published: July 28, 2017 By Phil Harnett

Speedway GP proves a challenge

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There were mixed fortunes for the three NGK-sponsored riders competing in the FIM Speedway World Championship British Grand Prix.
Four-times World champion Greg Hancock withdrew from the meeting after heat one. The American dislocated his shoulder when he had an accident at his home in Sweden, and was unable to continue after it dislocated again during practice on Friday and on the first lap of heat one.

However, there was success for Matej Zagar who scored 12 points in the meeting and came third in the final while Emil Sayfutdinov scored 11 points and reached the semi-finals.

The Grand Prix, which was held in front of tens of thousands of fans at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff and televised live on BT Sport, was won by Polish rider Maciej Janowski with World Championship leader Jason Doyle in second place.

Third-placed Zagar is now ninth in the standings – just one point off the top eight and 10 away from fourth place.

He said: “It’s very tough out there and you have to get everything right to be successful. I’m in a much better position now than I was at the beginning of the season. I’m pleased with that. I would just like to say the future is bright!”

Emil Sayfutdinov is in fifth place in the championship with 58 points, 20 points behind Doyle, with reigning World champion Hancock in tenth position on 45 points.

NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd Marketing Manager Mark Hallam said: “It was sad that Greg had to withdraw from the meeting, but he will hopefully come back better than ever. However, Matej and Emil both had positive performances which bodes well for the rest of the season.”

Next up is the Swedish SGP in Malilla on August 12.

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Youngster Harry Swalwell had the chance to meet up with Greg Hancock at the British GP after winning a Speedway Clutch Reaction Competition which was held on the NGK stand at last year’s Motorcycle Live show at the NEC, Birmingham.

Harry won two tickets for the event and attended the GP with his Dad Steve – their first-ever Speedway event. He enjoyed the unique experience of both Paddock and Pit access with NGK and met other Grand Prix riders and sampled the intense build-up to the event.

NGK has been a long-time supporter of Speedway and recently announced it is sponsoring Greg’s 12-year-old son Wilbur.