After two very restricted seasons, followers of Long Track can look forward to a full programme of events in 2022 with six Finals scheduled in the calendar now published by FIM.
Rzeszow opens the championship in June followed by Mühldorf in July and Scheessel in August. September brings a feast of meetings in Morizes, Vechta and Roden.
FIM have also announced the full list of riders for the season which includes the top seven riders from last year’s competition. Current champion Romano Hummel heads the list and is joined by former winners Martin Smolinski, Dimitri Bergé and Lukas Fienhage. Theo Pijper, Chris Harris and Josef Franc are other names that will be familiar to fans.
Qualifying from 2021’s Long Track Challenge, Germany’s Max Dilger will join Britain’s Zack Wajtknecht another European Champion, promising Pole Stanislaw Burza and Czech Martin Malek returns at 36 years of age.
Permanent Wild Cards for the series will be Kenneth Kruse Hansen strongly tipped by Danish legend Erik Gundersen as a future world champion. He performed well in 2020 with a silver medal but missed 2021 due to an early season injury. Former European Champion James Shanes is also included and is another whose progress has been held back by injury. Finally, Mathieu Trésarrieu, champion in 2017 and four-times bronze medallist returns to the series.
Substitute riders to be called on in the event of injury will be
• Hynek Stichauer (Czech Republic) who finished 8th in the 2021 Challenge
• Gaetan Stella (France) gradually rising in the French rankings
• Dave Meijerink (The Netherlands) 21 years old and a promising prospect
• Jakob Bukhave (Denmark) Danish Long Track Champion
• Julien Cayre (France) 11th in the 2021 Challenge
• Tero Aarnio (Finland) extensive speedway experience
The curtain opener for the 2022 season will be the Long Track of Nations to be held in Herxheim, Germany at the traditional Father’s Day meeting on May 26th when nine national teams will compete.
Provisional 2022 Long Track calendar
• TBA-Final-Rzeszow (POL)-PZM
• 03 July-Final-Mühldorf (GER)-DMSB
• 21 August-Final-Scheessel (GER)-DMSB
• 03 September-Final-Morizès (FRA)-FFM
• 10 September-Final-Vechta (GER)-DMSB
• 25 September-Final-Roden (NED)-KNMV