DARRYL Ritchings has become the fourth 2016 title winner to rejoin Birmingham for next season.
The 22-year-old will be back with the Brummies in 2017 alongside Tom Bacon, Danyon Hume and Jack Parkinson-Blackburn as well as newcomer Layne Cupitt.
The Wiltshire racer returns on a 7.04 starting average and team boss Graham Drury is predicting a big year for Ritchings.
“I’m really glad to be able to offer Darryl another season in Birmingham colours,” said Drury.
“He’s a good lad with a smashing family behind him and he’s got a lot of experience at National League level now.
“I fully expect Darryl to be pushing really close for our No.1 race jacket alongside our other three heat-leaders next season and I think that could be an interesting battle in itself.
“Darryl was only a couple of points away from overtaking Zach (Wajtknecht) at the top of our averages at one stage last season and that tells you everything you need to know.
“He was disappointed with his form in the second part of the season, but that just tells you what he expects of himself at this level.
“For me, he was a consistent, solid performer who contributed some vital points for the team and rarely scored below his average.
“I think Darryl will come back refreshed from the winter break and we look forward to having him as part of another exciting looking team.”
Ritchings says making a good start to the campaign is imperative to help him fulfil his ambitions for the season.
“I know I could have scored more points last year but my focus was taken away by a few other things away from speedway and my constant bike problems didn’t help things either,” said Ritchings.
“I actually thought about quitting ahead of next year but as soon as Graham got on to me, it didn’t take me long to agree to come back.
“I want to make a good start to the season and pick up some early guest bookings.
“I’ve got targets for the year in mind but I’ll keep them to myself for now. “I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be another successful year for Birmingham and I can’t wait for March to come around already.”