Witches former star out for Cardiff glory
SPEEDWAY: Ipswich Witches former favourite Tomasz Gollob has vowed that he will be crowned world champion this year.
The 39-year-old is leading the Grant Prix charts after storming to a 24-point maximum in the last round in Torun, and takes his place at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff for the British GP tonight (start 5pm) in hungry mood.
The Pole is looking to become the first rider from his home speedway-mad country to win the shale sport’s top prize for 37 years – having been on the rostrum a number of times.
Not a favourite of man-made tracks, Gollob, who was a key member of the Ipswich side that won the treble in 1998, said:
“I think I may be strong for the next six rounds of the GP.
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“This year my dream is to be the world champion. The 2010 world champion will be Polish – me or Jarek Hampel.”
Hampel is also an Ipswich asset, who rode at Foxhall in the first half of last season and has revelled in returning to the GP scene after a three-year absence.
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Gollob leads Hampel by three points at the top of the standings and he added: “Getting maximum points at Torun was great for me and now I’m in first position.
“It’s going to be hard work in the next six GPs, but if I can carry on the form from Torun I will have every chance.”
Reigning world champion Jason Crump closed the gap on the series’ top three after reaching the final in Torun with his 15-point haul putting him fourth - just one point behind inform Danish rider Kenneth Bjerre in third.
Hundreds of Witches fans will be making their way to Wales to join in a crowd of around 45,000 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the British GP moving to the plush surroundings of the Millennium.
Ipswich’s top man Scott Nicholls is the wild card entrant having qualified behind winner Chris Harris in the British Final last month.
Without the pressure of regular involvement in the GP series, Nicholls could well be in the mood to make an impact while Harris and Tai Woffinden also carry the British flag with the latter buoyed after reaching his first ever GP semi-final in Torun.
World Championship standings: T.Gollob 78pts, J.Hampel 75, K.Bjerre 59, J.Crump 58, R.Holta 48, A.Jonsson 46, H.Andersen 46, N. Pedersen 44, C.Holder 41, M.Zetterstrom 37, C.Harris 36, G.Hancock 34, F.Lindgren 33, E.Sayfutdinov 27, T.Woffinden 22, J.Kolodziej 12, A.Miedzinski 6, A.Lindback 6, P.Protasiewicz 5, M.Kus 3, L.Madsen 3, N.Klindt 1.