with more and more meetings staged in increasingly remote locations – and as fewer fans get to attend races in person or watch on their screens – beneath the surface international glitz something has been lost even as Speedway’s mystery and lustre widens and deepens.

For one long hot mostly glorious summer, unafraid to fully embrace his inner Proclaimer, speedway author Jeff Scott travelled nearly 10,000 miles throughout Europe hitching lifts and using public transport to attend every SGP meeting from trackside. Although speedway back stage access is usually closely guarded from the prying eyes of the public with stringent security, Scott gained exclusive pre-meeting pits lane access at every Speedway Grand Prix meeting of the 2018 season. He also watched all the action as well as met the fans, sponsors, riders, mechanics, track staff and many others involved in these meetings.

This Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Speedway Grand Prix gives us a unique snapshot of the timeless appeal of Speedway as it also reveals something of what really goes on at the pinnacle of this thrilling sport in the SGPs. Scott’s unauthorised and unsupervised sideways look behind the scenes at the people, places, events and characters of contemporary World Championship Speedway reveals its many glories and pitfalls as never before. Travelling the highways, byways and pit lanes, Scott discovers some of what we are unable to see on our screens and challenges the usual often gung-ho reporting narratives and messaging.

With the proper oblique glances, even the unheard voices of the digital ghosts of World Championship Speedway can speak to us. Open this book and let the seance begin.

Jeff Scott is the author of many acclaimed speedway books including Showered in Shale, Strictly Shale, Shale Britannia and Concrete for Breakfast, which was short-listed for British Sports Book of the Year.