No Foxhall return for world champ Jarek

JAREK Hampel will not be coming back to Foxhall Stadium to celebrate his success in the world Under-21 final.The Pole become the second Ipswich Evening Star Witches rider to win this coveted crown after Chris Louis won in Lvov, Ukraine in 1989.

By Elvin King

JAREK Hampel will not be coming back to Foxhall Stadium to celebrate his success in the world Under-21 final.

The Pole become the second Ipswich Evening Star Witches rider to win this coveted crown after Chris Louis won in Lvov, Ukraine in 1989.

Hampel was successful in Kumla, Sweden – and is now looking for another good showing this Saturday when he rides as a wild card in the Polish Grand Prix in Bydgoszcz.

Hampel will not be riding in the 16 Lap Classic at Foxhall Stadium on Thursday week, as he has taken all his equipment home from Suffolk.

"I have to thank Witches' fans through The Evening Star," said Hampel today. "Riding for Ipswich has improved my outlook and played a big part in this success.

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"It is sad that all Witches league fixtures are over so that I will not be coming back in 2003.

"If I can have a good meeting on Saturday it will go a long way to gaining a permanent place in the Grand Prix in 2004. I will have had two huge meetings inside eight days.

"It all went perfectly well in Kumla. I missed out through pneumonia last year and in the 2001 final at Peterborough I blew two engines in my first two races.

"I thought I was fated not to win this title. Yesterday it was all too simple really. I was in good heart and focussed and once I got over my first race hoodoo I knew the crown was mine."

Whether Hampel returns to the Ipswich team next season remains to be seen with promoter John Louis saying today: "We cannot pick riders until we have picked which league we are going to ride in."

Hampel got on the wrong side of many Ipswich fans after failing to ride in a number of league meetings this year. He suffered a shoulder injury that took some time to clear, but he was in fine fettle in Kumla.

Hampel finished one point ahead of England and Peterborough's Chris Harris on 14 points.

He was booed when he received the trophy after falling foul of Swedish supporters. The meeting ended in controversy when Hampel appeared to slow down in heat 20 when leading by 40 metres. He only needed a second place after reeling off four straight victories.

By slowing he allowed fellow countryman Rafal Szombierski to take three points and earn a run-off for the bronze medal.

It was a move that infuriated the crowd and it didn't help that Szombierski went on to win the run-off over local favourite Fredrik Lindgren.

"Riders should be patriotic," said former England team manager Louis. "It is shame English riders do not show more loyalty to their fellow countrymen sometimes.

"We picked Jarek up when he was 18 and this proves that our judgement was right."

With Tony Rickardsson also on their books, Ipswich potentially have both the senior and Under-21 world champions on their books.

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