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Brit gp

  1. 1. BRITISH GP SUPPLEMENTJUNE2013 PRICE:FREEFEATURING: GREG HANCOCK EMIL SAYFUTDINOV CHRIS HARRIS PLUS: NIGEL PEARSON & KELVIN TATUM’S PREVIEW AND GARY HAVELOCK’S TAKE ON THE 16 RIDERSThe Czech Republic grand prix winner is firmlyin the running for the world championshipcrown, a win in Cardiff would elevate him tothe top of the standings.BRITISH CHAMPION TAI
  2. 2. WELCOMEWINNING IN CARDIFF.......CAN DEFINE A CAREERHello and welcome to this free edition of Inside SpeedwayMagazine.With the 2013 FIM British Grand Prix just days away,we felt it was a perfect opportunity to give supporterssomething special in the build up.Czech Grand Prix winner Tai Woffinden is our cover star,and in current form there is no better rider.We also chat to current standings leader Emil Sayfutdinovand former British GP winner Greg Hancock.Gary Havelock goes through the riders while NigelPearson and Kelvin Tatum preview the event.I hope you enjoy reading it and don’t forget you canstill get the opening edition of Inside Speedway fromour website, amazon or at trackshops up and down thecountry.MarcGentManaging Editor at Inside SpeedwayManaging Editor:Marc GentContributers:Scott FrameShaun ReynoldsSubscriptions & Administration:Michelle KearneyAdvertising:Yellow Pixel MediaStaff Photographers:Steve Hone, Michelle Kearney, Wojta ZavřelInside Speedway Magazine is owned, published and produced by Yellow PixelMedia Limited. Registered in the UK. No. 08435126.©2013 Yellow Pixel Media. Reproduction is forbidden without written consent.For our terms & Conditions and privacy policy, please visit our website at All pictures featured in Inside Speedway remain propertyof the original owner, copying is strictly forbidden.e. @marc_365e. @scottframe_e. @95_reynoldse. @shelly_team365e.
  3. 3. SPEEDWAY365.COM // 3"CHRISHARRISTheonlypressure Ive got,isthepressure I putonmyselfChris Harris is determined to prove whathe’s made of when he takes on the worldsbest in this weekends British Grand Prix aswildcard.The Cornishman has endured a tough start to his debut Elite League campaignwith new side Birmingham. However his continental form is a contrast as‘Bomber’ has been piling up the points for both Grudziadz and Vastervik withdouble figure scores in almost every meeting.Harris hopes to convert his Polish league form into GP success as he explained“I’m really looking forward to it, I always enjoy going to Cardiff, being myhome Grand Prix.”Unlike recent years, where the wildcard has been awarded to the highestplaced non GP member in the British Final, Harris was directly confirmed asthe wildcard, a month prior to the event.The 30 year old even admitted he was surprised by the decision as he continued “It was a bit of ashock, I just assumed like everyone else it was going to be on the British Final like it has been fora long time now. For one reason or another the BSI have decided to change it and thankfully forme they did.“I want to go there enjoy it and do the best I can even though I know how good I can do there. Ican do better than previous years; it’s all about getting the right setup, going there and enjoyingit.“The only pressure I’ve got is the pressure I put on myself, I’m going there for myself and notworrying what everyone else has got to do and no pressure will get me the points needed toqualify for the top eight.”When asked about the unique atmosphere that Cardiff generates, Harris responded saying “Youcan hear the crowd and the air horns when you go round to the starts, you try to block it out andjust concentrate on focusing on your race but the atmosphere is second to none, it’s the bestatmosphere you’ll ever feel. As a speedway rider being there, every rider in that Grand Prix lovesit when Cardiff comes round cause it’s a special time.”
  4. 4. 4//SPEEDWAY365.COMCHAMPIONSHIP LEADER2013 has been a phenomenalyear so far for Russian superstarEmil Sayfutdinov on the track.He takes a one point lead in theoverall championship standingsinto the British Grand Prix andhe is determined to increase hisadvantage at the MillenniumStadium in Cardiff.Away from the track it has been thetoughest time of his life. The 23 year-oldlost his father Damir, who lost his fightto cancer before last months SwedishGrand Prix in Gothenburg, a meetingEmil won only to find out afterwardsabout his fathers passing.His results and his form since haveshown that it hasn’t affected him ontrack. He is showing a mental strengththat few would possess in his positionand heads to Cardiff feeling he hasn’tany pressure on his young shoulders.“I am very happy with the way thingshave happened so far this season, if I cankeep going like this it will be good. Thisseason has been very different for me,I have problems with my fathers deathbut it has made me want to enjoy everyGrand Prix and get as many points as Ican from each GP.“Cardiff is very big for me, I thinkthis is my third time and I know itsmassive. I have won at Bydgoszcz and inGothenburg. In Prague I got to the finalso this has been good for me and I amhappy with my speedway. Now this weekwe go to Cardiff and I am ready 100%and I will be going there to win.“The GP in Cardiff is very big as there areso many fans who come and watch, theyare so loud as well. The atmosphere isalways very good so that makes it veryenjoyable and it would be awesome towin there.“I don’t have any pressure on me as itsonly speedway. I have waited many yearsto lead the world championship and thisyear I have a chance. I just want to keepworking like I have before this seasonand I think it will work out good.“To win my first world championshipwould be a dream but it is so tough toachieve this. It would be good to win itthis season, I have to keep scoring asmany points as possible and I will have achance.“In Prague I scored 17 points which isvery good for me and I want to do thesame in Cardiff. I want even more pointsbut I know I have to score well in everyGrand Prix and I think I will do that.“I think this year is the best chance forme to win a world championship. TaiWoffinden has been a really good riderso far this season, in the league andin the GP’s. I think he also has a goodchance of winning the world title.“This season is really hard because wedon’t get double points for reaching thefinal so it will be very close throughoutthe season for everybody but I want tobe the one come the end of the seasonwho has more points than anyone else.”4//SPEEDWAY365.COM
  5. 5. SPEEDWAY365.COM // 5HANCOCKGREGStanding on the top of the podium at Cardiff would be any young ridersdream and things don’t change as you get older. Double world championGreg Hancock knows the feeling of winning at Cardiff and is something hehopes to replicate come Saturday night.Hancock celebrates his 43rd birthday two days after the event and victory at theMillennium Stadium would be the perfect way to start the party. Greg said “The BritishGrand Prix is just incredible, its the biggest crowd of the season and you always get sucha wide range of fans. Because so many of the riders have ridden in the British league, onand off throughout their career, they build up a fan base from their clubs.“Every British fan just seems to show up at Cardiff and suddenly it’s this wall of noise.To stand on the top of the podium in that place is unreal and the noise when you do justechos around the whole stadium. Its as close as we could probably get to replicating theatmosphere of the old Wembley that everybody talks about.“It is pretty much a home from home for me. I rode in the UK for so long for a few clubsand its the one event where I see the most American flags or people coming out tosupport me, screaming my name when I go out there. I’m really grateful for that andappreciate how much the fans have stood by me.“It’s awesome, I can’t say anything negative at all about the whole event. The way theymarket the event is fantastic and the countdown to Cardiff has became the biggestthing in speedway every year. We obviously have the World Championship but Cardiff isanother level within that. Nothing has really compared to it yet, it really is an awesomeweekend out . The stadium is situated in the middle of town and the city is packed fromFriday onwards, it turns into a speedway heaven for a couple of days.“It’s nuts but if anyone has a weekend off they should be heading to Cardiff for the party.“Its so important for me to have a good weekend and not lose grasp of a shot at theworld title this year. I have had a couple of rounds that have been well below par for myown standards mostly because I have had some little injuries but I am getting back tofeeling good again now. Theres no better place to start going well than at Cardiff. I knowthe track and stadium very well. I love to go there and I want to make that my mostpositive inspiration.“I’ve been so impressed with the younger guys this year, Tai Woffinden has been amazing.I’m not surprised at how well he is doing but I am surprised at the level he has taken itto. He’s not just stepped his game up he’s over stepped his own boundaries this season andraising the game for the youngsters.“I’ve always liked the kid and I know that he is out to do this as much for himself as he is forhis late father who gave him a good start and a good shot at the game. He is obviously missinghim a lot but everything he is doing is showing his true colours and I am very proud of him.”Like many of the Grand Prix riders Greg has turned down the chance to race in the UK thisyear and has indeed for the last few years. Although he has said in the past he wouldn’t ruleout a return to the UK its looking increasingly likely that we have seen the last of the popularAmerican in league racing in the UK.“I will never ever exclude the chance of coming back and racing in the UK completely. Howeverwith the way things are now it won’t happen soon. Things changed when I moved my base toSweden and set up camp there.“The racing in the UK is so hectic, there is so many meetings going on. It tends to take meaway from home to much. Its a lot to fit into a schedule which for me is already important anddemanding. Sweden and Poland for me are two very important leagues, they require a lot moremotivation and hard work.“I have watched these leagues grow and grow, they have got to such a high standard. I like thefact I can focus on two leagues and race 75 events a season compared to 120 or so I wouldneed to do if I rode in England.“Its nice to sleep in your own bed, go training and spend time with the family. All these thingshave to be factured into it. I like it the way I have it now, I have cut the expenses down and itworks really well for me.“The talk has went on forever about squad systems. I know Colin Pratt tried to start this wayback when and everyone laughed at him but the more you see it now I don’t think people arelaughing so much.“It would definitely tempt guys like myself to do more meetings and ride in the UK because Icould select some and work out so I would be at my best instead of flying into a race when youhaven’t slept for days on end.“I think it would be a great thing to introduce squad systems in the UK. I can’t say it would bethe answer to it all but that’s just a riders point of view.”
  6. 6. 6//SPEEDWAY365.COMWOFFINDENTai Woffinden heads into theBritish Grand Prix in the formof his career. The Scunthorpebased racer carries the weightof the nations expectation onhis shoulders, after lifting hisfirst ever British crown lastmonth in a flawless displayand followed it up with victoryat the Czech GP in Prague.The Wolverhampton man’s formthis season has been nothing shortof stunning and in the Grand Prix’sleading up to this weekends GP inCardiff, he has looked to be one of thequickest riders in the series.Woffinden sits in second place in theoverall World standings behind RussianEmil Sayfutdinov. No one could havepredicted how well he has done sofar in the series. There were manywho were sceptical about him beinghanded a wild card place for this yearschampionship.After four rounds, there is noone questioning the young manscapabilities about being able tocompete at the highest stage and nowthe critics and sceptics are asking thequestion. Can he sustain his form andactually challenge for the world title?Tai has no interest in talking aboutWorld titles and insists his goals in theGrand Prix’s are still the same as theywere at the start of the campaign.“I have been going really good, it hasbeen a great a start to the season. TheBritish Grand Prix is going to be huge, Ireally want to give the fans somethingto shout and scream about. I’m feelingawesome but I have to take everymeeting as it comes and score as manypoints as I can.“The British Championship and CzechGP wins I haven’t really thought aboutto be honest. They were just another
  7. 7. SPEEDWAY365.COM // 7meeting but they gave me awesomepride to win but I have to carry theform on. I watched the GP back lastweek for the first time but I have tolook forward.“My goal for this season is still to makethe top 8, I don’t want to try and runbefore I can walk. I want to go into theBritish Grand Prix and do exactly whatI have done in all the GP’s so far, scoreas many points as I can in my heatsand hopefully reach the semi’s and seewhere the night takes us from there.“I am riding the exact same enginesI was using last year, I am just morefocused and more determined. I havestepped up my training this year and itlooks to be paying off.“Down time this season has beengood, its just as important as racing,It gets pretty tough. Some weeks wecould have Poole on a Wednesday, flyto the GP Thursday, Practice Friday,Grand Prix Saturday, Poland Sunday,Wolverhampton on the Monday soadding in Sweden this season on aTuesday just wasn’t for me. FreddieLindgren and Chris Holder do it but Idon’t know how they can do it.“I don’t really look at what otherpeople are doing though I try toconcentrate on my own work. The onlytime I see speedway is when I watchfrom home or at the track. WhenI have free time I don’t look at myTwitter, I might post something but Idon’t read what people say about meas I want to be fully concentrated onmy racing.“My focus this year has changed but Ican’t tell you how I’ve done it becausepeople might want to copy what I’mdoing!! (Laughs)“Every meeting I go to, I am 100%committed to racing as hard as I can.I go to every meeting looking to scoreas many points as I can and Saturdayat Cardiff will be no different. Go in,score some points and give the fanssomething to cheer about.“I still have plenty of space on the bikefor new sponsors, its something we arealways looking for. I am always lookingfor ways to train harder and I amalways looking to be more consistentin meetings as well, everyone strivesfor perfection. There is always roomfor improvement though.”Tai maybe striving for perfection butwith 40,000 screaming British fanscheering him on lets hope he sees it ashis moment to shine and give us thatBritish winner we have been strivingfor since 2007, The roof will come offthe Millennium Stadium if he does.SPEEDWAY365.COM // 7
  8. 8. 8//SPEEDWAY365.COMHAVELOCKGARY1992 WORLD CHAMPION & CURRENT COVENTRY BEES MANAGER TALKS US THROUGH THE 16 RIDERSGary Havelock is one ex-rider who knows that feelingof standing at the top of therostrum as the world champion.In 1992 Gary won his one andonly World crown in a rainsoaked Wroclaw in a night thatdefined his career.As the build up to Cardiff begins and the nervesstart to creep in Gary is only to aware of thefeelings going through each riders mind.Looking ahead to Saturday, Gary gives us histake on the field and their chances of glory in theWelsh capital.Chris Holder: He has a really good chance, he haswon at Cardiff before and knows what it takes towin there. He is used to the atmosphere as anyonecan be. He has a slow start by his own highstandards but he will be in there fighting to be onthat podium.Greg Hancock: What an unbelievable career Greghas had. To be still racing at world level at his ageis just remarkable and he is a guy that no one canwrite off in the GP’s. His style is suited to the manmade tracks, they are small and technical and thatsuits Greg.Tomasz Gollob: The enigma that is Mr Gollob! Heis another that to be still competing at the highestlevel at his age is remarkable. He always been thesame, he’s either unbelievably brilliant or slightlyrubbish. He is a big confidence rider and whenhe isn’t confident he doesn’t seem to be able toperform. He started off the series pretty well butin the last GP in Prague he let himself down on atrack he should do better on. He’s like what ForestGump said, he’s like a box of chocolates, younever know what you are going to get.Nicki Pedersen: All the way through his careerhe has been unbelievable. In my opinion Nickiisn’t blessed with the greatest amount of naturaltalent, he’s probably one of the least talentedguys in the GP’s. To win the world titles he hasand to be so consistent in the GP’s is testamentto him.What he lacks in natural talent he more thanmakes up for in professionalism, guts anddetermination. Love him or hate him he can pulla crowd, people will buy a ticket to see him. Halfwill love him half will hate him but he puts bumson seats. The grand prix’s would be a much poorershow without Nicki.Emil Sayfutdinov: He has done amazingconsidering everything that is going on in hispersonal life. He burst on to the scene a coupleof years ago and big things were expected of himbut he had a couple of nasty injuries that set himback. This year though he seems to be back at hisbrilliant best. He is making gates and riding thetracks a lot smoother than he did in the past, hecould be accused of being a bit erratic in the pastbut now he has it sorted and he seems to havethe full package. Come the end of the season I amsure he will be there or there abouts for the topplaces on that podium.Antonio Lindback: He is a guy I’ve known sincehe was 16 when he came into my Swedish team.In Marsana he joined me, Tony Rickardsson, LeighAdams in a reserve position. Right from the starthe was an amazing talent, a bit wild back thenbut the talent was there. I remember one timewe rode against Tomasz Gollob’s team who cameto our track. Antonio dived underneath Mr G andended up putting him three rows in the crowd. Hehas matured since then, he hasn’t had the best ofstarts but he proved last year that he is capable ofwinning GP’s and competing against the very best.Freddie Lindgren: He is fantastic in league racing,whenever you see him he is always dominatingraces and scoring maximums but when it comesto the GP’s, he struggles a little. He hit some formin last years series but has yet to recapture thatthis year. Maybe its a case of over racing but hehas the talent to come in and do well at Cardiff.Andreas Jonsson: Another guy I’ve knownreally well for years and another who has reallystruggled since the start of the season. I know oneof my old mechanics in Sweden came in to helpAJ just before the Swedish GP and told him hisset-up’s were all wrong. They are now going backto the set-up’s they had a couple of years ago, so Iam expecting him to start hitting form in the notso distant future. He is one to watch at Cardiff.Krzysztof Kasprzak: If a British rider can’t winat Cardiff I want it to be a Coventry rider andKrysztof has all the talent to go out and do well.He is very much a confidence rider. When he is abit down on confidence or he doesn’t feel his bikeis right he can look terrible at times but when hegets it right, he is phenomenally fast. He can beatanyone in the world at anytime and had a goodGP at Cardiff last year so he is definitely going tobe one to keep an eye on.Jaroslaw Hampel: I think Jaroslaw is a rider whohas slightly under achieved in his career so far. Iknow he had a bad injury last year but he shouldhave won more by that point anyway. When he ison form and in full flow he is fantastic to watch,he rides the bike really nice and really neat.He generates a lot of speed because he keeps hiswheels in line very well. He’s won GP’s and wonworld cup’s but you think by now he would haveworked it out what its all about to get himself aworld championship. He has the talent and skill towin. I hope he does well as he’s a nice kid.Neils Kristen-Iversen: Last year he was the bestrider in the world on league form, top of theaverages everywhere he rode. You would think aguy like Neils with his kind of form would be able
  9. 9. SPEEDWAY365.COM // 9to fit right into the GP’s but it just proves howdifficult these meetings are. There is no reasonwhy he can’t beat these guys in GP meetings,maybe its just a case of getting settled in but Ithink once he does, he will be making semi-finalson a regular basis. Watch this space.Matej Zagar: I have been very impressed withMatej’s start to the series. He was one I wonderedabout at the start of the season, he never reallydone it at world level for me. He has been a goodleague rider but had never stepped up. This yearhe seems be doing very well, his league formis good and he is performing brilliantly at thehighest level. He will no doubt be looking formore semi’s and finals to secure his top 8 positioncome the end of the season.Martin Vaculik: Cardiff is an unbelievable venueand is the biggest test of anyone’s personality,although he won the first GP he ever rode, thiswill be his biggest test.He exploded onto the scene last year and I wasreally impressed, I had been noticing his scoresacross Europe and thought he might be one towatch and he could step up. He did really welllast year but maybe he is feeling the pressure ofbeing a full time GP rider this season. He has thetalent to do well and maybe Cardiff could be theinspiration he needs to kick start his series.Darcy Ward: He is going to be a huge miss. Talentwise he is the best rider in the Grand Prix series.I think at his age he is the best rider I have everseen ride a speedway bike. Some of the things hecan do on a bike are mind blowing, half the timeI’m not sure even he knows how he is pulling themoff. I really don’t think he realises how good he is,he is still very young and has such a great chanceof achieving greatness in this sport.He could challenge Ivan Mauger and TonyRickardsson for the title of the best speedwayrider ever, thats how highly I rate him. If he getsfocused away from the track he will be the bestrider who ever lived.Tai Woffinden: He must be going into Cardiffwith huge confidence. He has been flying the fullseason every where he has been and is breakingtrack records all over Europe. To win your first GPis massive and is a huge shot in the arm. He is pastthe stage of ‘I know I can beat these guys’ becausehe has beaten them all on any given day but tobeat them all consistently and get to semi-finalsand finals and win, takes him to another level.Prague was one of the best displays I have everseen from a British rider and if he can keep himselftogether I’m sure he’ll be challenging come theend of the season for the Championship.He is without a doubt a contender for the WorldChampionship, there is no point going in just forexperience. When you get in there you want towin. I know that from personal experience.He has a focus this year that I haven’t seen fromhim before. I watched him at Coventry and whenhe was in the pits you could see him getting readyfor his races mentally and he looked like a riderwho is in the zone and this could be his time.The penny has dropped and although its a long oldseason he is in there with a chance.Chris Harris: I think Bomber will do well, he willpull out his usual Cardiff form and be in therebattling. What can I say about Bomber, he wasnever blessed with good gating ability and thathas been his downfall his full career. For guts anddetermination and sheer will to win, I don’t thinkthere is anyone who can match him. I would loveto see him do well.
  10. 10. 10//SPEEDWAY365.COMGrandPrixSereisSoFar...One of the most anticipated GrandPrix series since it’s birth back in 1995certainly hasn’t disappointed – notleast because heading into CardiffTai Woffinden is just a point short ofcurrent leader Emil Sayfutdinov.The series has seen its highs and lows throughout theopening four rounds; with most notably Darcy Ward’sconfirmation of a fractured shoulder blade followingthe third round at Gothenburg’s Ullevi Stadium. Alsobattered and bruised, is three time world championNicki Pedersen, who is using a silicon brace to supporthis broken forearm sustained in a crash during the semifinal stage of the Swedish Grand Prix.Injuries aside though, there are moments of endeavour,toughness and inspiration as 15 of the worlds best ridersbattle for that all important prize of becoming worldchampion – and the best part is we’re not even half waythrough yet!The opening round took place in New Zealand – stagedat the natural amphitheatre that is Western Springs inAuckland. With a field full of both class and experienceeveryone anticipated the best series in recent memory.Despite the lack of overtaking, Western Springs did,once again, produce a handful of memorable races;most notably heat 20 which involved a race long scrapbetween the series youngster of Emil Sayfutdinov andDarcy Ward. Tai Woffinden made a solid start to hiscomeback campaign in the series whilst the familiarfaces of Holder, Hancock, Gollob, Pedersen and Hampeljoined Ward and Jonsson in the semi final stages.Semi Final 1 saw Jaroslaw Hampel blast around bothPedersen and Ward off the unfavourable gate 4 asPedersen tucked in for second with Ward and Woffindenfailing to progress. Jonsson went from first to last insemi final 2 as Gollob and Hancock made their way intothe final.Hampel then went on to win the GP with a routinewin off of the popular gate 1, which produced 15 racewins, whilst Gollob secured second with Pedersen third.Despite the win though, due to the change in rulesregarding double points in the final, Hampel was jointtop at the summit of the table with Gollob on 15 points.The series returned to Europe four weeks later inBydgoszcz for the European Grand Prix. Having nothosted a GP since 2010, Bydgoszcz was a popularchoice of venue amongst locals as fans packed out thetraditional stadium routing for a home victory.It looked promising as home icon Tomasz Gollob forcedhis way past Nicki Pedersen in the pairs opening rides intypical Gollob style. Pass after pass resumed as Pedersenwas once again involved in the thick of the action whenfending off Tai Woffinden in heat 8 in the first of manystand out races. Pedersen’s commitment was repeatedonce more in heat 11 as the Dane fended off JaroslawHampel in heat 11 to move Pedersen onto 7 points fromhis opening three rides.However the race of the night occurred in heat 15 asSayfutdinov and Woffinden traded blows on severaloccasions – only for Woffinden to run out eventualwinner when cutting back on the Russian on the finalbend. Heat 20 saw the battle of the Aussies as DarcyWard squeezed past Chris Holder to get the better of thereigning champion as the business end of the meetingbegan.Firstly Gollob won semi final 1 ahead of Zagar and ahelpless Holder who appeared to struggle for pace. Thenthe youngsters of Woffinden, Sayfutdinov and Wardwere all involved in a three way scrap in the secondsemi final with Sayfutdinov eventually winning ahead ofWoffinden who stamped his authority on Ward duringlap three.The final saw Russian sensational Emil Sayfutdinovmove inside Slovenian racer Matej Zagar to pick up hisfirst GP win since his debut season back in 2009. The winfor Emil however only put him in 6th position followinga poor first round as Gollob led by 6 clear points aheadof Ward, Hampel and Woffinden.Gothenburg’s Ullevi Stadium once again hosted theSwedish GP for round three of the series. Despite a slowstart, wheel to wheel action quickly resumed as worldchampion Chris Holder won his opening rides.However the meeting shall be remembered for twoseparate incidents as Darcy Ward fractured his shoulderblade in heat 6 whilst attempting to pass Chris Holder– Ward was taken to hospital where the fracture wasconfirmed, the former world under 21 championtargeted the Danish GP on June 29 as his comeback date– 8 weeks after his crash.Whilst Hampel and Holder made their way through intothe final, Woffinden and Pedersen were involved in ahorror first bend pile up in semi final 2. Woffinden madethe better start, however a determined Pedersen deniedthe Brit a way past as elbows traded. Both riders thenlost control of their machines and piled into the safetyfence at high speed.It was confirmed after the meeting that Pedersensuffered a break in his forearm, whilst Woffindenescaped relatively unhurt. Unaware of his injury though,Pedersen continued as he went on to make the grandfinal alongside Sayfutdinov who eventually found a waypast the Dane.The final saw Hampel completely miss the start as hewas overhauled by Holder in the first turn, howeverSayfutdinov hunted down the champion and madehis move on the last lap to earn himself back to backGP wins, something that hasn’t been done since JasonCrump back in 2006.The win for Sayfutdinov moved him up the standingsinto 2nd as Gollob still led, despite a poor GP by his ownhigh standards. Hampel joined Sayfutdinov on 38 withWoffinden waiting in the wings on 35.The Marketa Stadium hosted the Czech GP for the 17thtime running as Sayfutdinov aimed to become the firstperson to win three back to back GP’s in seven years.Iron man Nicki Pedersen raced on with a broken forearm,however first reserve Ales Dryml was brought in toreplace the unfortunate Darcy Ward. Tomasz Gollobquickly lost his status as world championship leaderas consecutive last places summed up a disappointingnight for the Pole – who picked up just three points.Woffinden won his opening four rides, whilst mainchampionship rival Sayfutdinov dropped just one pointheading into a mouth watering heat 17. Sayfutdinovwon the race whilst Woffinden settled for third behindHancock. The major surprise though was Chris Holderwho failed to make the semi final stage after onlycollecting 7 points in total despite a win in his openingride. Also missing out were Greg Hancock, NielsKristian Iversen and Antonio Lindback, whose poor formcontinued.The major surprise though was Krzysztof Kasprzakwho, off of the unfavourable gate 4, moved inside bothLindgren and Jonsson to earn himself a spot in the final,with Sayfutdinov who won from the gate.British fans were lifted when Tai Woffinden won bythe width of a tyre over Nicki Pedersen in semi final2. Pedersen led the entire race until the dying metreswhere Woffinden cut back off the final bend to earnhimself a crucial extra championship point.Sayfutdinov opted for gate 2 in the final, leavingWoffinden with the inside, drama unfolded as bothSayfutdinov and Woffinden touched the tapes. TheRussian moved first and was consequently excludedleaving Woffinden left with the task of beating Pedersenand Kasprzak.In the re run Woffinden made the start and left Kasprzakand Pedersen to squabble over second place. EventuallyPedersen hit the deck on the last lap, though the movewas judged clean, as Kasprzak claimed his first GPpodium since Cardiff last year.Sayfutdinov still led the world championship, howevernow only by a point as Woffinden closed the gapheading into the greatest Speedway event on earth – theBritish GP in Cardiff.There’s an eight point gap between Woffinden andHampel whilst Pedersen, Gollob and Holder have alsoreached the 40 point mark.10//SPEEDWAY365.COM
  11. 11. SPEEDWAY365.COM // 112013 GRANDPRIX STANDINGS 2013 GRANDPRIX WINNERS1 6 15 17 17 55EMIL SAYFUTDINOVRIDERP TR1 R2 R3 R42 Tai woffinden3 jaroslaw hampel4 nicki pedersen5 tomasz gollob1.JAROSLAW HAMPEL2.TOMASZ GOLLOB3.NICKI PEDERSENNEW ZEALAND GRAND PRIXMARCH 23, 20136 chris holder7 matej zagar8 greg hancock9 niels-kristian iversen10 fredrik lindgren11 andreas jonsson12 Krzysztof Kasprzak13 Darcy Ward14 Antonio Lindback15 Martin Vaculik16 ALES DRYML9 14 12 19 544615 8 15 84512 10 12 114315 16 9 3409 10 14 7385 14 9 103411 8 8 7337 9 10 7288 4 5 112711 4 3 9256 0 7 122512 13 0 -226 3 8 51835-4-3-611.EMIL SAYFUTDINOV2.matej zagar3.tomasz gollobEUROPEAN GRAND PRIXAPRIL20, 20131.emil sayfutdinov2.chris holder3. NICKI PEDERSENswedish GRAND PRIXmay 4, 20131.taiwoffinden2.KrzysztofKasprzak3.NICKI PEDERSENczech republic GRAND PRIXmay 18, 2013
  12. 12. 12//SPEEDWAY365.COMPEARSON&TATUMCOMMENTATING DUOEUROSPORT’S NIGEL PEARSON AND KELVIN TATUM PREVIEW THE MOUTHWATERING BRITISH GRAND PRIXTai Woffinden was truly sensational inPrague, not only winning the Grand Prix,but scoring the highest point’s total of anyround this year; this surely cements hisplace as one of the favourites for this year’sseries?NP: He’s still trying to keep his feet firmly onthe ground, I speak to Tai quite a lot as he isbased in the UK. I spoke to him on Mondayafter the Prague success and he still says hispriority is to assure himself of a place in thetop eight next season, but it’s getting to thestage now where he may have to re-evaluatehis targets. I assume his next target will be atop five place, the next would then be a topthree place and then who knows, maybe thetop of the lot. But that’s a long way off atthe moment, we are only a third of the waythrough the season, there is still eight roundsto go and anything can happen. It’s greatto see, it’s fantastic for British racing, it’sfantastic for Cardiff. For the first time sincethe year 2000, when Mark Loram won theworld title, Great Britain actually has a riderthat is a genuine contender. It’s a remarkabletransformation of Tai’s career, and his life.KT: Yes, you could look at it this way, I ama little more cautious than that, I’d love tothink that he could go on and win the WorldChampionship this year, but there is a longway to go, but certainly at this stage, hisform is superb and he is deservedly where heis, it’s no fluke that’s for sure.We spoke about the rivalry between theyounger riders and the more experiencedriders. At the moment, the young gunsseem to be stealing the show, with thelikes of Sayfutdinov and Woffinden farsurpassing the performances of Hancockand Gollob, however, do you think theexperience of the likes of Pedersen andHancock will play a bigger part later on inthe season?NP: Yes I do, obviously Nicki at the momentis riding with a lot of pain, he has that bracefitted on to his arm, because he is riding witha broken bone in his arm, and I have to takemy hat off to what he achieved in Prague.The more experienced like Nicki and Tomaszhave Grand Prix win’s in them, but there is nodenying that Emil and Tai right now, are thefront runners. I was looking at the beginningof the season at riders like Antonio Lindbackmaking a go at the title, but he has beeninconsistent, Jarek Hampel is inconsistent,the biggest difference between Woffindenand Sayfutdinov to the rest, is that they areperforming on a consistent basis, they aremaking starts. You have to admire Emil aswell, riding in Prague and getting to the finaljust two weeks after his dad tragically passedaway. We are talking about Woffinden allthe time, you cannot forget the likes of Nickiriding with a broken arm and Emil ridingin a difficult time for him. I feel sorry forDarcy Ward, I really thought he would be acontender for a Grand Prix win this stage,I hope to see him back after the SpeedwayWorld Cup, and hopefully he can play somepart and joining the young guns in winning aGrand Prix towards the end of the season. Itsvery refreshing to see, with all due respect tothe older guard of Greg, Nicki and Tomasz,they are still great to watch.KT: It may do, both Hancock and Gollobare in their 40’s, and there does come atime where you find it a bit more difficult,and you will drop down the table. They areunder pressure to come up with some topperformances in the upcoming Grand Prix,otherwise their chances of being championwill disappear. Hancock has been injured, andyou could say he hasn’t been at his best inthe last two GP’s, but you couldn’t rule himout, i’m certainly not! It will be difficult withthe likes of Emil and Tai riding on a very highlevel.Freddie Lindgren upped his performance inPrague, getting his first Grand Prix win ofthe series, do you think he can potentiallychallenge for a podium place? Or has heleft it too late?NP: I think he could potentially do it, but weare a third of the way through. I think thatthe main issue with Freddie is confidence,and I do believe that getting the first win outof the way will give him a lot of confidence.He is facing a make or break Grand Prix inCardiff, if he does well, he can kick on and dowell for the rest of the year, but if he doesn’t,he will struggle.KT: He will be hoping so, because last yearhe rode very well. Making his breakthroughvictory was important and he started to looklike an established Grand Prix rider for thefirst time this season. He has started poorly,Freddie has got qualities and it wouldn’t besurprising to see him on the podium in thevery near future.Ahead of the British GP, let’s talk about thewild card selection, Chris Harris, who wonhere in 2007. It was dubbed as the greatestmoment of British Speedway in the lastdecade, what do you think he chances arethis year?NP: Well it’s going to take something special.By Chris’s own admission, he is not riding athis best for his Elite League club Birmingham,I don’t think he’s done a lot of meetings thisyear, he seems to be low on confidence, eventhough the team he rides for in Birmingham areflying at the moment, they have got a reservewho is carrying a lot of points for them, butChris at number one, hasn’t delivered enoughpoints for them this season. He needs his bikesetup to be absolutely spot on in Cardiff, thereare a lot of things that need to fall into placein order for Chris to make it happen. It’s a tallorder in his current form, but I really do wishhim well and hope he has a great Grand Prixand at least makes the semi-finals.
  13. 13. SPEEDWAY365.COM // 13KT: His form is not fantastic, he rode wellin the British Final, finishing third overall,he was certainly ver motivated and hegave it his best. Chris has suggested thathe would like to get back in to the WorldChampionships, and I don’t see many otheroppurtunities to show the organisers hisform, so it’s a massive opportunity for him. Iwould like to think he will make a semi-final,I don’t know whether he is in the form thatwould see him win the Grand Prix, I think heneeds to up it again if he going to do that.I was working in Cardiff in 2007 when hewon, and it was a fantastic evening. The trackconditions were difficult, Greg Hancock wasfull of speed in the final, Harris hadn’t madea start all night, but he carved and workedhis way through the traffic to win on thefinal corner in front of a packed house at theMillennium Stadium. I would like to think wewill experience something very similar nextweek, with Woffinden’s form, winning lasttime out and sitting one points of the topspot overall, it checks out very nicely.Chris Holder won here last year, a race inwhich he dominated his rivals, and reallyput him one step closer to winning thechampionship. He must be one of thefavourites going into Cardiff, having twoBritish GP wins under his belt already?NP: The track now is good, in the earlydays of Cardiff is was unpredictable, theorganisers hadn’t really got it sorted, butright now the temporary tracks they do arebetter than ever. The dimensions of thwetrack and the material on the track meansthat the riders know what to expect, so thereis no reason why Chris can’t do well. I expectEmil and Tai to have another good race; Taiwill enjoy riding Cardiff because it’s a trackthat is very similar to his home ground atWolverhampton. There is no reason whyChris Holder can’t have one of his bestrounds of the season.KT: Yes, his form at this track would suggestthat he would be well and truly there. Hehad a disappointing Grand Prix in Prague, ithas been a solid, not spectacular start to hisGrand Prix campaign this year, but as yousay, his form at Cardiff is absolutely brilliantand I’m sure Chris will love to win thereagain. You can’t rule him out.The British GP has been held in theMillennium Stadium since 2001, whatare your best personal experiences fromCardiff?NP: I attended the press conference in 2000with Terry Russell and John Postlewaiteand they share this vision of what could bedone to bring Speedway into the MillenniumStadium, and it’s a remarkable achievement.The highlights for me have to include thefirst year back in 2001, where I stood on theinfield and was the stadium announcer forthe night, I wasn’t working on television thatnight, I had to stand in front of nearly 50,000fans and announce the riders, so that wasquite a moment, I remember I couldn’t eat allday I was so nervous, but it was an absoluteprivilege to do that, on the first Grand Prixin Cardiff, to actually stand on the infieldand announce the riders. Also there was theone year where Tony Rickardsson performedwhat can only be described as Speedway’sversion of the Wall of Death where he wentround the bend and was actually riding offthe fence, it really was a truly remarkablesight to see someone doing that. And thenof course, Chris Harris in 2007, when he gotGreg Hancock on the line, a British winner atCariff, it was just a fantastic moment.KT: It’s the best show of the year, it’s ahell of an event, not just a Speedwaymeeting. There is a wonderful atmosphere,I think that the British fans and supportersbring that extra element; they are a veryknowledgeable audience. Riders definitelyup there performances here, every rider willwant to say they have won at Cardiff. Everytime you come here it’s magnificent, youcan’t actually believe it’s a football stadium,it seems to be perfect for motorsportevents. It’s one of those place you walk outthe tunnel, into the auditorium and it’s justsomething else, you think, ‘this is what it’sall about’, and I have seen some dramaticscenes there.We are expecting to see close to 40,000 fansat Cardiff, making it one of the highlights ofthe Speedway calendar, and with Woffindenin such great form, this is surely one of thebest opportunities to get a British rider on thepodium here on home soil?NP: It is a great opportunity, not just for Cardiffbut for the World Championship overall. We areexpecting 40,000+, I tell you at this rate, theway people are talking about young Woffinden,it could be 50,000+. There is that much interestin Woffinden and the Grand Prix, and it’s greatto see. British Speedway itself, and Britishleague racing has gone through a tough timewith the recession, it’s difficult to attract newsupporters, whereas now, I hope Woffinden’ssuccess can help British Speedway on thedomestic front as well. I was at Wembleylast weekend for the League one playoff, andWembley is a magnificent stadium, there is nodoubt about that, but I prefer going to Cardiff.It’s about the all-round experience, you’ve gotthe restaurants, the bars, you’ve got the Castle,and everything is within walking distance of thestadium. What I like the most is the Fanzonethat the BSI have set-up, it reminds me of theold traditional FA Cup final days, where allthe fans from all over the country and Europeare there in the main street, mixing with eachother, fantastic atmosphere and that is all partof the build-up from 10 o’clock in the morningup until the start time. This is where Speedwayshows its true colours of being a fantasticfamily sport. I am really looking forward toCardiff, it’s going to be great. Bring it on!KT: Yes, it’s the sort of track that will suit Tai.Obviously he will be under the spotlight, afterwinning in Prague, and just one point of the topof the World Championship, so leading up toit, he will be giving interviews and he is doinghis cycle ride, so I do hope he manages to keephimself focussed. He rides at Wolverhamptonin the Elite league which is a tight track. Cardiffis the first smaller track we experience in theWorld Champs this year. The racing is veryclose, there is going to be a lot more contactthan there was in previous rounds, certainlygoing in to the first corner, you might see morerestarts as riders crash into each other. It’s amore technically demanding circuit.Finally, who do you think is going to win thisweek’s British GP?NP: Emil Sayfutdinov, Chris Holder, TaiWoffinden, Nicki PedersenKT: Tai Woffinden, Chris Holder, Nicki Pedersen,Jarek HampelBritish Eurosport will broadcast exclusive LIVEcoverage from every round of the SpeedwayGrand Prix in high definition including the BritishGP from Cardiff. Coverage starts Saturday 4.30pmon British Eurosport 2 HD or via the EurosportPlayer. 1 June1630-2000 LIVE Speedway GP from Cardiff onBritish Eurosport 2 HD