Destination Roden for British Longtrackers! FIM Long Track Challenge – Preview
The battle is on for the permanent places in the 2021 FIM Long Track Championship when the Challenge meeting takes place on the 600m track at Roden on Sunday.
Feature Image courtesy of Goodshoot
Because of covid-19 restrictions the usual qualification meetings have not taken place and the format for the Challenge has been revised to give as many competitors as possible the opportunity of advancing.
There will be 25 riders racing over 25 races with the top 4 scorers at the end of the meeting given a guaranteed place in the 2021 line up. With hopes of a full calendar next year, the fight for qualification should provide some of the best racing of the season.
There is a mixture of youth and maturity in the line-up which includes some riders who are already competing in the current championship and it will be interesting to compare their results. For the host nation for example, will the experience of Theo Pijper overcome the enthusiasm of the promising Romano Hummel as they carry the hopes of the home fans eager for success. Both are in contention near the top of the current Long Track Championship and repeat their rivalry here.
Germany has a strong representation with Fabian Wachs at 21 leading the younger brigade. Marcel Dachs and Max Dilger in their early 30s are still relatively inexperienced at this level But Stephan Katt and Bernd Diener have been regular competitors in the World Long Track competitions for several years.
Great Britain has entries for European Champions James Shanes and Zach Wajtknecht who will both expect to be part of next year’s tournament and they are joined by veterans Paul Cooper and Andrew Appleton, riding with an Austrian Licence. Kenneth Kruse Hansen in his first season flies the Danish flag and the Czech Republic’s contenders are Josef Franc, bronze medallist last year, Hynek Stichauer and Martin Malek. Gaétan Stella leads the French contingent and will be accompanied by the Dubenard Jordan and Gabriel with Julien Cayre in support.
After morning practice, racing in Roden starts at 13.30 local time. Long Track Race Coordinator Glen Phillips will be present to supervise the organisation with FIM Jury President Thierry Bouin. Aleksandr Lyatosinskyy from Ukraine will be Referee.