The event, which uses uniform 2-valve 500 cc Jawa lay-down engines fitted into the riders own frames, is sure to attract a lot of attention at a time when there seems to be much discussion for reducing engine and running costs within the sport.
The NICE Challenge on the Isle of Wight is the first of several European events in 2019 to be backed by the international NICE organisation whose main business is based around home automation systems such as sliding gates and smart home products. The company have been generous sponsors within league speedway in Poland for several years.
The UK event will see 12 riders draw lots and select a standard engine that must then be fitted into their frame. The engines are being brought from Poland especially for the event so there will be total equality for each competitor. Riders will have a short practice on their nominated engine and then it is on with the racing, which is expected to take the form of a 12 heat individual event followed by semi-finals and final.
Wightlink Warriors Co-Promoter Barry Bishop, who travelled to Gdansk to secure the meeting said:
“Martin and I are absolutely delighted to be able to bring this innovative speedway meeting to the UK. In Poland, it is building momentum and I am sure there will be a lot of interest in the UK too. I am even more proud that we are able to start a relationship with NICE Polska SP to bring this to UK fans.
“There has been so much talk about engines, tuning, slowing speedway, and so on, well now fans will have the chance to see 12 riders on standard engines battle around the Smallbrook circuit to show and utilise their skill versa their engine tuning to win the NICE Challenge.
“This meeting is a major result for all the hard work everyone has put in on the Island over the last few years and this meeting shows our little club is watched throughout the speedway world. I hope that fans from across the UK will come and see this thrilling version of speedway and that it will be the big success it should be in action, attendance and identifying potential new ways in which our sport could move forward.
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“Once again, the Island’s speedway club has brought something fabulous to the Isle of Wight, and Smallbrook Stadium, and we should all be very proud.”
Wojciech Jankowski of NICE Polska SP said:
“Last year at the end of the season, following the success of Nice Cup series for the youngest riders on standard engines, we decided to organise a meeting for seniors at the Moto Arena in Torun. The meeting was an official end of Mariusz Puszakowski’s career (a Torun star rider). It was a great day with a lot fun during the engines ballot, searching for the right set-ups and because of engine standardisation not focusing on technological advances. The meeting was won by Antonio Lindback, in front of Krzysztof Buczkowski and Krzysztof Jabłoński in a great final.
“Due to the great interest in this format, we are organising a couple of meetings in Europe in this new formula. The Isle of Wight round is going to be the first round of the new series. We are supplying the riders with standard engines, Deli Tire tyres and Silkolene oil. Those riders who make the podium will be rewarded with products from NICE portfolio (gate operators, smart home systems, etc.).”
The meeting will take place on Thursday 11th July at Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde. Admission from 17:30 ahead the first race at 19:00.