Hampel ready to fill Louis' shoes
SPEEDWAY: Jarek Hampel today declared himself fit and able to step into Chris Louis shoes.With the Ipswich Evening Star Witches skipper deciding to rest his damaged back until next year, the young Pole has readily agreed to wear the number one race jacket until the end of this speedway season.
By Elvin King
JAREK Hampel today declared himself fit and able to step into Chris Louis shoes.
With the Ipswich Evening Star Witches skipper deciding to rest his damaged back until next year, the young Pole has readily agreed to wear the number one race jacket until the end of this speedway season.
Ironically, he misses this Thursday's home Elite League match against Eastbourne because of the Polish championship with Steve Johnston deputising.
But he will ride at King's Lynn in the televised league match on Wednesday. Before heading off home and then to Sweden for a league match tomorrow, Hampel said:
"Scoring well in the World Cup last week has given me a lift. It has given me extra confidence. I now know that I can compete with the best in the world.
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"I came to Ipswich to cover for Chris until he was fit. I am more than happy to stay until October."
Hampel won three of his five races as Poland finished fourth in Saturday's World Cup final at Peterborough. A late replacement for the injured Sebastian Ulamek, Hampel also did well in Poland's qualifying meeting.
"We could have done better on Saturday," added Hampel. "We did not use a joker when we had an ideal chance in the middle of the meeting. I don't know why."
The Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden had all used their jokers (to double a rider's points in a heat), but Polish manager Marek Kraskiewicz waited until heat 22 with Tomasz Gollob off a difficult gate three, where he struggled to fourth place.
"Perhaps I should have been used in the previous race," Hampel continued. "If so we would have got eight points as I won my race. We haven't won and obviously that is disappointing."
A 6,000 crowd saw a strong Australia come through to deservedly retain the title.
In a thrilling meeting the lead changed between the top four, Australia, Poland, Sweden and surprise packets, Denmark, numerous times.
Indeed after heat 14 three of the teams were all level on 32 points, with the Swedes just back on 29.
But in the end powerhouses, Ryan Sullivan, Leigh Adams and Jason Crump had too much in the bag for the world champions and after Adams won heat 18 they pulled away slowly to never look back.
Australia: Leigh Adams, 17, Ryan Sullivan 17, Jason Crump 14, Todd Wiltshire 13 and Jason Lyons 3.
Denmark: Bjarne Pedersen 20, Nicki Pedersen 14, Hans Andersen 12, Ronnie Pedersen 7, Charlie Gjedde 5.
Sweden: Tony Rickardsson 15, Peter Karlsson 13, Mikael Karlsson 11, Niklas Klingberg 10 and Stefan Andersson 5.
Poland: Tomasz Gollob 17, Jarek Hampel 14, Krzysztof Cegielski 9, Piotr Protasiewicz 6 and Grzegorz Walasek 2
Czech Republic: Lukas Dryml 14, Ales Dryml 13, Bo Brhel 5, Tomas Topinka 3 and Antonin Kasper 1.