LEE Smart has given his backing to new rules designed to allow promising British riders to become established competitors at Elite League level and beyond.

The 25-year-old was recruited by Pirates under a new draft system in December and will operate in the bottom two alongside Kyle Newman.

Smart is one of the individuals the British Speedway Promoters' Association hopes will profit from a revamped race format in which reserves will race each other twice in a meeting.

Reserves will also avoid an opposing side's top three in any of their programmed rides.

Swindon-born Smart told the Daily Echo: “I think the new rules will be alright. It obviously gives the reserves more chance to score points, but then again racing against the top boys would have been quite nice as well.

“It's swings and roundabouts. We needed to do something and it's trial and error at this stage. They seem to have done something and let's hope it works.

“I support it. I think something did need to be done because British speedway was getting left behind. The trouble is that you don't get enough track time in Britain, so hopefully it will help.

“Once we've got a month or two into the season we'll find out whether it is working or not.

“Fingers crossed it will because I know people have put a lot of time and effort into it.”

Smart, who will also ride for Kent in the National League in 2014, has struggled with injury in recent seasons and is relishing the chance to get back on two wheels.

He said: “The bike's nearly built so hopefully I'll be able to get out at the weekend and have a skid.

“It all looks good for the season and I can't wait to get going now.”