Grand Prix speedway debuts in New Zealand

The FIM Speedway Grand Prix series will launch in New Zealand next year asthe brightest stars of the shale collide in the Southern Hemisphere for thefirst time in almost a decade.Western Springs Stadium in Auckland will stage the first ever FIM NewZealand SGP on Saturday, March 31, 2012. Tickets will go on sale next monthon November 4.The meeting will be jointly promoted by SGP rights holders BSI Speedway andBill Buckley, principal of Springs Promotions. Western Springs Stadium issituated in the city of Auckland and is currently home to midget car racing.FIM director of sports for speedway, Ole Olsen and his team, who buildtemporary tracks in Cardiff, Copenhagen and Gothenburg, have been taskedwith turning it into a World Championship speedway circuit.And BSI Speedway managing director Paul Bellamy cannot wait to see the placeplay host to the likes of new world champion Greg Hancock, Polish iconTomasz Gollob and Aussie legend Jason Crump.He said: "Taking the SGP series out of Europe has always been a huge goalfor us, so we are delighted to be bringing the sport's biggest names to NewZealand."The country has provided some of the sport's all-time greats, includingIvan Mauger, Barry Briggs and Ronnie Moore."I hope that bringing the stars of today to Western Springs will inspire ageneration of young riders in New Zealand and encourage them to follow inthe footsteps of past Kiwi world champions."Buckley has always been a huge fan of speedway solos, as they are known inthe land of the long white cloud. So he is pleased to be playing his part inputting New Zealand firmly back on the shale sport map.He said: "I'm delighted our dream of bringing World Championship speedwayback to New Zealand has become a reality."I've always been a huge motorsport fan and attended the FIM Doodson BritishSGP in Cardiff last June. The Grand Prix series is speedway at its very bestand I'm sure we can put on a great show to get the 2012 World Championshipunderway."Expanding the series beyond Europe is a strategy that speedway's globalgoverning body, the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) alsowelcomes.Roy Otto, president of the FIM CCP track racing commission said: "Developingthe SGP series into new territories such as the southern hemisphere is anobjective the FIM embraces."New Zealand is a country steeped in speedway history. We are lookingforward to renewing this legacy and giving the sport a platform on which tobuild on for the future."