Bandits Sign Daniel Gappmaier
Elton John once told us that "Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane" and although he's actually coming over by road and ferry, Berwick’s brand new signing is definitely on his way!
He is 25-year-old Daniel Gappmaier, from Salzburg in Austria. He has actually ridden in practice at Shielfield in 2014, and would have contested the GP Challenge event that year, had the weather, which was fine for his practice sessions, not forced a 48-hour postponement on the meeting.
In the event, Daniel was unable to take part on the Monday night, being replaced in the final line-up by British rider Lewis Bridger.
But that was then, and this is now. Three years older and three seasons more experienced, Daniel feels ready to attack the rigours of British Premier League speedway, and will join the Olympus Marquees Bandits, following the final approval of the BSPA office and release by Austria's OeAMTC federation, in time to make his debut against Ipswich on Saturday night.
"We have had a bit of a tug-o-war with another PL club over him," admitted a delighted Dennis McCleary, Berwick’s co-promoter. "Daniel was recommended to us by former Bandit Mark Courtney (father of our team manager) and also Cameron Anderson (son of our chairman) both of whom had seen him in action this year.
"He has qualified, doing well in difficult conditions at Abensberg, down in Bavaria in May, for the GP Challenge meeting at Lonigo next month where he will race amid some very distinguished company and we feel he will be a valuable addition to our roster.
"As always, here at Berwick we do not release details of any signings or indeed other club affairs, until everything has been properly rubber-stamped. Now that everything is in order, and our new 1-7 was approved just a couple of hours ago, we can release this news.
"Until approval is given, anything earlier would have been rumour or speculation, and we don't deal in those!"
Daniel is Austria's leading light on European speedways these days, but with no organised league system, and indeed no currently-run national title event, Austrian riders tend to slip under the radar when continental reports are filed, allowing Daniel to have quietly gained experience (he also rides in Italy) and built up equipment, to ready himself for the exciting challenge of PL competition.