The 2013 Motul FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship reaches its half-way stage as it moves to the Netherlands. The 5th and 6th rounds take place on 9th and 10th March at the De Bonte Wever Stadium in Assen, the traditional home of Ice Speedway in Holland and with the natural ice of the Russian rounds behind them, riders will now adapt to the artificial surface at the venues for the remaining Western European events.
Czech Open Champion Jan Klatovský joins the competition following the withdrawal of Finland’s Antti Aakki who sustained a broken shoulder injury at an invitation meeting in Togliatti and will take no further part in the competition this season.
Stefan Svensson, currently placed around the middle of the leader board will be looking to improve his position having secured his fourth Swedish Championship and Harald Simon’s bronze medal place in the European Final last weekend will boost his prospects of climbing above fellow countryman Franz Zorn.
The Russians, however will continue to monopolise the medal positions with Daniil Ivanov leading the field with 81 points – 7 points clear of his nearest rival Dmitry Koltakov. These two meet in Heat 14 on the first day at Assen and, with Klatovsky and Svensson starting alongside, a race to savour is in prospect.
New Track Racing Director Armando Castagna has pledged the continuing support of his Commission to the further development of ice racing and the Ice Gladiators format as one of the few serious winter motor sports events. Along with the involvement of title partner Motul, his comments add confidence in the future of this most exciting track racing discipline.
Racing in Assen will be held as usual over two days with the Saturday meeting under floodlights commencing at 19.00. Sunday sees the traditional afternoon start at 14.00. Jorgen Jensen from Denmark will be the FIM Jury President with Germany’s Christian Froschauer the Referee.
The draw for Final 3 has now been made as follows:
|Ballot N°||Riding N°||Rider||Country|
|2||19||Jan Klatovský||Czech Republic|
|6||15||René Stellingwerf||The Netherlands|
|7||16||Sven Holstein (Wild card)||The Netherlands|
|Reserve||17||Simon Reitsma||The Netherlands|
|Reserve||18||Gerrit Oege Schukken||The Netherlands|
An additional meeting, the Roelof Thijs Cup will be held on Friday evening 8th March. Tickets for all three events are available at www.ijsspeedway-assen.nl although some areas have already sold out.
Photo credit FIM/Good-Shoot
Portrait - Jan Klatovský (CZE)