Hampel considers Witches return

GRAND Prix surprise packet Jarek Hampel has provided another puzzler.The 23-year-old Pole confirms that he fancies a return to the Ipswich Evening Star Witches team in 2005.

GRAND Prix surprise packet Jarek Hampel has provided another puzzler.

The 23-year-old Pole confirms that he fancies a return to the Ipswich Evening Star Witches team in 2005.

Hampel took part in Saturday's Fiat Vans British GP at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff and although he managed just six points he is still handily placed in the overall standings – in fifth place.

Hampel is an Ipswich asset and he has taken a break this season from the Sky Bet Elite League after two years riding for the Witches.

Talked of in his home country as the next Tomasz Gollob, Hampel agrees that racing in England has improved him.

The expectant father, who seemed likely to sit out at least a couple of years of English league racing. said: "Now is not the time to talk about next year, but I think I will come back to Ipswich in 2005.

Most Read

"My two years with the club has made me a better rider, having to learn how to adapt to different tracks.

"I will sit down and make a final decision in the winter and see if I can fit it all into my schedule."

And talking in his ever-improving English, Hampel added: "I don't see myself as the next Tomasz Gollob. There will only ever be one.

"Tomasz is much better than I am at the moment, although one day perhaps it might happen, but it will be a long wait.

"It has come as a bit of a surprise to have finished second in two of the four GP's to have taken place so far. I am very happy.

"Saturday was not my day, I still have a problem riding some types of tracks and my bikes played up a little bit.

"But it was a wonderful occasion, and the best atmosphere I have experienced in my career."

Witches' rider/manager Chris Louis made a return to the international scene after three years out through injury.

His night came to an end when he failed to get away from the start quick enough in heat 11 – and it was down to Ales Dryml.

"Ales was inside me on gate three and I saw his engine pack up out of the corner of my eye," said Louis.

"This momentarily affected my concentration – and my chance had gone."

The former Team Great Britain captain, who was a wild card, continued: "This is the best Grand Prix and speedway's biggest meeting of the year anywhere in the world.

"It was fantastic to be involved in it, and who would want to give this up if they had a chance to be part of it year-in, year-out?

"But I need to get fitter. I was fast enough but not race fit enough and unless you concentrate 101 per cent for four laps you are likely to be a goner.

"It was a good night for Great Britain and bodes well for the world cup. Lee Richardson did great and Scott Nicholls is back on form.

"Mark Loram was full value, while I expected David Norris to do well as Cardiff is his sort of track and he is riding so well."

Witches' skipper Scott Nicholls received a boost when five-time world champion Tony Rickardsson confirmed he plans to ride in his testimonial at Foxhall Stadium on Saturday, July 24.

Nicholls said: "I will be in the main event in the next Grand Prix and will be going for it.

"My showing in Cardiff has given my confidence a boost, but I feel I am still owed a big slice of luck along the way.

"In the semi-final the amount of dirt on the inside caught me out a bit and my silencer dragged through the shale."

Top Swede Rickardsson said: "I have Scott's meeting in my diary, and it could be my next meeting in England."

Rickardsson has given up Elite League racing after starting the season with Poole.

A furious Hans Andersen said: "Rune Holta did the same to me before he crashed in heat 12. I had to shut off or I would have gone into the home straight fence. When he crashed I did nothing more than he had already done."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter