MAGIC SEALS DACKARNA DEAL

Polish icon Maciej Janowski says his return to Swedish champions Dackarna was never in doubt. The Wroclaw-born favourite led the Malilla club to its first league title since 2007 this year, and with Aussie ace Jason Doyle departing to resume his career in the UK and triple world champion Tai Woffinden yet to return, Dackarna were determined to hang on to Janowski. Magic first joined the club in 2016 on the back of winning three straight British Elite League championships with Poole. Since swapping the UK for Sweden, Janowski has become a huge favourite in Malilla and is delighted to be back at the Skrotfrag Arena. He told the club’s official website: “I am happy to announce that I will stay with the Swedish champions Dackarna next season. “After many years at the club, I am used to and thrive in the colours of the Dacks, with the people at the club and the supporters. I feel I get good support from the management and I like the atmosphere at the club. “There was no doubt from either me or the club that I would stay. We are building something serious together and this is confirmed by the title we won in 2021. I think there will be more and I am happy to be a part of Dackarna. See you in 2022.” Team boss Mikael Teurnberg was always hopeful of bringing Janowski back. He said: “I talked to Maciej on the final night in Eskilstuna, before we parted. Ever since then, I have felt confident that he would be in the team next season. It feels great to be able to present it to our sponsors and supporters now. “Maciej was an important cog in the team that drove home Dackarna's first Swedish Championship gold since 2007. “He is part of our backbone and he is the rider in today's Dackarna squad who has raced the longest for the club. “He comes back after a season that was a bit up and down, where he started excellently, but then ended up in a form slump, not least in the GP series. But when we needed him the most, for example, if the Swedish Championship semi-final in Vastervik, he really stepped forward.” Janowski teams up with the likes of two-time Swedish champion Jacob Thorssell, British champion Adam Ellis, Aussie signing Brady Kurtz, American international Luke Becker and Danish racer Rasmus Jensen. Elsewhere, Latvian young gun Francis Gusts has agreed terms with Masarna, where he links up with local heroes Antonio Lindback and Philip Hellstrom-Bangs, plus former Aussie champion Rohan Tungate and Krzysztof Buczkowski and Adrian Gala.

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WORRALL MAKES WOLVES MOVE

Former Great Britain international Steve Worrall has completed a surprise move to SGB Premiership side Wolverhampton for 2021. The 2017 British Championship runner-up has raced for Belle Vue since 2015, but will be swapping the fast and furious National Speedway Stadium circuit for the tight and technical Monmore Green track. Wolves promoter Chris van Straaten admits the chance to sign the ex-Belle Vue skipper was unexpected. But after seeing the St Helens-born star impress while racing for Cradley Heathens in the National League in 2014, Van Straaten admits he was never going to pass up the opportunity to recruit Worrall at SGB Premiership level. “I’d say his move here with the Heathens was the turning point in his career,” Van Straaten said. “He was unstoppable at National League level but was also riding superbly for his other clubs. “I was surprised when he said he was looking for a fresh challenge and I wanted to talk to him. “I believe he’s our type of rider at Wolverhampton – a good team man who never gives up and I believe this will be good for both Steve and for us as a club. “He’s reached a certain level this season but I feel a move like this can add a spark and he can kick on from here. “He has the task of replacing a rider who made himself a legend with supporters in Rory Schlein. Rory is a massive loss but I certainly believe in Steve we have the right man to step into his very big boots.” Worrall joins forces with Aussie duo Sam Masters and Ryan Douglas, plus British young guns Leon Flint and Drew Kemp. Wolves have also been linked with moves for USA star Luke Becker and Aussie rider Nick Morris. But the club has confirmed American international skipper Broc Nicol does not feature in their plans for 2022. Photo: Taylor Lanning

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BEN FUND BONANZA HEADS TO PETERBOROUGH

SGB Premiership champions Peterborough are set to stage the 2022 Ben Fund Bonanza on Sunday, March 27 (2pm) as the sport’s stars and fans gather to raise cash for injured riders. British speedway’s traditional curtain-raiser raises money for the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund – a charity which supports riders temporarily or permanently sidelined due to racing injuries. The meeting did not take place in 2021 as the sport’s calendars were condensed due to the pandemic, but the Ben Fund Bonanza was the only meeting staged before British speedway was plunged into lockdown in March 2020. Ben Fund chairman Paul Ackroyd admits cash raised by the event plays a vital role in the charity’s work over the course of a year. He said: “The last two seasons for us have been exceptionally challenging, so we are of course delighted to see the return of the Bonanza. “This meeting is more than just the traditional season opener for British speedway. This event accounts for nearly 25 percent of our annual income to help injured riders. “What better setting for the Bonanza in 2022 than the track where the Premiership champions were crowned only a couple of months ago. “We are very grateful to Keith Chapman and his brilliant team at Peterborough for putting the East of England Arena at our disposal for this event. I think this is the first time we’ve had the pleasure of staging it here, after our original plans to hold the meeting there in 2018 was scuppered by the infamous ‘Beast from the East’. “Planning is already underway for March 27. There’s a lot of interest from riders and from supporters alike, which is very encouraging news. “I am hopeful that we will attract a sizeable crowd for the return of the Bonanza. We are always well attended and I’m sure that will also be the case at the East of England Arena.” Photo: Taylor Lanning

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NEW COMPETITIONS CONFIRMED FOR BRITISH SPEEDWAY

SGB Premiership clubs will compete in brand-new League Cup and Pairs competitions as the SGB Championship’s big events return for 2022. The Premiership League Cup sees the six top-flight UK clubs split into two regional groups of three, with Belle Vue, Sheffield and Wolverhampton in Group A and Ipswich, King’s Lynn and Peterborough in Group B. The sides will meet the teams in their group home and away, with the two group winners facing off in a two-legged final. Meanwhile, the Premiership Pairs has been given a sensational revamp as it returns to the calendar after a 10-year absence. Having previous been staged as a one-off event, the rebooted competition will see every team’s top two riders compete in a stellar series, which will see a round staged at all six clubs. The British Championship Final will take place at Belle Vue's National Speedway Stadium once again on a date to be confirmed. New competitions have also been added in the SGB Championship, with the Championship Riders Championship and Best Pairs making a welcome return. Poole will host the Championship Riders Championship – featuring all the division’s top riders – on a date to be confirmed, while league newcomers Oxford host the Best Pairs on August 12 – the night before the British FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff. A new summer series has also been launched. The 11 second-tier clubs will be divided into three groups with Berwick, Edinburgh and Glasgow in the Scottish section; Leicester, Newcastle, Redcar and Scunthorpe in the northern section, and Poole, Plymouth, Birmingham and Oxford in the southern section. The winner of each group will line up in a three-team final, to be staged on neutral shale at Sheffield. The Knockout Cup will be staged once again, with 2021 winners Poole taking on Plymouth in the quarter finals. The first round ties are Birmingham v Leicester for the right to face Scunthorpe, Edinburgh v Newcastle with the winner meeting Glasgow and Oxford v Redcar for the chance to tackle Berwick. British Speedway chairman Rob Godfrey said: “With the 2022 season getting underway at a much more traditional time, there was a general feeling that we do need to be staging more meetings than we did this year when we had the late start due to the pandemic. “Both leagues have therefore added more meaningful events to their schedules with some interesting new formats and more local clashes, and I’m sure they will prove to be well supported. “It’s also good to have more of the shared events making their return – these have always proved popular, and fingers crossed it should all add up to a far more normal year for us all!” Photo: Taylor Lanning

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NEW DANISH DEAL FOR MICHELSEN

Danish racer Mikkel Michelsen will lead Slangerup’s Metal Speedway League title quest after being confirmed as club captain for 2022. Michelsen has spent his entire Danish career with his boyhood team and helped Slangerup to third place in the Super Final last year. He will also compete in the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series in 2022 after winning his second Speedway European Championship in July to seal automatic SGP qualification. Aside from his Danish league commitments, Michelsen will also represent Polish side Lublin after leading them to second place in the 2021 PGE Ekstraliga – the joint-best performance in the club’s history. Michelsen teams up with the likes of former SGP star Michael Jepsen Jensen, who will serve as Slangerup’s second category A rider. Andreas Lyager, Jonas Seifert-Salk, Kenneth Hansen, Silas Hoegh, William Drejer and Finnish young gun Timi Salonen are also in the squad. Slangerup team leader Kenni Hansen said: “We are extremely happy to have made deals with the same squad as last season, and to be able to continue with Danish A riders is absolutely ideal. “We've followed Mikkel all the way, and it's great to see what his fighting spirit, will and perseverance have led to so far. “We are super happy that he will continue in Slangerup, and look forward to another season with Mikkel as part of the squad. With Mikkel and the remaining riders for next year's squad, we believe we stand in good stead in relation to the club and the riders’ goals.”

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