Mildenhall Fen Tigers rider Sam Bebee to use Danny Ayres' first ever engine this season
There was a touching moment at Mildenhall Speedway yesterday evening as Danny Ayres' partner Jodie, his father David and his aunty Vicki presented 2021 Fen Tiger Sam Bebee with the rider's first ever engine to use this season.
Club legend Ayres, who died at his home in February 2020, was given the engine by his mother. It was named Dorothy, after his grandma.
A carb has also been supplied and the engine will be serviced by Ayres' engine tuner Sean Wilson.
Jodie explained that coming back to speedway had been very hard for the family and that this had given them a link back into the sport at their local club and an interest for the campaign ahead.
Also present was Darren Grimwood, who was Ayres' mechanic and is carrying out the same role for Bebee this year, and sponsor Shaun Raven.
Raven has just completed the Three Peaks Challenge in memory of Ayres – known affectionately as 'Mr Entertainer' – and has so far raised £775 for the Mind Charity, an organisation very close to the family's heart.
The club also recently announced that they would be renaming the main stand at their West Row base the 'Danny Ayres Stand'.
The unveiling was due to take place last Sunday ahead of the Fen Tigers' home clash against Eastbourne, but that was postponed due to a waterlogged track.
Club promoter Greg Palmer said: "Our new clerk of the course, Neil Southam, spoke to me about the possibility of naming the grandstand in Danny's memory and we thought it was a lovely idea.
“Danny was a special rider, one whose interactions with the crowd were as important as his race wins. He loved this club, its supporters and we all loved him.”