Fast and furious family fun, The Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix is set to return to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday July 21, celebrating its 18th year at the Welsh capital!
The biggest event on the Speedway calendar, the GP was first held at the former Millennium Stadium in 2001 in front of over 30,000 fans. Now the longest-standing third party event in the stadium’s calendar, crowds regularly top 40,000 with visitors drawn to the capital for the activity-packed Fanzone alone.
Sixteen riders – 15 permanent and 1 wild card – will compete over 23 heats; four riders over four laps on 500cc bikes with no brakes!
Multiple World Champions will be competing against each other, including Great Britain’s double series winner, Tai Woffinden.
In what is set to be one of the closest seasons to date, Scunthorpe-born Tai will be eager to secure his first ever home win at Cardiff and claw back the trophy.
Meanwhile reigning champ, Jason Doyle, who showed great character to secure his maiden World title in 2017 will be going all out to secure his second title in 2018.
Polish favourite Maciej Janowski will return after his Cardiff victory in 2017 alongside fellow Pole Bartosz Zmarzlik who placed 4th at Cardiff in 2017. And as a firm favourite, US star Greg Hancock will also be returning - as a previous winner here, he will chasing that further victory.
But what does it take to transform the stadium – most famous for its rugby matches and pitch-perfect pitch – into a first class race track?
Well, to be exact, it takes 3,500 tonnes of bespoke track material, originating from a quarry in Derbyshire, which was transported via 140 lorry loads to the stadium covering a cumulative distance of approximately 300 miles. The material is now permanently stored in a 6,500m3 warehouse nearby. The physical construction of the track begins six days prior to the GP, so this year will start on Tuesday 17th July, and consists of two wheel-based loaders, two tracked excavators, one grader, two vibrating compactors, two tractors, two vibrating plates and one forklift. Together, with an experienced labour crew working for a combined 400 hours, the track is ready for the world class event.
Speedway Fast Facts
• 16 riders – 15 permanent and 1 wild card – plus track reserves compete at each Grand Prix meeting, over 23 heats
• Each rider races 5 times and meets every other rider in the meeting at least once
• All heats are run with a maximum of 4 riders over 4 laps
• 23 starts, 23 finishes: you don't know who has won until the final second
• 500cc bikes with no brakes
• Bikes run on methanol - an environmentally friendly fuel made from potatoes!
• Approximately 3,500 tonnes of bespoke track material originating from a quarry in Derbyshire stored permanently in a 6,500m3 warehouse
• Nearly 400 man hours to construct track from start to finish
• Two wheel based loaders, two tracked excavators, one grader, two vibrating compactors, two tractors, two vibrating plates, one forklift and an experienced labour crew all work together within the confines of the stadium during construction
• Length of inside curb = 265.65m
• Length of outside perimeter (safety fence) = 344.36m
• Total track area = 3,582.62m2
• FIM Track Length = 271.93m
• Now the longest-standing third party event in Principality Stadium’s calendar
• Fastest track record is 53.69S
• Track material is transported by 140 lorry loads to the stadium covering a cumulative distance of approximately 300 miles
• Track construction takes place over a period of four days
• The biggest event on the Speedway calendar
See speedwaygp.com for more details