GLASGOW’S owners are set to play a huge part in backing the new Great Britain Speedway Team after striking a major sponsorship deal.
Allied Mobility, part of the Allied Vehicles Group – which took over Glasgow Tigers in 2014 – is the team’s principal partner for the 2018 campaign.
The news comes on the eve of Team GB’s participation in the Speedway of Nations – where Tai Woffinden, Craig Cook and Robert Lambert will go head-to-head with other countries from across the world in the race to be crowned the best on the globe, complete with Allied Mobility logos on their race suits.
It extends Allied’s involvement with speedway, the company having already invested upwards of £3 million in the Tigers and their Peugeot Ashfield Stadium home, and backed several riders including Chris Harris during his time on the Grand Prix circuit.
Allied Vehicles Group, which celebrates its 25th birthday this year, is owned by the Facenna family and is Europe’s largest supplier of wheelchair-accessible vehicles, with a turnover of £130 million.
It has several trading divisions which employ nearly 700 staff – most of whom are based at its headquarters just a stone’s throw from Glasgow speedway.
Peter Facenna, Allied’s managing director, said: “We already knew Rob Painter and Vicky Blackwell from Team GB, and when they asked if they could come and have a chat with us, we were delighted to meet with them and hear about their plans for the side.
“They’re passionate about what they do, and they’ve certainly got grand and impressive plans for Team GB. It’s also great to see the professional set-up and team they’ve put in place, which I’m sure will pay dividends in years to come.
“Our Allied Mobility brand is the market leader in the UK and we’re now starting to move into the rest of the world, so it’s great that our Allied Mobility logo will be seen around the world through this partnership.
“For us though, this was more about trying to do our bit to support Team GB and help make it a real force to be reckoned with on the world stage.
“We’re all about grassroots speedway and are doing our best to get more young people involved in the sport.
“It’s great to have Tai back involved with Team GB. He’s clearly in good form just now and I also know he’s passionate about future generations of the sport and ensuring Team GB can compete on the world stage now and in years to come.
“Everyone at Allied and Glasgow Tigers wishes Team GB the best of luck in the Speedway of Nations. We’re excited to be working with Team GB and look forward to seeing what the future holds for our partnership.”
Painter, managing director of Great Britain Speedway Team, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Allied Mobility on board and we’re really excited for the future, we have a lot of big plans and Allied will play a key role in that.
“It’s important for us that our partners share our vision and after several meetings with the team at Allied, it’s clear that they share our passion and enthusiasm for the Great Britain Speedway Team.
“While our immediate focus is clearly on the upcoming Speedway of Nations, we have a long-term plan and we’re extremely thankful and grateful to have the support of such a prestigious company. It’s a big boost for us.”
VRX Motorsport, led by Painter and Blackwell, took over the national side at the start of this season and implemented a brand new management structure – aimed at making them the most accomplished and professional outfit in world speedway.
The return of two-time World Champion Woffinden marks the end of a self-imposed exodus from national team duties, as he looks to lead Great Britain to their first team gold medal in decades.
GB line up in tomorrow’s race-off at the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester against Czech Republic, Finland, France, Sweden, Italy and Australia, aiming to qualify for the finals in Poland at the weekend.