Speedway GP World Championship
SWC Speedway World Cup
By Greg Hancock
Photos by Jarek Pabijanfirstname.lastname@example.org
EUROPE, JULY 24, 2012
We are approaching the end of the one-month break in the GP schedule due to the SWC (Speedway World Cup) events, and we’re ready to continue with the SGP World Championship Series again. Although it’s always good to take a break during the summer, racing continues with the SWC and League racing as well, so there is no real time to take an extended vacation. It feels strange anyway, knowing that you still have half the season to go.
This was the first time in years that Team USA qualified to the main series of the SWC, so that was awesome! This year, the American team included Ryan Fisher, Ricky Wells, Billy Hamill and myself. We made the best possible charge in Bydgoszcz, Poland, where we had our first event. We needed to finish in the top three but came in fourth, so we did not move on to the race-off or the final. It was a hard night’s racing for the U.S. Team, but we were there and have set the pace for the future of our country. Both Ryan Fisher and Ricky Wells have now stepped up their game and are proving that they, too, will be a force for the USA in years to come. This, too, will motivate and inspire the young riders following in their footsteps. Billy Hamill made an amazing comeback to assist and show the people and our future champions what it takes to be in the game. It was so rad to compete for the red, white and blue as a team again! It brought back some great memories of when we were World Champions! More to come, for sure!
League racing in Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Czech Republic has continued as normal, but we’re taking a one-week break for the SWC as well. Piraterna had a meeting canceled on July 3 due to some internal problems with the club (Valsarna) that we were to compete against, but we resumed action on July 17 in Kumla, where we beat Indianerna on their home track in an exciting last-heat decider. Chris Older and I have begun to find a good team-riding partnership, and I’m stoked about that.
For Azoty Tauron Tarnow, it’s been an interesting month, because I had to miss a meeting in Gdansk due to an injury I picked up in Denmark at the end of June. At the same time, my teammate Janusz Kolodziej broke a finger and had to miss the same match. That left a tough job for our coach, Marek Cieslak. He did the best he could, and with a team of amazing young riders, they came close to beating Gdansk away. We still achieved the bonus point, giving us more valuable points in the League table.
Then, on July 15, we met Torun at home in Tarnow, where we had a tough match but took a convincing 10-point win and the bonus point again. The League Championship continues, with some hard matches yet to come.
Back on June 27 in Holsted, Denmark, I had was competing for my team Slangerup there and had a nasty wipeout in my second heat while trying to pass my Tarnow teammate Martin Vaculik, who was riding for the opposite team this time, and we collided just after midcorner, causing us to go off the high side, and then it was like lights out. I took a heavy hit to the chest and collarbone, and that was the end of my day. Sadly, Slangerup lost the match as well. Thankfully, nothing was broken for either of us, and I just needed a 10-day break to recover from some heavy bruising and soreness. Every day I get better now, and I am fully back on track to chase my goals again.
I have not ridden much in the Czech Republic this last month, but I did have a good match for my home club, Mseno, on July 19, scoring 17+1 points. This was not enough to secure a victory for the team, though, and it looks like a Czech League title could be out of our reach for this season. It is what it is.
Thank you again for all your continued support, and see ya soon!
Let’s go racing!