SPEEDWAY star Paul Starke is starting his season in France as he tests his equipment and fitness ahead of a packed season of racing.

Starke, from Glewstone, near Ross-on-Wye, has been called up to join French team Lamothe in a series of meetings being held in southern France throughout February and March.

“It’s a really great opportunity for me and the team to test new equipment and to get some practise in before the season begins in the UK," said Starke.

"I have ridden at Lamothe a handful of times- winning the Lamothe Invitational meeting a few years back in front of a crowd of thousands.

"It would be great to finish on top again this year! There are a lot of other international riders taking part so we should be in for some competitive racing.”

Speedway sees four riders go head to head in a four lap race around an enclosed circle circuit which allows spectators to view all of proceedings.

The races take place on bikes which accelerate faster than a Formula 1 cars and drift sideways around the track with no brakes.

The UK season begins for Starke on April 12 at his home track in Ashfield, Glasgow where he will be racing this season for the Glasgow Tigers.

Starke has signed a deal with Glasgow for the second consecutive year and will be competing in the second division Speedway Great Britain (SGB) Championship.

“Last year was a tough year for me sustaining injuries early on in the 2018 season which held me back for the majority of the season," added Starke.

"I have been training well over the winter and I’m feeling fit and ready to take on the challenges ahead. I am very lucky I have such a great team behind me - my mechanics, family and sponsors included.”

Paul has support from his local sponsors which have been part of Starkeracing for many years.

Ledbury Welding and Ledbury Holdings have been Starke's main sponsors since 2013.

Gurney’s Butcher of Ledbury has also been onboard from the very beginning and Harris Young and Beattie Charted Accountants for the past six years.

You can keep up to date with Starke's fixtures and results on his website: www.paulstarkeracing.co.uk.