GSON revamped

REAT Britain heroes Tai Woffinden, Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley could join forces to defend their Speedway of Nations world title after countries were cleared to track three senior stars in 2022.

New SON rights holders Discovery Sports Events have unveiled a huge revamp of the pairs event. For the first time, the entire competition will be staged at one venue over four nights, with Danish seaside city Esbjerg hosting the action at the Granly Speedway Arena from July 27-30, 2022.

The Semi-Finals take place on Wednesday, July 27, and Thursday, July 28, with the top three teams in each joining Denmark in the Final, which reverts to a one-day event on Saturday, July 30.

Countries were forced to pick just two seniors and one under-21 in previous years, but GB now have the option to line up with all three of their Manchester heroes Woffinden, Lambert and Bewley if they wish.

The decision to remove the age limit on the No. 3 position means countries are no longer forced to track their reserve rider in at least one race.

With the Final now shortened from two days to one, the sport’s top juniors get their chance to shine on Friday, July 29 in SON 2 – formerly known as the FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship – which will now be part of SON week.

Qualification for the 2023 Speedway World Cup in Torun is also at stake in Denmark. The eight highest-ranked teams, excluding Poland, will line up in the SWC Semi-Finals at the Marian Rose Motoarena. The Poles are guaranteed a place in the Final as host nation.

Aside from the Covid-hit and rain-shortened 2020 SON Final in Lublin, it’s the first time the entire world team championship has been contested in the same country since the 2004 SWC, which was staged at Eastbourne and Poole.

François Ribeiro, Head of Discovery Sports Events, believes this will create a true festival of racing in Esbjerg.

He said: “We are pleased to partner with Esbjerg Motorsport to bring one of the biggest events in FIM Speedway to Esbjerg, a region with a strong speedway fan base.

“The new FIM Speedway of Nations format with racing staged on one circuit over four consecutive nights on the last weekend of July will offer fans a unique opportunity to gather on Denmark’s west coast and join fans from all over the world in supporting their national team.

“Discovery Sports Events is committed to offering fans a unique experience and making the SON something special, with a lot of promotional activities during the day and great racing every evening.

“As part of our long-term commitment to invest in the future of the sport from its grassroots right through to professional level, the world’s most promising U21s will race on the same stage as the sport’s biggest stars. We look forward to celebrating this new era of FIM Speedway of Nations in Denmark next year.”

Lars Guldager Dyhr, director of the Esbjerg club, said: “It will of course be a fantastic task for us as a club to stage a real speedway party over four days, and we are proud that Granly Speedway Arena will stage the very first edition of such a speedway event. It’s completely unique.

“We are the oldest club that stages speedway in Denmark, so in a way, the sport returns home to its Danish cradle.

“Now it is our task together with Esbjerg Municipality to make sure that we create a good home for not just the SON, but also more big races in the future, because that is what we have worked for.

“It requires improved facilities and this should, of course, elevate the viewing experience in general. It is a proud moment in the club’s history, and we look forward to a hopefully long-term collaboration with Discovery and Esbjerg Municipality, which has been a driving force in bringing this event to our city.”

Armando Castagna, FIM Track Racing Director, commented: “The new SON system and having all the competitions staged together over a few days at the same venue will create a unique atmosphere for this very special World Championship. I’m sure that it will be a week full of entertainment and surprises.”

Cheetah Nicholls

SCOTT Nicholls is heading to Oxford as excitement continues to mount for the return of the famous Cheetahs.

Nicholls, a Premiership title winner with Peterborough last season, says the club’s revival is ‘refreshing’.

He said: “I’m delighted to sign for the club and be a part of the new era at Oxford. It always was a great club and it was a huge shame to see them close down all those years ago.

“I have read all about the efforts that have gone on behind the scenes to get Oxford up and running again and credit must go to everyone involved in getting to where they are today.

“The new promotion are hugely ambitious and it’s great to be involved and hopefully we can have a good season. They want to challenge for honours in the Championship and I can’t see why we shouldn’t.

“From talking with Jamie (Courtney) I can sense the drive he has to make this work and I’m sure the Oxford fans will have a big part to play in all this. It’s so refreshing to see the club back competing again.”

Promoter Courtney said: “Scott’s record speaks for itself. He is an outstanding rider who will bring a wealth of experience to our team, and we are pleased to reach an agreement.

“I am thrilled he has accepted the role as Cheetahs’ captain for 2022. We’re both ambitious and want next season to be a successful one, both on and off track.”



IRMINGHAM and Kent will have until December 7 to save themselves and confirm their return to next year’s SGB Championship ranks.

As efforts continue to keep speedway at the two venues, British Speedway Promoters Ltd. chairman Rob Godfrey says next month’s AGM will be the deadline both clubs have to work to.

“We have our AGM on December 7 and that really is the last time that we can give to the two clubs that are looking at takeovers,” he told Speedway Star on Monday.

“It gives them nearly a month to try and get themselves sorted. We will be looking at that time to rubber stamp any new promotions coming in.

“I believe Birmingham is sounding more encouraging and they had a meeting on Tuesday of this week. We obviously hope both Birmingham and Kent can continue but we need to know by the AGM.

“All of the rules and regulations for next year have been ratified already, so the AGM will just be for the financial bits and pieces, it will not be an AGM for rules and regulations, team building or things like that which we’ve had in the past.”

A statement released by British Speedway last week confirmed the team building regulations for next year,

• continued on page 20



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2 speedway star November 20, 2021