Daniil Ivanov continued his chase for the title when he won the first day’s competition in the FIM Ice Speedway World Championship in Inzell, Germany on Saturday. Ivanov, champion in 2013 and 2014 is seeking his third title and now leads the standings by just one point. He dropped two points in his first race behind Dmitry Khomitsevich and Dinar Valeev but then rode unbeaten through the final to collect 19 points from the meeting and boost his season’s total to 116.
Dinar Valeev had been favourite for the meeting after posting five wins in the qualifying races but despite having drawn the favoured inside start position in the final he was unable to take advantage and finished a disappointing fourth. Khomitsevich finished in second place with current champion Dmitry Koltakov third.
A sold out crowd of 5500 saw some thrilling racing on a well prepared and very fast ice surface which produced an average speed of 100kpm. There had been four crashes during practice and there were eight more during a fiercely fought meeting. Ove Ledström was one of the casualties feeling unwell after a fall in Heat 7 and Russian Nikita Toloknov withdrew with a knee injury after crashing in his second ride. Both will be examined by the Medical Officer before Sunday’s event to confirm their fitness to ride.
Austrian favourite Franz Zorn’s dismal season continued when he took a heavy fall in practice on Friday and had to withdraw from the meeting with a badly injured hand.
German fans were able to cheer Johan Weber to a semi-final place despite a first race disqualification and his performance moves him into fifth place above the unfortunate Toloknov. Local hero Günther Bauer pulled out of his second ride after feeling unwell but after 30 minutes rest was passed fit by the Doctor and allowed to resume. His low score of only three points shows that he was not at his best.
Day 2 of racing resumes tomorrow at 14.00 (CET).
Total series points after day 1:
1. Daniil Ivanov (Russia) 116
2. Dinar Valeev (Russia) 115
3. Dmitry Koltakov (Russia) 112
4. Dmitry Khomitsevich. (Russia) 111
5. Johan Weber (Germany) 65
6. Nikita Toloknov (Russia) 61
7. Stefan Svensson (Sweden) 51
8. Niclas Svensson (Sweden) 46
9. Martin Haarahiltunen (Sweden) 46