One of Polish speedway’s most innovative challenges is coming to the Isle of Wight in a UK first when the NICE Challenge arrives on July 11.
The event, which uses uniform two valve 500cc Jawa lay-down engines fitted into the riders own frames, is sure to attract a lot of attention at a time when there seems to be much discussion for reducing engine and running costs within the sport, writes Rob Dyer.
The NICE Challenge on the Isle of Wight is the first of several European events in 2019 to be backed by the international NICE organisation who have been generous sponsors within league speedway in Poland for several years.
Wightlink Warriors co-promoter Barry Bishop who travelled to Gdansk to secure the meeting said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be able to bring this innovative speedway meeting to the UK.
‘I am even more proud that we are able to start a relationship with NICE Polska SP to bring this to UK fans.
‘Fans will have the chance to see 12 riders on standard engines battle around the Smallbrook circuit to show and utilise their skill versa their engine tuning to win the NICE Challenge.
‘I hope fans from across the UK will come and see this thrilling version of speedway and that it will be the big success it should be in action, attendance and identifying potential new ways in which our sport could move forward.
‘Once again, the island’s speedway club has brought something fabulous to the Isle of Wight, and Smallbrook Stadium, and we should all be very proud.’
Wojciech Jankowski of NICE Polska SP, the Secretary of the Polish Speedway Commission, GKSZ, and supervisor of the NICE Challenge said: ‘Due to the great interest in this format, we are organising a couple of meetings in Europe in this new formula.
‘The Isle of Wight round is going to be the first round of the new series. We are supplying the riders with standard engines, Deli Tire tyres and Silkolene oil.
‘Those riders who make the podium will be rewarded with products from NICE portfolio (gate operators, smart home systems, etc.)
‘The engines are 500cc, two valves, not tuned and are as similar to each other as possible.
‘Riders draw a ballot for one of the engines before the meeting, put it into their own frame, practice and race in the meeting.
‘The characteristics of the engine make riding easier; races are close and only the skills of riders decide the results. We believe this formula should help riders to prove their skills in competition and not rely on engine power alone.’
The UK event will see 12 riders draw lots and select a standard engine that must then be fitted into their frame. The engines are being brought from Poland especially for the event so there will be total equality for each competitor.
Riders will have a short practice on their nominated engine and then it is on with the racing which is expected to take the form of a 12 heat individual event followed by semi-finals and final.
The meeting will take place on Thursday, July 11 at Smallbrook Stadium at Ryde on the Isle of Wight, admission from 5.30pm, first race 7pm.