Kaj Laukkanen becomes the latest rider to join the Oxford Silver Machine and will make his debut on Bank Holiday Monday when Oxford take on the Peterborough Panthers in Elite League action.

The move does mean that Matej Ferjan's short spell with the club comes to an end after he was unable to get to grips with the Oxford circuit. Finnish Laukkanen first joined Long Eaton in 1995 and after spending a season in Glasgow has been included in the Belle Vue Aces side. He is certainly riding at the very top of his game currently as he qualified for the 2004 Grand Prix series.

Oxford will be missing Sebastian Ulamek, who is still in Poland receiving treatment for his hand injury, and the Oxford management have opted for rider replacement to cover his rides. The team were also handed another major boost today when Swindon promoter Peter Toogood gave his approval to Charlie Gjedde riding for Oxford before moving onto Reading to represent Swindon in the evening.

Nigel Wagstaff was clearly delighted: "I would like to put on record that I am in indebted to Peter Toogood for agreeing to Charlie's inclusion in our team for this vital match".

Peterborough are favourites to take the bonus point as they ran out winners by eighteen points in the corresponding fixture at the East of England Showground back in June, setting Oxford a target of fifty five points. This will be a tough struggle when you consider that the Panthers team include GP stars Ryan Sullivan, Hans N Andersen and Piotr Protasiewicz.

 

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