NEW ERA OF FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS LAUNCHES AT HOME OF DANISH SPEEDWAY VOJENS

27/07/2022

NEW ERA OF FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS LAUNCHES AT HOME OF DANISH SPEEDWAY VOJENS
A new era of FIM Speedway of Nations gets underway at Danish national speedway stadium Vojens tonight as 15 countries battle it out over four epic nights to become the sport’s world team champions.

The eyes of the speedway world are on Vojens Speedway Centre as it stages Denmark’s first-ever home FIM SON.

Vojens has an iconic history in the sport, having staged 15 Speedway GPs and four FIM Speedway World Cup Finals. Danish team manager and fellow legend Hans Nielsen won the 1979 FIM World Pairs Championship on the famous track, and now Nielsen hopes to repeat the feat and win his first world title as national coach this weekend.

With Denmark seeded straight through to Saturday’s FIM SON Final as hosts, the battle to join them gets underway in Semi-Final 1 this evening, which sees eight-time FIM Speedway World Cup winners Poland face Australia, Germany, Latvia, USA, Finland and Ukraine.

Thursday’s Semi-Final 2 sees defending world champions Great Britain battle it out with Sweden, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia and FIM SON debutants Norway.

The top two sides in each Semi-Final book their place alongside Denmark in Saturday’s FIM SON Final showdown. The third and fourth-placed nations on Wednesday and Thursday enter the Final Qualifier, with the winners of these races also clinching a place in the Final.

The world’s best under-21 teams also compete in SON2 on Friday – the revamped FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship, which becomes part of FIM SON week for the first time as part of new global promoter Discovery Sports Events’ vision to elevate speedway’s next generation of stars.

Hosts Denmark come up against 14-time under-21 champions Poland, as well as Great Britain, Czech Republic, Latvia, Sweden and Australia.

Each team features three riders – a starting pair at No.1 and No.2, with a reserve rider at No.3, who can be called into action by the team manager for any race at any time.

 

SEMI-FINAL ONE

Poland and Australia both line up in tonight’s FIM SON Semi-Final 1 with a world champion and three Speedway GP riders on both sides.

The Poles are led by captain and double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik at No.1, with No.2 Maciej Janowski and No.3 Patryk Dudek also in the side.

After three straight silver medals, culminating in their 5-4 Grand Final defeat against Great Britain in Manchester last October, Poland will be determined to end their wait for their first FIM SON gold medal.

The Aussies, meanwhile, are chasing their first world title in 20 years, having last won the FIM Speedway World Cup at Peterborough in 2002.

Former world champion Jason Doyle leads their challenge at No.1, with Max Fricke at No.2 continuing his impressive record of appearing in all of Australia’s FIM SON events. He becomes the first rider to appear in 10 FIM SON events since the competition launched in 2018. Jack Holder at No.3 hopes to make his FIM SON debut tonight.

The FIM Speedway world also extends a warm welcome to Ukraine as they defy the war in their homeland to take their place on the SON stage, with promising young gun Marko Levishyn leading their challenge.

Three young riders who could shape their country’s fortunes are Germany’s Norick Blodorn, Latvia’s Francis Gusts and Finland’s Timi Salonen.

Blodorn at No.2 joins No.1 Kai Huckenbeck, who lines up on his Danish Speedwayligaen home track, with Michael Hartel stepping into the German trio at No.3 to replace the injured Erik Riss. Huckenbeck bagged an incredible 22 points from six rides, as well as winning the Final Qualifier, at 2021 FIM SON Semi-Final 2 in Daugavpils and will hope to fire his country through to their first Final since 2019.

Latvian shooting star Gusts was second at the FIM SGP2 of Czech Republic for the sport’s under-21 stars on May 27. He bids to fire his country into a second straight Final alongside Jevgenijs Kostigovs and Olegs Mihailovs,

Finnish young gun Timi Salonen has made a big impression in Poland’s brand-new PGE Ekstraliga under-24 league with Gorzow this season, earning a contract with Second Division club Rzeszow. He teams up with the experienced Timo Lahti – a big scorer for Swedish side Rospiggarna – as well as No.3 rider Jesse Mustonen.

The USA side completes tonight’s line-up with Luke Becker and Broc Nicol joining forces for the third time in the FIM SON, with the promising Dillon Ruml completing the side at No.3. Becker and Nicol lost out to Denmark in the Final Qualifier at Semi-Final 1 in 2021. They will bid to go at least one place better in the Stars and Stripes this time around.

 

SEMI-FINAL 2

The action continues at Vojens on Thursday as Great Britain kick off their title defence, spearheaded by triple world champion Tai Woffinden.

The Lions skipper missed Day 2 of the 2021 FIM SON Final in Manchester after crashing out with a leg injury on Day 1. He was replaced by Dan Bewley, who partnered top scorer Robert Lambert as they clinched GB’s first world team title since 1989 – a wait of 32 years.

All three riders are back to defend their crown at Vojens and come up against fellow 2021 finalists France and Sweden.

France reached their first-ever FIM SON Final last year – the first world team final in the country’s speedway history. Their 2021 heroes David Bellego and Dimitri Berge bid to repeat the feat alongside former FIM Long Track world champion Mathieu Tressarieu.

The Swedes are led by the returning Fredrik Lindgren, who missed the 2021 SON Final due to the ongoing effects of long Covid. He recently had a further spell on the sidelines due to the condition, but is back on track and determined to lead his country into Saturday’s Final. He teams up with new Swedish champion Oliver Berntzon and No.3 Victor Palovaara – a late call-up into the squad after an injury to Pontus Aspgren.

The Czech Republic tracks a young side, featuring national No.1 Vaclav Milik, plus shooting stars Jan Kvech and Petr Chlupac, who both reached the final of the FIM SGP2 of Czech Republic in Prague on May 27.

Italy and Slovenia are also in action, with Norway completing the line-up for their first-ever FIM SON event. They replace Slovakia in the line-up.

 

LINE-UPS

FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS SEMI-FINAL 1 – STARTING LINE-UPS (IN DRAW ORDER):

 

A – GERMANY: 1 Kai Huckenbeck ©, 2 Norick Blodorn, 3 Michael Hartel. Team Manager: Herbert Rudolph.

 

B – POLAND: 1 Bartosz Zmarzlik ©, 2 Maciej Janowski, 3 Patryk Dudek. Team Manager: Rafal Dobrucki.

 

C – UNITED STATES: 1 Luke Becker ©, 2 Broc Nicol, 3 Dillon Ruml. Team Manager: Steve Evans.

 

D – LATVIA: 1 Francis Gusts, 2 Jevgenijs Kostigovs ©, 3 Olegs Mihailovs. Team Manager: Vladimirs Ribnikovs.

 

E – FINLAND: 1 Timo Lahti ©, 2 Timi Salonen, 3 Jesse Mustonen. Team Manager: Peter Jansson.

 

F – AUSTRALIA: 1 Jason Doyle ©, 2 Max Fricke, 3 Jack Holder. Team Manager: Mark Lemon.

 

G – UKRAINE: 1 Marko Levishyn, 2 Stanislav Melnychuk ©, 3 Vitalii Lysak. Team Manager: Vasyl Melnychuk.

 

FIM SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS SEMI-FINAL 2 – STARTING LINE-UPS (IN DRAW ORDER):

 

A – CZECH REPUBLIC: 1 Vaclav Milik ©, 2 Jan Kvech, 3 Petr Chlupac. Team Manager: Zdenek Schneiderwind.

 

B – GREAT BRITAIN: 1 Tai Woffinden ©, 2 Robert Lambert, 3 Dan Bewley. Team Managers: Simon Stead and Oliver Allen.

 

C – FRANCE: 1 Dimitri Berge, 2 David Bellego ©, 3 Mathieu Tressarieu. Team Manager: Laurent Sambarrey.

 

D – SWEDEN: 1 Fredrik Lindgren ©, 2 Oliver Berntzon, 3 Victor Palovaara. Team Manager: Morgan Andersson.

 

E – ITALY: 1 Paco Castagna ©, 2 Nicolas Covatti, 3 Daniele Tessari. Team Manager: Alessandro Dalla Valle.

 

F – NORWAY: 1 Glenn Moi ©, 2 Espen Sola, 3 Lasse Fredriksen. Team Manager: Linn Anette Topstad

 

G – SLOVENIA: 1 Matic Ivacic ©, 2 Nick Skorja, 3 Anze Grmek. Team Manager: Gregor Arnsek.

 

FIM SON FANZONE

There will be an action-packed fanzone across all four days on the training track in Vojens as we build up to each evening’s racing.

There will be an autograph session with all the riders from 17:00 CET in the fanzone – this will take place next to the pit gate on Wednesday and in the fanzone on the other three days.

There will also be interviews on the main stage as well as quizzes and games, with a very special prize up for grabs ...

Fans can win the chance to present a prize to the world's best speedway riders; walk on to the main stage and shake hands with the FIM SON’s stars after the Semi-Finals in Vojens.

At 17:45 CET, fans can take part in our quiz for the chance to win a pass on to the infield to present one of the qualifying teams with their ticket to the FIM SON Final.

Fans can also grab a photo with the FIM Speedway trophies, sit on a speedway bike or pose next to the ‘We Love Speedway’ sign.

 

WHERE TO WATCH

The FIM SON is live in full on Discovery+ and the Eurosport App in countries where these services are available.

The Semi-Finals are also live on Fox Sports in Australia, beIN SPORTS in the USA, Canada and across Asia, X Sport in Ukraine, 3 Sport across the Baltics and on Sky Sports 5 in New Zealand.

Saturday’s FIM SON Final will be televised live on British Eurosport in the UK and on 6’Eren in Denmark.