2022 SPEEDWAY GP GUIDE | GORICAN

PAUL BURBIDGE

As the countdown continues to the 2022 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series, FIMSpeeedway.com looks ahead to the action – starting with the FIM Speedway GP of Croatia – Gorican.

As the first round of the brand-new Discovery Sports Events era, history will be made when the sport’s top stars return to the Speedway Stadion Milenium after a 10-year absence on April 30.

Located in the countryside of Međimurje County near the town of Čakovec, Croatia’s one and only speedway track is situated just a few kilometres from the Hungarian border, with Slovenia and Austria also not far away. Capital city Zagreb is just 75 minutes away by road; with Hungarian capital Budapest a two-and-half-hour drive to the north east.

Built by former Yugoslavian champion Zvonomir Pavlic and run by the whole family, the Speedway Stadion Milenium has emerged as one of the sport’s go-to venues for FIM events, staging the GP Challenge in 2012, 2019 and 2020, as well as Speedway European Championship rounds.

It was also the circuit where Aussie icon Darcy Ward won the first of his FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championships in 2009.

Gorican may not have staged an FIM Croatian Speedway GP since Nicki Pedersen topped the podium there on July 28, 2012, but the stadium has already taken its place in World Championship history.

The first-ever FIM Croatian Speedway GP on August 29, 2010 was won by American icon Greg Hancock – a result which arrested a shock slide in form, which threatened his place on the sport’s biggest stage.

It was the start of something extraordinary as Hancock returned to Gorican 13 months later to seal his second Speedway GP World Championship with a second place behind Andreas Jonsson on September 24, 2011.

Hancock’s victory shattered the history books as he became the sport’s oldest-ever world champion at 41 – a record he has broken twice since in 2014 and 2016.

He also doubled Peter Craven’s record for the longest gap between world-title wins. Seven years separated the Brit’s two title triumphs in 1955 and 1962; Hancock lifted his first championship 14 years previously in 1997.

Some magical moments have taken place on the unique Gorican circuit, with its unique sandy surface that can prove a real leveller when speedway’s elite visit.

Who will be this year’s FIM Croatian Speedway GP winner and start the new Speedway GP era in style?

Tickets for the FIM Croatian Speedway GP are on sale now. Secure your spot in Gorican and book here now: https://bit.ly/3rL8jDQ.

For more details about the event, click here: https://www.fimspeedway.com/events/gorican/

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