2013 Cardiff runner-up Niels-Kristian Iversen set for latest crack at British Grand Prix glory
PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 July 2014
Archant © 2014
Niels-Kristian Iversen will be looking to go one better than he did last year as he takes to the shale during British speedway’s biggest night.
King’s Lynn Stars’ Dane top-scored during the UK’s 2013 round of the Grand Prix series but finished runner-up in the final. And now, with last year’s winner Emil Sayfutdinov no longer competing in the world championship, Iversen has a great opportunity to move up the podium at the showcase event in Cardiff.
Almost 50,000 fans will pack Wales’ Millenium Stadium for the 23-heat feast of speedway, many of which will be cheering on their own Tai Woffinden, the reigning world champion. But Lynn’s heat leader is also a popular figure and will be supported by hundreds if not thousands who want to see him make a serious challenge for the sport’s biggest prize.
The 32-year-old triumphed last time out in his home country to move up to third in the stadings, where he finished last season. He now sits just 10 points behind Woffinden and 11 adrift of current leader Greg Hancock. Eleven places further back, with just 35, is Iversen’s Lynn team-mate and fellow countryman Kenneth Bjerre. He will be keen for a good night to kick-start his quest to finish in the top eight and achieve automatic qualification for 2015.
Elsewhere, home interest will focus on struggling Chris Harris and wildcard Craig Cook. The former, a Coventry Bees rider, won the GB GP in 2007 and is seeking to reach those heights again as he looks to recover from a sluggish term.
Harris, 15th in the standings, told SpeedwayGP.Com: “I’ve been here for a few years now and I need to show what I can do. The win in 2007 was a long time ago. It was a great night and one that will live in my memory forever.
“But I can’t worry about that one too much. It’s done. It’s history. I’ve closed that chapter and I need to move on now and try to win another one. I’ve been close a few times over the years in other GPs, but I definitely want to try and win my home one again. I’ve got as good a chance as anyone. I’ve just got to make some starts, which I know I am capable of doing. If I put it all together, I can have a good night.”
Injured former world champion Chris Holder’s, seventh, place in the event will be taken by first reserve Michael Jepsen Jensen.