Bright sunshine with temperatures around -20o greeted a healthy crowd who braved the cold on Day 1 of the second round of the FIM Ice Speedway World Championship series at the Torpedo Stadium in Shadrinsk. Although the weather had made track conditions a little difficult at times racing was of a high standard with the Russians in particular fighting hard for every point to the delight of the local fans.
Championship leader Daniil Ivanov was one of the first to be caught by the track in his first race when he fell whilst leading on the last lap after a great battle with Dmitry Koltakov. Learning from this error he raced unbeaten through his remaining preliminary races and moved comfortably into the final.
Predictably, Russia provided six of the eight semi-finalists along with two Swedes, Martin Haarahiltunen and Stefan Svensson who both drew the unfavourable outside gate and were eliminated so it was Koltakov along with Dinar Valeev and Nikita Toloknov who joined Ivanov in the race to decide the podium places. The first attempt to run the final ended prematurely when Toloknov fell and was disqualified but in the rerun it was Ivanov, using the smoother inner part of the track to his advantage who took the chequered flag ahead of Koltakov.
Toloknov had featured in some of the more spectacular races of the afternoon, winning most of his races from behind, the best being his exciting pass on Dmitry Khomitsevich in Heat 19. He moves ahead of Martin Haarahiltunen who had a disappointing day by his high standards not helped by a disqualification in Heat 7. Johan Weber was another who was not able to build on his performance in Khasakstan, scoring only 4 points and suffering two falls, fortunately without injury.
Leading scorers after Day 1 are:
1. Daniil Ivanov (Russia) 55
2. Dmitry Koltakov (Russia) 50
3. Dinar Valeev (Russia) 49
4. Dmitry Khomitsevich (Russia) 48
5. Nikita Toloknov (Russia) 36
6. Martin Haarahiltunen (Sweden) 34
7. Johan Weber (Germany) 22
8. Stefan Svensson (Sweden) 19
Club officials will work overnight to repair the track ahead of Day 2 on Sunday from 13.10 local time and with milder weather forecast another exciting afternoon’s racing is anticipated.