2019 FIM Speedway of Nations

Riders: Artem Laguta, Emil Sayfutdinov, Gleb Chugunov
Team manager: Andrei Savin




Russia enjoyed the perfect defence of the FIM Speedway of Nations title they won for the first time in Wroclaw last year, backing it up with a second straight success, although this time on home shale on a memorable weekend in Togliatti. Emil Sayfutdinov joined forces with Artem Laguta and U21 entry Gleb Chugunov to fly the Russian flag at the outstanding purpose-built Anatoly Stepanov Stadium in the first speedway World final ever staged in the country.  

The trio had to overcome a star-studded field that included the likes of World number two Bartosz Zmarzlik and Maciej Janowski of Poland, Australia’s 2017 FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Champion Jason Doyle, Sweden’s World number three Fredrik Lindgren and Leon Madsen of Denmark. In all, seven of the World’s leading nations were represented, with Germany and Great Britain also taking part. 

Sayfutdinov was in top form for the Russians, scorching to seventeen points on Saturday and fourteen on Sunday, although it was not enough to deny Poland top spot on the overall score chart as they qualified automatically for the Grand Final on forty-seven. Russia faced Australia in the final qualifier and despite Doyle winning the race, second and third for Laguta and Sayfutdinov was enough to send them through due to their superior points tally in the heats. The Russians then out-trapped and defeated Poland in the grand final, with a 5-1 scoreline sparking euphoric scenes. 

Poland were forced to settle for silver, despite topping the scores over two days and Zmarzlik dropping just one point over twelve heats, whilst Australia secured the nation’s first medal in a World team event since 2014 with bronze.  


World Titles: 2018, 2019 

2018 FIM Speedway of Nations 

Riders: Artem Laguta, Emil Sayfutdinov, Gleb Chugunov
Team manager: Andrei Savin


Track racing history was made in June when the first ever FIM Speedway of Nations took place at three famous venues around Europe, as fifteen countries lined-up in the ultimate test of team riding. Germany, Denmark, Russia, Latvia, USA, Slovenia and the Ukraine competed in ‘Race Off 1’ in Teterow, Germany, with Manchester’s National Speedway Stadium staging ‘Race Off 2’ as Great Britain welcomed Australia, Sweden, Czech Republic, France, Italy and Finland. Three teams from each ‘Race Off’ would head to the Finals in Wroclaw to take on host nation Poland in a gold medal showdown at the Olympic Stadium.

With Germany, Russia and Denmark progressing from Teterow and Australia, Sweden and Great Britain making it through from Manchester, Poland boss Marek Cieslak picked a strong line-up of hometown hero Maciej Janowski and world number two Patryk Dudek to take them on in an epic final. However, it was the Lions who took the early advantage on the opening night, with Tai Woffinden blazing to an incredible 18-point maximum on his home track, while British Under-21 champion Robert Lambert’s terrific trapping earned him seven. With Poland in a disappointing sixth place and 10 points adrift, it was Russia that posed the biggest threat to the Brits going into the Grand Final, with Artem Laguta having top-scored on 17 to keep them within two points of the leaders.

Laguta was given strong back-up from team-mate Emil Sayfutdinov in the Grand Final, as the pair saw off Woffinden and Lambert respectively to make history with Russia’s first senior world title of any kind on the shale – individual or team. Meanwhile a resurgent Janowski and Dudek took the bronze medal for Poland.


2019 FIM Ice Speedway of Nations

Team Manager: Ivan Ivanov
Riders: Dmitry Khomitsevich, Daniil Ivanov, Dmitry Koltakov

(c) GoodShoot

(c) GoodShoot


Forty years since the start of the FIM Team Ice Speedway Championship, the competition was relaunched for 2019 as the FIM Ice Speedway of Nations, but the name on the trophy was a familiar one, as Russia claimed an incredible thirty-seventh success. 

Fielding the same line-up that went unbeaten in last year’s final - individual FIM Ice Speedway World Champions Daniil Ivanov, Dmitry Khomitsevich and Dmitry Koltakov – the host nation were clear favourites to retain the title in Togliatti. 

A new race formula saw seven teams, each with two riders plus one reserve, riding in pairs over forty-two heats, ending up with a ‘winner takes all’ final where the top two teams raced for the gold medal.  

Russia were supreme on the first day, winning all their races with maximum points, with Sweden finishing the day just four points behind the leaders and the same margin ahead of third-placed Austria.  

With a temperature of -4[Symbole]C and a well-prepared track on the second day, Russia continued to collect full points but there was drama when they met with the Swedes in heat nine - Martin Haarahiltunen leading the home pair when his partner Niclas Svensson fell and was disqualified. The Russians made no mistake from the restart and took five valuable points. 

There was more excitement in the ‘Big Final’ race as Haarahiltunen again showed his ability to match the Russians, leading them for the first two laps with a major surprise looking possible. However, the host team held their nerve as first Ivanov and then Koltakov passed the Swede to delight the local fans. 


37 x Team World Champions 

2018 FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship

Team Manager: Rais Mustafin
Riders: Dmitry Khomitsevich, Daniil Ivanov, Dmitry Koltakov


Daniil Ivanov returned to an all-star Russian line-up for the FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championships in 2018, helping fellow individual champions Dmitry Khomitsevich and Dmitry Koltakov to defend the title the pair had celebrated for the past two years in his absence.

The race formula involves seven teams of two riders plus a reserve, with nations riding as pairs throughout the event to encourage team riding. During the two-day event teams meet each other twice - a system designed to help the weaker nations who can more easily field two riders of world class to compete with the Russians.

However, despite the best efforts of an improving Swedish line-up, there was no stopping the ‘Russian Bear’ in front of a near capacity crowd in Shadrinsk, where the sun shone on the spectators and on the home team, who dominated both days and for the second successive year collected the gold medal without dropping a single point. Ivanov, a team title winner in 2015, and Khomitsevich provided strong backup to the star of the show Koltakov, who claimed half of his team’s total of 40 points.

Martin Haarahiltunen, the surprise package from the individual meeting in Astana the previous weekend, joined Ove Ledström and Niclas Svensson as the Swedes took a creditable silver medal. For last year’s runners-up Austria, their challenge was limited by an injury to Harald Simon and two disqualifications for Franz Zorn, although Zorn also took two wins and Charly Ebner picked up fourteen points to secure the final podium position.

Gunther Bauer scored two wins for Germany and Lukas Hutla scored all but two of the Czech Republic’s twenty points but, as in the individual series, there was nobody to match the performance of ‘King’ Koltakov as he led Russia to their 36th win in this competition.

2017 FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship

Team Manager: Ivan Ivanov
Riders: Dmitry Khomitsevich, Igor Kononov, Dmitry Koltakov


Igor Kononov joined up with last year's FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Champions Dmitry Khomitsevich and Dmitry Koltakov to successfully defend Russia's crown at the 2017 final event in Inzell, Germany. Kononov is the latest ice racing talent to emerge from the Russian production line and along with his more decorated teammates the trio finished the meeting without dropping a single point to the opposition.

The race formula involves seven teams of two riders plus a reserve and nations ride as pairs throughout the event to encourage team riding. During the two-day event teams meet each other twice and this system benefits the weaker nations who can more easily field two riders of world class to compete with the Russians and generates interesting competition for the lower places. 

The Austrian team, weakened by the withdrawal of Harald Simon, were second thanks once again to the individual efforts of Franz Zorn, who took 30 points in the meeting’s best individual performance and was well assisted by Charly Ebner.

Despite an excellent first day, Germany failed to consolidate despite the gallant efforts of veteran Günther Bauer who was beaten only by Zorn in a tense Heat 33, a result which saw the end of the home team’s silver medal hopes. Their consolation was their first bronze medal for eight years.

And so Russia registered their 35th win in this competition and it will take a strong ice speedway nation to dislodge them from their position on top of the sport.