LATVIAN ACE LEBEDEVS CALLED UP FOR CARDIFF

Latvian racer Andzejs Lebedevs has been handed a dream call-up for the FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff on Saturday, August 13. The former European champion - this year's Speedway GP first reserve - steps into the line-up in place of Slovak star Martin Vaculik, who suffered a broken shoulder blade in a PGE Ekstraliga match for Gorzow on July 24. Vaculik’s absence comes as a huge blow to a rider who is currently third in the Speedway GP World Championship on 53 points after taking second place at the 3W FIM Gorzow Speedway GP on June 25. Lebedevs races his first Speedway GP event outside of Latvia. He also becomes the first Latvian to compete in a Speedway GP outside of their homeland. He last appeared in the 2014 FIM Latvian Speedway GP in home city Daugavpils, scoring three points, and this will be his third Speedway GP appearance. But Lebedevs has been making history away from the series. He won the 2017 Speedway European Championship and also inspired Latvia into the 2021 FIM Speedway of Nations Final – the country’s first speedway world team final. Lebedevs powered to 18 points as Latvia finished second to Australia in last year’s Semi-Final 2 in Daugavpils to book their spot at the Final. He then raced to 32 points across two days of the Final in Manchester last October as Latvia claimed sixth place. He’s not the only Latvian racer in action in Cardiff, as young gun Francis Gusts lines up in the FIM SGP2 of Great Britain on Sunday, August 14 at Principality Stadium, when the action gets underway at 1pm local time. Gusts was second at the opening round of the SGP2 series – the revamped FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship – and was only denied the win in Prague when Poland’s Mateusz Cierniak passed him on the last turn after an epic fight for victory in the final. Join Latvia’s finest and celebrate 20 years of Speedway GP in Cardiff on Saturday, August 13 with all tickets including entry to Sunday’s SGP2. Secure your seats at Principality Stadium online here now: https://bit.ly/3ixX9wQ

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BRENNAN & FLINT COMPLETE CARDIFF LINE-UP

Great Britain’s SON2 bronze medallists Tom Brennan and Leon Flint complete the FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff line-up on August 13 (5pm) after being named as track reserves. Brennan dons the No.17 race jacket for Britain’s biggest indoor motorsport event as it celebrates its 20th visit to the Welsh capital, while Flint lines up at No.18. They will be called into action if any of the main 16 riders are forced out of a race due to injury, illness, a starting offence or other reasons. British Under-21 champion Brennan powered to 20 points in SON2 last Friday as GB claimed the bronze medal in the FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship event last Friday. The Belle Vue and Glasgow rider was also named in GB’s squad for the senior FIM SON. Brennan will do double duty in Cardiff as he serves as wild card when the sport’s top under-21 stars take to the track for the FIM SGP2 of Great Britain on Sunday, August 14 (1pm). Flint, who also features as a track reserve in that event, was GB’s No.3 reserve rider for SON2, but was not called into action by team manager Neil Vatcher. Despite that, he is enjoying a sensational season in the UK, racing for SGB Premiership side Wolverhampton, as well as his local side Berwick in the SGB Championship, where he has risen into a heat-leader position. Celebrate 20 years of Speedway GP in Cardiff on Saturday, August 13 with all tickets including entry to Sunday’s SGP2 action. Secure your seats at Principality Stadium online here now: https://bit.ly/3ixX9wQ

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AUSSIE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RETURNS FOR SPORT'S 100TH YEAR

The 2023 Australian Championship series returns for the first time since 2020 and will be staged as a five-round competition this January as the sport celebrates its 100th birthday Down Under. The first-ever speedway event took place at West Maitland Showground in New South Wales in 1923, and Aussie bosses are keen to bring the championship back in time to celebrate that sensational centenary. Speedway GP rider Max Fricke remains the Australian champion after winning his second title in January 2020 – just months before the pandemic brought the sport to a halt around the world. The 2021 edition of the championship was not staged and the 2022 champion will be decided in a one-day final at Adelaide track Gillman on December 10. The race for the 2023 crown begins less than a month later, when Gillman hosts next year’s opening round on January 3. The action moves across the Barossa Valley to iconic Victorian venue Mildura on January 5. Racing then heads to Victorian track Albury, which is located halfway between Melbourne and Aussie capital Canberra, on January 7. New South Wales circuit Kurri Kurri – two hours from Sydney on the edge of the Hunter Valley wine region – plays host to round four on January 9. Kurri Kurri is located a stone’s throw from Maitland, making it a fitting place to race in the sport’s centenary season. Racing legend Darcy Ward then promotes the final round of the series as North Brisbane Speedway and the state of Queensland stages its first Australian Championship round since 2012. Motorcycling Australia Event Manager, Sam Redfern, is excited to have a full Championship back up and running, commenting: “It’s fantastic to have the Australian Speedway Senior Solo Championship back in full swing just in time to celebrate 100 years of speedway!”

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ELITSERIEN | SON CHAMP FRICKE STARS IN SWEDEN

New FIM Speedway of Nations champion Max Fricke took his title-winning form into Sweden’s Bauhaus Elitserien, scoring a 14 paid 15-point maximum for Indianerna as they won 49-41 at home to Rospiggarna on Tuesday. Fricke played a pivotal role in Australia’s first world team championship win in 20 years at Vojens on Saturday. And he followed it up by inspiring the Indians to victory. Former Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen notched nine, while former world champion Chris Holder and SGP2 star Gustav Grahn added eight paid nine points apiece. German international Kai Huckenbeck led the charge for the visitors on 13 paid 15 from six, with Kim Nilsson collecting 12 paid 15 and Swedish international Victor Palovaara notching nine. Great Britain star Dan Bewley raced to 12 paid 14 points for league leaders Smederna as they romped to a 56-34 victory away to Piraterna. He was well supported by a 12-point haul from Polish rider Patryk Wojdylo, while Peter Kildemand added nine paid 12 and his fellow Danish star Michael Jepsen Jensen notched nine paid 10. GB racer Robert Lambert picked up eight. In the day’s other meeting, world No.5 Freddie Lindgren bagged 12 paid 13 points for Vastervik as they won 47-43 away to Masarna. Fast Freddie was aided by a 10 paid 11-point haul from Poland’s Bartosz Smektala and nine from Gleb Chugunov. Poland’s Krzysztof Buczkowski led the Masarna scoring on 11, with Antonio Lindback notching nine. SGP2 shooting star Jan Kvech and former Aussie champion Rohan Tungate scored seven paid nine, with Latvia’s Francis Gusts collecting four paid eight. For the latest league table, click here (in Swedish): https://www.svemo.se/Sporter/Resultat/Speedway/Serier/BAUHAUSLigan2022/Serietabell/

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WILD CARD ELLIS COMPLETES CARDIFF LINE-UP

Reigning British champion Adam Ellis will be part of the FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff’s 20th anniversary celebrations on Saturday, August 13 after being nominated as this year’s wild card. The No.16 race jacket was due to be handed to the winner of Monday night's British Championship Final in Manchester, but the event was abandoned after 12 races due to heavy rain, with no result declared. Therefore, 2021 British champion Ellis was selected to receive the Cardiff wild card – a decision ratified by the FIM SGP Commission. The 2022 British Final will be restaged at a later date. The Sheffield star lines up alongside Speedway GP regulars Tai Woffinden, Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley in what will be the biggest meeting of his career so far. Ellis previously appeared in the 2017 Cardiff event as a track reserve. But this will be the first time he has taken on the sport’s top riders over five rides and been a full member of the 16-man line-up. Born in French speedway town Marmande, Ellis returned to his family’s native Great Britain to make his name, culminating in his British Final win in Manchester last year. He served as Great Britain’s under-21 reserve in the 2016 FIM Speedway World Cup, helping the Lions win the silver medal, and also played his part in Swindon Robins’ SGB Premiership title wins in both 2017 and 2019. The FIM British Speedway GP track reserves will be confirmed in due course. Join Ellis in Cardiff as Principality Stadium hosts its 20th Speedway GP on Saturday, August 13 at 5pm BST, with entry included for the FIM SGP2 of Great Britain for the sport’s under-21 stars on Sunday, August 14 at 1pm BST. With a host of past Cardiff winners returning to celebrate two decades of action, book your tickets here now: https://bit.ly/3ixX9wQ

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