SPEEDWAY: BIRMINGHAM boss Graham Drury says he’ll stand by club No.1 Jack Parkinson-Blackburn every step of the way – with a potential ban looming.
It comes after the 16-year-old informed his parent club Sheffield that he wished to take a temporary step back from Championship racing.
It’s been a tough introduction to life in the second tier for Parkinson-Blackburn, who has scored just one point in his last two meetings for the Tigers.
Parkinson-Blackburn is keen to re-build his confidence riding for the Brummies in the National League where he has scored 72 points from their five meetings so far.
However, the sport’s governing body may not allow that to happen.
Drury said: “There’s talk that Jack could potentially face a 28 day racing ban for withholding his services for Sheffield – but realistically that’s not entirely the case.
“Jack has spoken to the promoters at Sheffield and has explained how much racing in the Championship is affecting him right now.”
Racing in the sport’s second UK tier has proved tougher than expected for the youngster.
His poor form in the Championship is affecting Parkinson-Blackburn financially – with support now coming from his grandparents.
Drury added: “Jack decided he didn’t want a full break, because he lives for his speedway racing.
“Therefore, he asked if he could take a few weeks away from Championship racing with the view of going back there refreshed with his confidence rebuilt after what will hopefully be a positive few weeks with Birmingham.
“He has been flying for us at this level and with a run of good meetings for us behind him, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t be able to go back to Sheffield with a totally different mindset when he felt ready for the challenge again.
“He’s 16 years of age, he’s inexperienced and he needs as much help and support as he can possibly get.
“Banning him while his confidence is already low would only do more harm than good and I hope the people with the power at the top take everything into account.
“He is one bright prospect who is a fantastic talent on a speedway bike.
“It really would be a sorry state of affairs if a star of the future was banned for taking what I feel is a sensible step backwards and it could potentially have an impact on the long term future of his career.”
Talking about making the step up from National League racing to Championship racing, Drury believes English riders should be encouraged to move up – though admits it’s a massive leap.
He said: “Throwing them in at the deep end and then punishing them if it doesn’t work out isn’t the way to go about things in my opinion at all so hopefully common sense will prevail.
“I tried contacting the Sheffield promotion to discuss the situation once Jack had stated his intention to continue racing with us in the National League.
“I would like to think they’d be over the moon that he has had a change of heart from his initial decision and that they look forward to inviting him back into their team in the near future when his confidence has come flooding back.”