Feature Photo: Szymon Wozniak
The stakes will be high in the 2024 FIM SGP Challenge at Czech track Pardubice on Friday, October 4 as FOUR places in the 2025 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series will be up for grabs.
Staged alongside Pardubice’s iconic Golden Helmet meeting, one of the sport’s most famous and prestigious open events, which takes place on Sunday, October 6, the FIM SGP Challenge is the hotly contested final round of the Speedway GP qualifiers, which sees riders from all over the world battle for their place on the sport’s biggest stage.
The SGP Commission has increased the number of Speedway GP qualification places on offer at the FIM SGP Challenge from three to four, giving riders an additional opportunity to secure a life-changing spot in the SGP elite. As a result, four permanent wild cards – reduced from five – will be selected by the SGP Commission for the 2025 series.
The FIM SGP Challenge comes just six days after the 2024 SGP season reaches its climax at the FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Torun on September 28, meaning the Pardubice showdown will be the final chance for Speedway GP World Championship hopefuls to book their place for 2025.
The top six riders in the 2024 SGP series will qualify for the 2025 competition, along with the Speedway European Championship winner and the top four at the FIM SGP Challenge. The 2025 Speedway GP line-up of 15 riders will be completed by four wild cards.
2023 FIM SGP Challenge winner Jason Doyle
The 2024 SGP series sees FIVE new riders make their full-time Speedway GP World Championship debuts. Latvia’s Andzejs Lebedevs, Germany’s Kai Huckenbeck and Poland’s Dominik Kubera received permanent wild cards, while Polish racer Szymon Wozniak and Czech star Jan Kvech made it via the 2023 FIM SGP Challenge in Gislaved, Sweden last August.
Ready for his Speedway GP debut season: Szymon Wozniak
FIM Speedway race director Phil Morris is pleased to offer an additional opportunity for Speedway GP’s qualification contenders to take their place in the SGP World Championship.
He said: “Offering this fourth qualification place gives greater significance to the qualification rounds. If riders know there are four places available, it just opens the series up that bit more.
“This year we have seen five new names enter the series. Hopefully having an extra place to pursue in Pardubice will help the riders trying to climb the ladder and get to Speedway GP.
Kvech qualified for Speedway GP at the 2023 FIM SGP Challenge
“It is not an easy task; the Challenge is a very competitive meeting. We felt taking one of our permanent wild cards away and giving it to the riders competing in the FIM SGP Challenge shows respect to the qualification process.”
The battle for places at the FIM SGP Challenge gets underway in May. German track Abensberg and Hungarian circuit Debrecen host qualification rounds on May 20, with Italian venue Lonigo and Slovak track Zarnovica staging two more qualifiers on May 25.
The 2024 Speedway GP series launches with the FIM Speedway GP of Croatia in Donji Kraljevec on April 27.