Astana Expo FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship Final 11/12 March 2017 – Inzell, Germany
Russia swept into a dominant lead on the first day of the Ice Speedway Final in Inzell, Germany on Saturday. Fastest in practice, they continued at the same pace once racing started and their team of Igor Kononov, Dmitry Koltakov and Dmitry Khomitsevich were unbeaten by an opponent registering a maximum 30 points.
Over 5000 fans saw a fighting come back by the German team which pulled them into joint second place with Austria on 22 points. With only seven points scored after the first three races another disappointing day seemed in store for the home riders but with veteran Günther Bauer on top form and teammate Max Niedermaier recovering from a first heat disqualification, they fought back to pick up a full 15 points in the second half of the meeting taking them into silver medal contention.
Austria, weakened by the withdrawal of the injured Harald Simon, relied heavily on the scoring on Franz Zorn whose individual total of 15 points was the best of the meeting.
Sweden will be a little disappointed in their fourth place but with Ove Ledström unable to produce the form that he is capable of it was left to father and son Stefan and Niclas Svensson to carry the team. The score would have been closer but for an engine failure for Niclas in Heat 11
Scores after day 1:
Russia 30 (Kononov 11, Koltakov 11, Khomitsevich 8)
Germany 22 (Bauer 14, Niedermaier 8)
Austria 22 (Zorn 15, Ebner 7)
Sweden 18 (N.Svensson 10, S.Svensson 7, Ledström 1)
Czech Republic 15 (Klatovsky 11, Divis 4)
Finland 11 (Järf 5, Tani 4, Aakko 2)
Switzerland 8 (Gartmann 5, Häring 3)
The second part of the meeting will be held on Sunday commencing at 14.00