It'll be the fifth time, when Speedway Euro Championship series will make us know the name of the best European rider. Nicki Pedersen will be defending this title and his gold was reached in some unusual circumstances. Today, we've met names of the riders, who got the permanent wild cards for this year's series.
Changed formula of the series made the biggest speedway stars involved in the Speedway Euro Championship. Today in Warsaw, press conference about this year's cycle was held.
- It's an honour to participate in the conference opening the SEC series in 2017 - said the vice-president of the European Parliament, Ryszard Czarnecki. - Important and good changes in organization are clearly visible. This event has not only defended its brand, but it became a very important one in the calendar of Polish and generally world speedway. Even the fact itself of being a part of this series is a huge thing. What's crucial in its shape is that European Championship has been given its prestige back. I think, that for a fan, who's the main sponsor or speedway, it's connected with a high sport quality. I would like to congratulate the Polish company - One Sport, who has been showing that it's possible to create top-notch sport events.
This year's cycle will be a small anniversary of this championship, held under auspices of One Sport. Plans for 2017 were revealed by Karol Lejman, president of the company.
- Year after year, Speedway Euro Championship has been attracting more and more fans and it's a sign for us that everything's going right way. Previous season was full of emotions and unexpected solutions at the very last meters. We truly believe that this fifth edition of Speedway Euro Championship will be as good as the last one.
Title of the European Champion will be defended by Nicki Pedersen, but in this year, there's quite a big group of riders with big chances to dethrone triple world champion. We're looking forward to some great racing and many unforgettable speedway memories - said Karol Lejman, president of the One Sport company. SEC 2016 was extremely equal. One should look at the fact that silver medalist of SEC, Vaclav Milik gathered 38 points and double European Champion, Emil Sayfutdinov, got only three point less.
In the Speedway Euro Championship 2017 we will see five riders, who secured their spots (TOP 5) and this list includes Nicki Pedersen, Vaclav Milik, Krzysztof Kasprzak and Leon Madsen.
On May 20 in Gorican, SEC Challenge was held, out of where seven riders got promotion to the finals. Croatian tournament was won by Przemysław Pawlicki. Kenneth Bjerre, Nicolai Klindt, Mateusz Szczepaniak, Martin Smolinski, Kacper Gomólski and Adrian Miedziński (who made it through the race-off heat) got promoted as well.
Next three spots in this year's SEC were taken by the wild cards' holder. Line up was joined by Artem Laguta (Russia), Andreas Jonsson (Sweden) and Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia).
- I would like to congratulate to these riders. We hope that all the riders will be fighting for the top goals. I think that this choice is the best possible - Piotr Szymański (Chairman FIM Europe Track Racing Commision) added. - Cooperation with One Sport has been improving with every next year. Technically, we understand each other with no words. What we all thought about few years back, now can be watched at the top-notch level. Everything's been working great. In this season, SEC will come to Poland, Germany and Sweden. List of the venues include Toruń, Güstrow, Hallstavik and Lublin.
- After a one-year break, we're coming back to Toruń, where the SEC 2017 series starts. We're looking forward to get the stadium strongly filled. They have their representative in the line up - Adrian Miedziński, who has been showing a spectacular form so far. We believe that all four venues will be arenas of unforgettable races. It's worth mentioning that for those, who won't be able to attend the stadiums, live broadcast will be provided by Eurosport - Jan Konikiewicz, vice-chairman of the One Sport company.
- I am very happy to compete in SEC once again. Third round will be held at my home track in Sweden, so really I just can't wait not only for the inaugural round, but this third round as well - said Andreas Jonsson. - All of these tracks are very technical, but it will make this fight tough and going until the very last meters.
First round of Speedwya Euro Championship 2017 is on June 30 in Toruń. Meeting starts at 7 PM CET.
- I had a chance to start in SEC. Just like it was said before, I'm in a pretty good disposition. I will do everything to fight for the European Championship's medal. I got a positive attitude, because I know all these venues - Adrian Miedziński ended.
What's more, at this press conference, draw of starting numbers for the first round was held. Number one was drawn for Artem Laguta. European Champion, Nicki Pedersen will start in the first heat with number 3.
1. Artem Laguta (Russia)
2. Grigorij Laguta (Russia)
3. Nicki Pedersen (Denmark)
4. Kenneth Bjerre (Denmark)
5. WILD CARD
6. Kacper Gomólski (Poland)
7. Nicolai Klindt (Denmark)
8. Mateusz Szczepaniak (Poland)
9. Andreas Jonsson (Sweden)
10. Leon Madsen (Denmark)
11. Vaclav Milik (Czech Republic)
12. Przemysław Pawlicki (Poland)
13. Martin Smolinski (Germany)
14. Andzejs Lebedevs (Latvia)
15. Krzysztof Kasprzak (Poland)
16. Adrian Miedziński (Poland)
Res. 1. Mikkel Bech
Res. 2. Andrey Kudriashov
Res. 3. Michael Jepsen Jensen