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Editions

Speedway heads to stadium

30 Oct 2014

Speedway heads to stadium Image

Forget about footy and cricket, a very different sporting event is coming to Docklands next year.

Etihad stadium last month announced a five-year deal with BSI Speedway to stage the Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix (SGP), bringing the sport back to Australia for the first time in 13 years.

The motorcycle sport involves riders completing four laps of an oval track, on board 500cc single-geared motorcycles with no brakes.

The 2015 SGP series will see 12 rounds take place internationally in Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Prague, Finland, Latvia, Czech Republic and the UK before it arrived in Melbourne.

The 2015 world champion will be crowned and the 2016 FIM Speedway Grand Prix places will be decided at Etihad Stadium.

The purpose-built speedway track at the stadium will be constructed by six European track build specialists, will be created with a mixture of dirt and shale will take five days to construct and two days to clear.

BSI Speedway managing director Paul Bellamy said Australia was one of the super-powers of world speedway and it had been a long-term goal to bring the FIM Speedway Grand Prix (SGP) series back to Australia.

“The SGP series has visited some fabulous venues across the globe and Etihad Stadium is up there with the very, very best of them.”

He said Australian talent would be happy to be meeting on home soil, while local fans would be happy to see some of the sport’s greats in the flesh.

“I’m sure the likes of Chris Holder and Jason Doyle, who has qualified for the 2015 series, will be absolutely elated to be racing in such a big meeting on home soil,” Mr Bellamy said.

“Their fans spend most of the season getting up in the early hours of the morning to watch them in action live on the Speed Channel. I hope they will enjoy the opportunity to support them at Etihad Stadium, and at a far more civilised hour.”

According to Paul Sergeant, CEO of Melbourne Stadiums Ltd (owner of Etihad Stadium), bringing Speedway Grand Prix racing to Etihad Stadium had been on the agenda for some time.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting five years of SGP action and are in no doubt it will become a hugely popular event,” he said.

“The SGP series is spectacular. It’s in an easy to follow format with fast and exciting racing. Here at Etihad Stadium air horns will be more than welcome, so the noise will be something special under our roof.”

The 2015 FIM Speedway Grand Prix will be held on October 24 at Etihad Stadium.

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