This year’s TAURON SEC is almost upon us and this weekend we will see five qualifiers go through from the SEC Challenge being held in Pardubice. The majority of the riders have already been racing in Poland’s first and second divisions. Here we can take a brief look at the form of two of the riders who have been racing in Ekstraliga before one of their most important races of the season.
Patryk Dudek (POL), ZIE, 2.324, 6th place
Patryk Dudek has appeared in the TAURON SEC before, but as a wild card in Gniezno 2020. Speedway fans will, of course, recognise the Polish rider who will be 29 yrs just before Round 2 of this year’s SEC in Güstrow. Apart from having a distinct green front wheel, he also has been in the SGP series from 2017-2020 picking up a Silver Medal in 2017.
Dudek comes to Pardubice in fine form. The last time he finished an Ekstraliga season with a heat average greater that 2.000 was 2018. But this year, racing with Zielona Gora, he is having one of his ever-best seasons, currently scoring 2.324. To make the point, on 9 May he became only the second person this year to beat double World Champion, Bartosz Zmarzlik in a heat.
Few would bet against Dudek gaining one of the five qualifying places at Pardubice on 22 May. And, if he does qualify for the finals of SEC, many people will also put the Polish rider as a likely candidate for a medal this year.
Daniel Bewley (GBR), WRO, 1.462, 33th place
British rider, Daniel Bewley is in his first year as a senior in the Ekstraliga with Wroclaw. Last year he struggled at the start of the season in the top division and then was injured in a BMX accident. But he did manage to finish the season well. He also came fourth at the U21 World Championships which were held in Pardubice in October 2020.
But this year we have seen much consistency and he currently has a 1.462 heat average. The maturity shows, for example, when he came in as a Rider Replacement for Tai Woffinden when Wroclaw hosted Gorzow at the weekend. Like Dudek, the young Briton can add his name to the shortlist of the those who have beaten Zmarzlik this year when he and teammate, Maciej Janowski, took an unlikely 5:1 in heat 7.
Bewley, who will be 22 yrs on 20 May, already has plenty of experience on the international stage both at the U21 World Championships level and in Great Britain’s team for the Speedway of Nations. So, a top five placing at Pardubice should be a realistic goal for the young Briton.