FIM Track Racing Youth Gold Trophy 125cc 2016 FIM Long Track Youth World Cup 250cc
The potential Track Racing stars of tomorrow were out in force at Torun in Poland last week as the ‘City of Sport’ was host to the first two major youth competitions of the season.
On Friday the final of the 125cc was held and attracted an entry of 19 boys and two girls all aged between 12 and 16 years old and from six nations. From the outset it was clear that standards were even and racing was at a high level so that after the qualifying heats only local rider Karol Zupinski was unbeaten. Despite being beaten by Czech rider Filip Sifalda in the first semi-final the pair qualified for the last race where they were joined by the Germans Tim Wunderer and Lukas Wegner after a titanic battle with Britain’s Jordan Palin.
The Final produced another great battle, this time between the two Germans and it was young Wunderer who triumphed to take his first FIM honours ahead of Wegner and Zupinski.
Although there were no star names in the programme, the meeting attracted some 1200 local supporters and it is notable that the whole event of 28 races was completed in just two hours without a single fall, a real credit to the organisers and competitors.
• Tim Wunderer – Germany 16+3
• Lukas Wegner – Germany 15 + 2
• Karol Zipinski – Poland 17 + 1
• Filip Sifalda – Czech Republic 14 + 0
On Saturday the same excellently prepared MotoArena track welcomed 18 riders between the ages of 13 to 17 and representing seven federations and this was the first time that the Long Track Youth World Cup had been held on a speedway sized circuit. The field included Wunderer, winner of the Friday evening event, Kyle Bickley, Britain’s two time 125cc champion together with Gaetan Stella of France and Germany’s Niels Oliver Wessel second and third in last year’s World Cup.
The inexperienced 16-year-old Dane Mads Hansen who had caused a major surprise in winning this championship last year was this time a firm favourite and he did not disappoint his support team in the pits who included speedway legend Erik Gundersen. He sailed unbeaten through his qualifying rides and semi-final and appeared certain to repeat his success in the Final where he was to meet Stella and two riders from Holland, Dave Meijerink and Mika Meijer. The Dutch pair had qualified only on count back after a tie on points with the German girl Celina Liebmann daughter of former ice racer Jurgen Liebmann.
In the final as anticipated, Hansen leapt into the lead but was closely followed by Stella for the first three laps when suddenly Hansen’s engine seized causing him to crash with the Frenchman. Referee Alex Lyatosinskyy rightly disqualified Hansen and in the restarted race Stella came from behind to take the chequered flag ahead of Meijerink and Meijer.
• Gaetan Stella - France 16+3
• Dave Meijerink – The Netherlands 14+2
• Mika Meijer – The Netherlands 14+1
• Mads Hansen – Denmark 18 + 0
• Celina Liebmann – Germany 14
The event was a showpiece for some of the track racing stars of the future and a measure of the further progress being made by FIM Track Racing Commission’s Youth Development programme. There was interest from the media and local television and radio were present to cover the event. There were 2000 spectators present for Saturday’s event but it is notable that over 23,000 fans have followed the racing live on You Tube where both meetings are still available to view in full.