JON Cook says Lakeside Hammers’ racers must put their emotions to one side ahead of Friday’s crunch encounter with Glasgow.

The week sees the final fixture at the Arena Essex Raceway, with the club moving to Hertfordshire’s Rye House after the landlord made the decision to sell the venue.

Hammers promoted Cook said there will be a number of tributes and special events on Friday to commemorate 40 years at the venue.

But he added the points on offer were critical if the Hammers wanted to end the season in the Championship play-offs.

“There will be a lot of emotions on the day and although there is a sadness about leaving we understand it has passed its sell by date in terms of spectator facilities.

“It’s tinged with sadness but the raceway has been under the threat of development for a while. I am happy for the stadium owners they have got their payout and there are no grudges at all.

“But the eight guys out there on the night need to take themselves out of the environment and focus on the meeting. If we lose we will be out of contention for a play-off place and it’s a much win for us.

“We must have our race faces on and we need to stop Glasgow taking any points at the same time.”

Glasgow are currently a point ahead of fifth-placed Lakeside in the race for the top four, albeit they have taken part in one more match.

The Hammers have staged only one home meeting since July 17 because of weather and date issues and are racing to catch up with a busy conclusion to the season.

As a result six points will be up for grabs against Newcastle at Rye House on Saturday.

And Cook is hopeful the team can enjoy a good stint at the new venue before a return to Thurrock in the future.

“We are buoyed by the conversations we have had with those in power and the developers who know they have to re-accommodate us in the borough of Thurrock as part of the agreement to build houses. A large donation is tied into a hefty re-development project, which we understand will take time.

“Thurrock needs forms of enjoyment for the great many speedway fans that have become used to enjoying watching us over the last 34 years.

“I’m pleased we are going over to Rye House now as we can adjust to the speedway heritage of the venue,” he added.

“We have a team manager (Will Pottinger) who is in his first season and is doing exceptionally and a group of riders who have been here for either not very long or a significant amount of time an this move can be seen as an opportunity.

“This is a weekend that will push the emotions of speedway to the limit.”

Leigh Lanham, the Hammers’ all-time leading appearance maker and points scorer, will perform the last ever speedway laps at the Raceway.

Fans will also be invited to take to the track after the meeting and there will be a limited edition 40-page matchday brochure on sale (costing £5 and including a programme) including interviews on the history of the club.

The team will also don a replica body kit that was also worn in their first ever meeting.

Cook added: “It’s a fitting way for us to say farewell to the venue which has seen plenty of drama down the years and I’m sure a few tears will be shed.”