An unprecedented situation in the world of speedway just becomes reality. Poland will host five rounds of TAURON Speedway Euro Championship 2020. For the first time in history the entire Individual European Championship series will be held in one country.
- Like many other organizers of sports events, we were forced to completely change our plans for the upcoming season. We had to look for new solutions, that allowed us to develop a good strategy for this critic year. The traditional shape of the series was not possible and had to evolve. That’s how we came up with the idea to organize all rounds in Poland, as this secures the opportunity to participate in the competition for all riders. The entire series is planned to start and be completed in July. Despite all difficulties, speedway has a chance to further develop. I would like to thank everyone involved in creating this project and overcoming this year’s unusual challenges. We direct a huge acknowledgement to TAURON, which supports our project for the third year already. A big thank also goes to the Polish Motor Association and its president Mr Michał Sikora, who helped us to work on appropriate solutions for this season. I would also like to send a special thank you to Mr Ryszard Czarnecki for his precious year long involvement in the Individual European Speedway Championship. Last but not least we have to thank the organizers of all rounds of the SEC series, without whome this enterprise would be impossible – stated Karol Lejman, CEO of One Sport Sp. z o.o.
Apart from the organization of all SEC rounds in one country, there is another major change in the competition. Instead of the traditional four rounds, this year the SEC will consist of five races. They will take place in Toruń (first round and final round), Bydgoszcz, Gniezno and Rybnik.
- For the fifth time in a row I am proud to be the honorary patron of TAURON Speedway Euro Championship. Just a few weeks ago most speedway fans, for obvious reasons, were pessimistic but now we all feel relieved. In few days the PGE Ekstraliga and the polish first league finally start and of course the TAURON SEC – the polish answer to the pandemic - will take place. Teamed up with Mr Michał Sikora, we were struggling to convince the sanitary authorities not only to allow the competition to happen but also to open the venues at least partly for fans, what seemed to be impossible for some time. I would like to thank One Sport for their professional approach and the ability to adapt to the actual difficult environment. They prove, that it’s possible to organize a competition at highest level in a situation, which seemed to be impossible to overcome. After medals for Krzysztof Kasprzak and Jarosław Hampel, I would be happy to hear the Polish national anthem again at the very end of the TAURON SEC series – said Member of Polish Parliament, Mr Ryszard Czarnecki.
- In the last few weeks a lot was happening. Until now we weren’t sure, how to plan the organization of this competition. I would like to thank Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who finally made this possible. I appreciate also the work of Mr Ryszard Czarnecki and Mr Zbigniew Boniek, who supported us at every step of the way. The Individual European Speedway Championship is a very important event for FIM Europe. It has to be noted, that it is the first international sport competition of such an importance during the pandemic. Congratulations to One Sport, where the whole team did great work to bring this project on its way to finalization. The European Championship series gains importance as all rounds are broadcasted on Eurosport and the winner automatically becomes permanent participant of the Speedway Grand Prix. This is an indicator, that TAURON SEC is a competition at highest level under sports and organizational aspects – stated the President of the Polish Motor Association, Mr Michał Sikora.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all elimination rounds and the SEC Challenge, which are meant to determine participants of TAURON SEC 2020, were cancelled. This time the national federations indicated riders to represent their countries at the European Championship. Mikkel Michelsen will defend the champion title and he will compete with some past European champions: Leon Madsen, Andzejs Lebedevs and Nicki Pedersen. We will also see other TAURON SEC medalists on the track, for example Grigorij Laguta, Vaclav Milik, Krzysztof Kasprzak or Robert Lambert. The lineup will be completed by Kacper Woryna, Bartosz Smektała, Michael Jepsen Jensen, Adrei Kudryashov, Kai Huckenbeck, David Bellego and Peter Ljung.
- I would like to join in the acknowledgements for Mr Ryszard Czarnecki for his great engagement and for FIM Europe for their flexibility. At the beginning of our talks about TAURON SEC for this season, we were in the centre of pandemic and everything was completely uncertain. But our discussions ran in an appropriate and constructive way, that has led us to this point. A great thank to Karol Lejman and Jan Konikiewicz for bearing this enterprise and developing the Individual European Championship series to such a level.
Unfortunately it was impossible to carry out the four round qualification and the SEC Challenge , that was planned in Krsko. We asked national federations to select 2 candidates to participate in this years competition. We’ve had five places to offer as the first five are reserved to the best riders from season 2019. We created a ranking of riders basing on their points, their average and their achievements in the past three years and this was the cornerstone for the final selection.
The series starts on 4th of July and for fans as well as from marketings perspective this is an interesting concept. All rounds will be carried out within one month. The atmosphere will be like at the football Euro Championship. Everything will happen very fast, without long breaks, so fans don’t get distracted und freshly remain their interest. – said Piotr Szymański, Chairman of the FIM Europe Track Racing Comission.
At the online press conference, organized by One Sport on 8th of June, the present European Champion, Mikkel Michelsen took part.
My preparations for the season didn’t really change, compared to my usual routine. I even had a little more time. Most of the time in quarantine I spend on excercises, trying to be in shape and as fit as possible. I can’t wait to start the races.
I was lucky to get a training possibility at the Motoarena in Toruń, right before the lockdown. Getting back on the bike after a few weeks break is not a problem for me. I am confident. Of course it can be frustrating to know, that you should run races but you have to sit at home. However, everything is going back to normal and I am really glad about that.
At the moment I am just happy to defend the champion title. I was afraid, that for obvious reasons, the TAURON SEC series will be completely cancelled and it’s great that it turned out to be possible. I also like the fact, that all rounds are planned for July. This season won’t be so busy, as for Denmark, UK and Sweden it is unsure if we will race at all. Events in the middle of the week are a good idea.
My goal is to become European Champion again. Last year my SEC season didn’t start well but then I could improve and finally reach for gold. Keep in mind, that speedway is hard to predict and everything is possible. Can’t wait to see what happens in July – finished Mikkel Michelsen.
All rounds of TAURON Speedway Euro Championship will be broadcasted live on Eurosport.
Lineup TAURON SEC 2020:
1. Mikkel Michelsen
2. Grigorij Laguta
3. Leon Madsen
4. Kacper Woryna
5. Bartosz Smektała
6. Andzejs Lebedevs
7. Nicki Pedersen
8. Vaclav Milik
9. Krzysztof Kasprzak
10. Michael Jepsen Jensen
11. Robert Lambert
12. Andrei Kudryashov
13. Kai Huckenbeck
14. David Bellego
15. Peter Ljung
1. TORUŃ, 4.07.2020
2. BYDGOSZCZ, 8.07.2020
3. GNIEZNO, 15.07.2020
4. RYBNIK, 22.07.2020
5. TORUŃ, 29.07.2020