Poole have recalled Pirates' asset Justin Elkins into their first team squad for the coming Elite League season even though the Salisbury-born racer did not enjoy the best of luck while on loan with Reading and Edinburgh in the Premier League last year.

The 25-year-old was plagued with mechanical problems throughout 1999 but is now convinced that he has overcome the problems which so nearly forced him to give up racing altogether.

"I'm so happy to be back at Poole," said Elkins (pictured). "It's just like starting out all over again and I'm really pleased to have been given the chance to prove myself at the highest level.

"I've bought brand new engines and equipment for this year and have been fortunate to get an expert engine tuner, so hopefully I shouldn't have any more reliability problems."

The Ringwood-based rider will have his race engines prepared by Michael Lee at the former world champion's TSR Racing company in East Anglia. "I've put in a lot of pre-season practice at King's Lynn during the past few weeks," said Elkins. "I haven't had so much as a mis-fire."

Poole co-promoter Matt Ford is up-beat about Elkins' return: "Justin had a tough time last year but has shown enough determination to warrant his place in the Pirates side. I am sure he will do really well for us this season."

Elkins becomes the sixth rider to agree terms with the club and will take his place in the Pirates line-up alongside Mark Loram, Gary Havelock and Scott Nicholls.

Converted for the new archive on 25 January 2001. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.