2016 FIM Team Speedway Under 21 World Championship Final , Norrkoping, Sweden – 20th August
Following last week’s staging of the Swedish Speedway Grand Prix in Malilla, Sweden host the second major track racing event next weekend when the Final of the Under 21 Team Championship will be held in Norrkoping.
Teams and colour draw can be found here
Defending champions Poland field a strong team and will be favourites to retain their title they comfortably won in Australia last October. Captain of their team is current Under 21 Individual World Champion Bartosz Smarzlik who is performing well in his inaugural Grand Prix season and was a major contributor to the Polish team, which won the senior competition, the Speedway World Cup last month in Manchester. He will be supported by Krystian Pieszczek, Bartosz Smetktala and Pawel Przedpelski, all of whom are currently well placed to pick up medals in the 2016 junior individual title chase.
In Australia, young kangaroos are known as ‘joeys’ and the Aussie’s Team Manager Mark Lemon has adopted that nickname for his youthful track racers. Still smarting from their defeat last year on home soil in Mildura, they will be keen to exact revenge on the Poles and Danes who forced them into third place then and the tight 272metre track should suit their riding style. Max Fricke, Jack Holder and captain Brady Kurtz survive from the 2015 team and are joined by Queenslander Jake Allen. Cameron Heeps stands by as reserve in case of injury.
Silver medalists in 2015, Denmark have announced a completely new line up and with management changes within the Danish federation, may consider this to be a year of development and experience. However, national pride will ensure that they will fight for every point and Mikkel B Anderson will lead an enthusiastic, if relatively inexperienced team.
Despite a long history of supporting 80cc and Youth Speedway, Sweden has not produced the expected crop of potential champions recently and will be hoping that the team declared for this meeting will contain the names of future stars of the track. Joel Kling will captain a squad of riders relatively unknown outside Sweden but their home track advantage and support might enable them to spring a surprise or two and a medal place could be a realistic prospect.
Racing takes place over 20 heats at the Ica Maxi Arena in Norrköping on Saturday afternoon with the first race starting at 15.00. Jury President is Ilkka Teromaa with fellow Finn Mikka Laukannan the Referee.