Many people may think that speedway was only popular in the 1960-70s and is watched today by grey haired old men. But you’d be wrong. We spoke with two Swedish teenagers who love the sport and, despite their age, have followed the SEC for years.
William and Adam were not even born when Swede Tony Rickardsson won his first world championship in 1995 and were still of pre-school age when Swede, Magnus Zetterström won SEC gold in 2002 when it was still a one-day event.
William started watching the SEC in 2015, the year when Antonio Lindbäck won Bronze.
He got the chance to see the SEC live for the first time in Hallstavik, Sweden the home of Rospiggarna, in 2017. “It rained all day,” he reminds me, “but it was a really good competition in the end!” when Andreas Jonsson came in third followed by Jacob Thorssell. 2019 would be a significant year for both riders - Jonsson’s last season as a pro and Thorssell first Swedish national championship win.
Adam Holman started watching the SEC in 2013, the year when Fredrik Lindgren took part in his first ever championship replacing injured countryman, Jonsson.
Both William and Adam are in agreement about what they like about the SEC - the mixture of established riders against new and upcoming names.
“It is a great opportunity for young riders to establish themselves in the top tier of the sport,” Adam says, “It is hard to get into the SGP series so the SEC is a great compliment to that”.
“You get to a more interesting selection of riders, new names and new tracks”, adds William.
It is clear that the two of them know and love their sport.
“I like many riders, Viktor Palovaara from Sweden, who races for my team, Vetlanda Speedway, but also, Václav Milík. But my favourite is still David Bellego - partly because he comes from France and I want to see new nations take part in speedway”.
Adam’s love for his club, Gislaved Lejonen, shows in his choice of favourite, “I love Kacper Woryna because of his great riding style. But I think it will be between Leon Madsen and Grigorij Laguta who will win the SEC this year.”
Adam Holman is not just a fan of the sport, but enjoys writing about speedway ever since he got to interview Chris Holder for his end of year school project. He now runs the Facebook group, Speedwayfans Sverige and has put out a number of interviews with Swedish speedway stars.
These are just two of Europe’s younger generation of speedway fans, who are knowledgeable, love the sport and are looking to another great SEC series in 2020.