The sleepy Swedish town of Hallstavik may not be the most glamorous town, and it might only be home to 4500 people, but they put on a helluva show on Saturday night as it played host to its first ever Speedway Grand Prix race – and it didn’t disappoint.
Famous more for producing printing paper than world class motorsport events, Hallstavik pulled out all the stops as round four of the 2018 SGP series rolled into town and it was another big night for series leader Tai Woffinden.
Woffy headed to Sweden 10 points clear of rival Freddie Lindgren at the top of the pile and extended that lead by a point after another incredible display of skill, speed and track craft saw him rattle in 16 points.
He was dominant all night, leading the qualifying scores going into the semi-final’s, and when he cruised to a win in his semi it looked like he was going to charge to a third win in four events but a dramatic final saw him end up at the back and take 4thplace as Polish racer Maciej Janowski took gold.
They say, though, that points make prizes and with a shedload of them firmly tucked in his back pocket, the smiling assassin was happy with his night’s work.
“Obviously it’s nice to be on the podium but we came here with a 10 point left and left with 11 so it’s another great night, we came here and did the job that we needed to do.
“My races were always after the track grading tonight and I had a good set-up but then for the final they didn’t grade the track so that caught me out a little bit, but I’m happy with 16 points and fourth on the night so I’m not going to complain.
“I feel good, there’s not anyone that I’m worried about and I feel confident when I get to the line that I can beat them all. My gear is fast, the boys are working hard as always, I’ve got great sponsors behind me, I’m living the dream as they say!”
The double world champ was known as a wild child early on in his career but that’s way behind him now and he thinks a settled family life might be contributing to his form.
He said: “Maybe being so settled in my personal life is helping too. I’ve got my wife Faye and little daughter Rylee and it’s amazing to have them around, they come with me to some of the rounds and it’s just nice for me to have them here.
“Faye is so good, if Rylee wakes up in the night she’ll get up with her so I can get my rest, we have a good routine on race day – I’m at a really nice point in my life to be honest. Everything is going perfect so we’ve just got to keep going and keep racking up the points.”
It was a mixed night for the other guys on our roster; Greg Hancock showed why he’s a four-time world champion by recovering from a rough start to end up on 10 points, Chris Holder just missed the semi-final’s cut on seven and Patryk Dudek scored six.
The tour takes a two week break now before one of the biggest events in the calendar – the British GP. Cardiff’s Principality Stadium gets taken over by bikes as nearly 50,000 pack the place out in what is one of the jewels in the Speedway crown, don’t miss it.