Final 1 Riding Number Draw
The chase for the 2013 title starts next weekend and the draw has now been made for the opening round at the Zorkiy Stadium in Krasnogorsk, Russia on 2nd and 3rd February.
There is likely to be a new World Champion declared after the final meeting in Sweden in March as eight times champion Nicolai Krasnikov has elected not to defend his title this year. Of the current riders only Vitaly Khomitsevich has enjoyed the number one spot but that was back in 2003 so we can expect the competition, particularly between their fellow Russians, to be intense. Vitaly’s younger brother Dmitry will be keen to improve on his best performances so far, 3rd in 2011 and 2012, and Daniil Ivanov three times runner up aims to be one position better at the end of the season. At 22, Dmitry Koltakov is the youngest of the Russians and has already made a good impression in the competition; he shows all the promise of a future champion. Wild Card Sergey Makarov is currently top scorer for the STK Luhovitsy club in the Russian League.
Austrians Franz Zorn, top qualifier from the Challenge elimination round, and Harald Simon best of the non-Russians in 2012 are tipped to offer the most resistance to the top six. Both are enjoying good form this season and, as members of the Austrian team, ran the Russians to a close finish in the World Team Final in Poland last weekend. Boosted by that result their performance in Krasnogorsk could define their chances in this year’s competition.
Of the rest all are capable of springing surprises but may not be able to sustain form for long enough to wrest the championship from the Russian masters. Antti Aakko and Günther Bauer have much experience at this level and veteran Stefan Svensson along with Robert Henderson will be flying the Swedish flag. Grzegorz Knapp has established himself as the top Polish rider from a country relatively new to top class Ice Speedway and is creating a good impression against more seasoned opponents.
Clearly Ice Speedway fans can look forward to an interesting start to the series and racing in Krasnogorsk will start at 15.00 Moscow time on Saturday 2nd and 13.00 on Sunday 3rd. FIM Jury President is Finland’s Ilkka Teromaa from Finland and Referee Wojciech Grodzki from Poland.
No Riding N° Name Country
1 11 Pavel Chaika Russia
2 4 Harald Simon Austria
3 6 Robert Henderson Sweden
4 16 Sergey Makarov (Wild card) Russia
5 3 Dmitry Koltakov Russia
6 9 Eduard Krysov Russia
7 8 Franz Zorn Austria
8 15 René Stellingwerf Netherlands
9 2 Dmitry Khomitsevitch Russia
10 14 Stefan Pletschacher Germany
11 5 Antti Aakko Finland
12 10 Vitaly Khomitsevich Russia
13 12 Günther Bauer Germany
14 1 Daniil Ivanov Russia
15 7 Grzegorz Knapp Poland
16 13 Stefan Svensson Sweden
Res 1 17 Vasily Kosov Russia
Res 2 18 Evgeny Kosov Russia