Friday February 23, 2018
King’s Lynn Stars and the University of East Anglia (UEA) bring Mathematics to Speedway and thank Force India F1 for their help.

Key Messages:

• A ‘new to speedway’ initiative between the King’s Lynn Stars speedway and the School of Mathematics at the University of East Anglia.

• The UEA’s Dr Paul Hammerton and Dr Richard Purvis will be spearheading the programme which forms the second part of the King’s Lynn Stars sports science initiatives for 2018.

• Desired outcome is ultimately to develop an electronic tool to assist with speedway race strategy and rider selection.

• King’s Lynn Speedway and the UEA have offered their thanks to Force India F1 for giving so generously of their time and for sharing some of their experience in maximising the benefits derived from analysing complex performance data.

Mathematics has played an increasingly important role in developing motorsport strategies over many decades but these strategies are not currently used in speedway.

While the in-race decisions of tyre choice and pit stops associated with F1 racing are not directly applicable to speedway, the mathematics used in F1 will have a role to play in the subtle strategy of speedway.

The collaboration is between the King’s Lynn Stars speedway team and the School of Mathematics at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. The UEA will look at how mathematical algorithms can be developed to guide strategic decisions, both before and during the meeting.

The study will be spearheaded by two UEA academics, Dr Paul Hammerton and Dr Richard Purvis, both lecturers in the School of Mathematics who have a keen interest in applying scientific research to sport.

Dr Paul Hammerton – “The first phase of the project will be for a summer student to analyse results from the 2017 season, focusing on the probabilities of race outcomes based on rider ratings.”

Dr Richard Purvis – “By the end of the 2018 season, we may see mathematics playing more of a role in rider recruitment, team order and strategic substitutions.”

Keith Chapman – Promoter of the King’s Lynn Stars and Chairman of the BSPA – “I am delighted that we are working with the UEA on a second and very exciting initiative. There are potentially far reaching benefits for British Speedway from these types of programmes.”

Dale Allitt – Co-Promoter of the King’s Lynn Stars – “Managing a speedway team is far more complex than you would at first imagine. A manager’s experience is gained over a number of years and like most sports at this level, you can never have too much information.”

Robin Brundle – Co-Promoter of the King’s Lynn Stars – “From my experience in top-flight motorsport this programme will take some time to develop. Each stage of the development will deliver an improved management tool that will inform our thinking around race strategy. In addition I expect it to assist in our future rider selection and retention programmes.”

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