Xtreme International Ice Racing officials have announced that Scottish Speedway Champion Kevin Little has signed a contract to contest the entire seven-round, AMA-sanctioned XIIR Pro Tour ice speedway championship series in 2004.
The 30-year-old who hails from Kelso, near Edinburgh, Scotland, is the three-time and defending champion in his home country, and currently races for the Newcastle Diamonds speedway team in the British Premier League. In the past, he has ridden for the Coventry Bees, with American teammates Greg Hancock and Billy Hamill, in the British Premier League. Accordint to the XIIR press release, Little brings a wealth of ice speedway experience with him to the U.S., having ridden in the Telford Ice Series - one of the premier ice speedway series in the world - in the country of Wales.
"We're very excited that Kevin has signed on to ride in the inaugural XIIR Pro Tour," said XIIR promoter Anthony Barlow. "He is one of the most stylish racers in England. He is very smooth, a proper World-class rider. It's joy to watch him race. He looks like a natural speedway racer. He's definitely coming to win this championship."
Little's presence further enhances a brutally competive XIIR field, which already includes several championship-caliber international riders such as Scott Courtney of England, David Meldrum of Scotland, Kenny Olsen of Sweden, Bevan Compton of South Africa, and Barlow, also of England.
"Our dream of building a true World Championship ice speedway racing tour compromised of a truly international field of talented racers is becoming a reality," Barlow said. "We can honestly envision a series where every main event is going to be like a Grand Prix final. Combine the riders above with a solid handful of talented American ice speedway racers, such as Eddie Kelly, and we believe that our ice racing series will be the best in the world."
The XIIR Pro Tour makes its first stop, a double-header, at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 16-17. For more information, check out www.xiir.com.