DANISH STAR ANDERSEN’S SGP3 MASTERCLASS
First-ever Beckhoff FIM SGP3 champion Mikkel Andersen admits some pearls of wisdom from some of Denmark’s speedway greats helped him top the podium in Wroclaw on Friday.
Andersen won the newly-revamped FIM Speedway Youth World Championship on 13 points, leading a Danish one-two with Villads Nagel Christiansen, who won a run-off for second place against Polish shooting stars Antoni Kawczynski and Kacper Mania, who were placed third and fourth respectively, after the trio tied on 12.
Having won his Semi-Final on Thursday with a 15-point maximum, victory caps an incredible weekend for Andersen as he celebrated atop the podium where the Betard FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Wroclaw winner will be crowned on Saturday night.
As part of their vision to elevate the sport’s next generation of riders, new global promoter Discovery Sports Events is determined to give speedway’s young guns the chance to shine in the Speedway GP spotlight. And this year’s under-16 finalists delivered an epic afternoon of racing live on Discovery+ and the Eurosport App in front of a crowd of around 2,500 people – a huge attendance for an FIM youth event.
The day belonged to Andersen – son of former Speedway GP winner Brian Andersen, who was in the pits helping throughout both days of racing. Mikkel admits he has also benefitted from the advice of triple world champion and Danish youth coach Erik Gundersen, as well as support from four-time world champion and national boss Hans Nielsen, who was in the pits this weekend.
He said: “We have Erik as our team manager, so he does a lot with our starts and riding style, which is great. For me, Erik is good at helping us when the pressure is on. Erik and Hans are very good teachers. My Dad helps me and gives me the information I need. My Dad teaches me a lot about the riding style and all the things around it. He doesn’t put any pressure on me either, which is good.”
Andersen was elated to become the first-ever FIM SGP3 champion and enjoyed his first taste of the SGP spotlight after overcoming a third place in his opening heat to go unbeaten in his final four rides.
He said: “It feels amazing. I can’t describe it. I was not happy with my result in the first heat, but my dad calmed me down and we made it a bit better.
“It was nice to be part of SGP3 – it gives you a taste of what you want to get and where you want to be in the future.”
Runner-up Nagel Christiansen, who won the opening Semi-Final with a 15-point maximum on Thursday, was delighted with second place so soon after recovering from a broken collarbone.
He said: “It was pretty hard after my broken collarbone. This was my comeback and it was pretty amazing. I don’t know what to say. I was just thinking I need to get on the podium and then that would be okay. I think the SGP3 setup is pretty good. It’s a professional setup and it’s amazing to be here on the podium.”
Third-placed Kawczynski was roared on by a large group of Polish fans and admits reaching the rostrum exceeded his expectations.
He said: “I was thinking about fourth or fifth place. I saw the guys that were in it and was thinking it would be good to be on the podium. I wasn’t thinking so much about which place I would take. All I know is I could definitely feel the support from the crowd.”
Fourth-placed Mania was excluded from the run-off for the silver medal after colliding with Nagel Christiansen in the first staging of the race, with the Dane getting up to beat Kawczynski in the re-run. But Mania certainly showed his class with an exciting display at the iconic Olympic Stadium. He said: “It was a good day. It could have been better. It could have also been worse. I am happy with this day and the result.
“Personally, I really liked SGP3, and I think it’s very important for the youngsters. They can take it as a lesson, and it is a great experience for the future.”
Tomorrow sees the sport’s senior stars take to the track for the Betard FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Wroclaw – round seven of the Speedway GP World Championship. The action starts at 19:00 CET / 18:00 UK.
BECKHOFF FIM SGP3 SCORES: 1 Mikkel Andersen (Denmark) 13, 2 Villads Nagel Christiansen (Denmark) 12+3, 3 Antoni Kawczynski (Poland) 12+2, 4 Kacper Mania (Poland) 12+0, 5 Sebastian Mayland (Denmark) 11, 6 Szymon Ludwiczak (Poland) 9, 7 Anton Jansson (Sweden) 9, 8 Patrick Kruse (Denmark) 7, 9 Adam Bednar (Czech Republic) 7, 10 Luke Harrison (Great Britain) 6, 11 Andreas Olsen (Denmark) 6, 12 Patrick Hyjek (Germany) 5, 13 Ace Pijper (Great Britain) 5, 14 Frido Viidas (Estonia) 5, 15 Alfons Wiltander (Sweden) 1, 16 Gracjan Szostak (Poland) 0, 17 Mario Hausl (Germany) DNR, 18 Mikolaj Krok (Poland) DNR.