Thursday, February 9, 2017

‘Seconds Out – Round 2’

From left to right: Dmitry Koltakov, Harald Simon and Jimmy Olsen - © Good Shoot

Ice Speedway moves to the Kurgan Region of Russia when Final 2 of the 2017 Astana Expo Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship is held at the Torpedo Stadium in Shadrinsk. This is the first time that the series has visited this city of some 75,000 people but there is a long tradition of ice speedway in the region and the organisers are confident that the track and facilities will match the importance of the occasion.

Leaders after Final 1, Dmitri Koltakov and Dmitri Khomitsevich are drawn to meet in Heat 8 and with Igor Kononov in the same race some lively action can be expected. With 42 points available during the weekend Daniil Ivanov and Dinar Valeev are also well placed to make inroads on the leaders.

Wild Card for this meeting will be multiple champion Nikolay Krasnikov, who retired after winning the last of his eight titles in 2012. His occasional appearances since have proved that he still has the ability and fitness to beat the best and anything less than a podium place on both days would disappoint him.

Franz Zorn has expressed satisfaction over his results in Togliatti. Track and weather conditions were far from ideal but by qualifying for his first final of the year the Austrian has set a mark for greater achievements in the coming rounds.

The young Swedes are on a steep leaning curve as they but maintain their enthusiasm after a promising start. Ove Ledström has recovered from his Togliatti injury, as has Niclas Svensson who has been extensively viewed on social media. Jimmy Olsen will be aiming to improve on his debut performance when his 13 points took him to tenth position in the overall standings.

From the German camp, Günter Bauer has made an early start to his Russian trip in the hope of sourcing a new engine to replace the one damaged in the first round and both Max Niedermaier and Hans Weber will need solid points scores if their season is not to be written off at this stage. Jan Klatovsky is the sole representative from Czech Republic and had a miserable return from his efforts in the first round. He too needs a good performance here to salvage his year.

Racing in Shadrinsk starts at 13.20 local time (09.20 CET) on Saturday and Sunday and live updates will appear here during both days.

   About Torpedo Stadium, Shadrinsk 
 The stadium was constructed in 1941 with a capacity of over 5000 spectators. It was taken over by the city administration in 2009 and has since had a substantial upgrade including a new lighting system. Regularly used by the local football team and for track and field events it has regular ice speedway events during the winter months. Both Nicolay Krasnikov and Dmitry Koltakov started their ice race career at this track.

 With the support of local companies, the organisers will be offering additional prizes for this event with the winner over the two days securing a Lada Xray car. Second place will win a quad bike and third place a snowmobile.

Mrs Isabelle Larivière | Communications Manager |