Making the Grade
Having sponsored the Sheffield Tigers team for a number of years, Pirtek has a long association with the famous speedway team. And that association was renewed recently when Pirtek Sheffield was called out to rescue a national race meeting.
The Tigers’ home venue at Owlerton Stadium uses an ancient road grader to skim the track when it gets waterlogged after heavy rain, an all too frequent occurrence in Sheffield. Unfortunately, just hours before the British Sidecar Championship was about to take place, the grader showed it's age and blew the hydraulic hose used to lower the grading blade.
Sheffield MSST William Birtles was urgently summoned to the track to sort the 'old lady' out again. As usual, Birtle had the grader repaired and back in use so the quarter mile shale track could be skimmed and the meeting saved.
Speedway promoter and Tigers owner Neil Machin has nothing but praise for Pirtek who had come to the rescue once again. "The grader dates back to 1968 and was rescued from Skegness where it was used to grade the national stock car track up until 1988. The grader was moved to Sheffield and has earned its keep here ever since," Machin says. "To say the hydraulics were a bit lived in is something of an understatement. This machine has become a labour of love for Pirtek Sheffield who have replaced just about every hose on it now.”
This is a view shared by MSST William Birtles. "It's not a pretty machine, but it starts first time, every time,” he concludes. “Graders are something of a rarity now, so to be able to keep a machine of this age in working order has become a pet project for the Centre."