Ice Speedway

Russia

2018 FIM Team Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship

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

 ‘RUSSIAN BEAR’ ROARS AGAIN

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

ICE COOL RUSSIANS REMAIN IN CONTROL

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.
 

Dmitry Koltakov

2018 FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Champion

Born on 6 December 1990 in Kurgan, Russia

TRIPLE CROWN FOR ICE KING KOLTAKOV

Dmitry Koltakov claimed his third FIM Ice Speeedway Gladiators World Championship in 2018, adding to the titles he won in 2015 and 2017 with his most dominant campaign yet.

The 28-year-old kicked off the season where he left off last year, taking back-to-back victories in the opening two rounds in Kazakhstan in front of 4,500 spectators at the Alau Ice palace in Astana. After dropping just two points on the first day he then produced an unbeaten seven-ride maximum in the second round to set the tone for the season.

Another unbeaten maximum on home ice in Togliatti stretched Koltakov’s points advantage but he was pegged back on the second night at the Anatoly Stepanov Stadium by compatriot Dmitry Khomitsevich, who snatched victory in the Final on the last lap.

Koltakov produced further maximums on German soil in Berlin and Inzell before he wrapped up the title in the Netherlands, where victory and the title was confirmed as early as Heat 13 when he beat nearest rival Daniil Ivanov to move out of reach in the championship.

Still the fans came in their thousands for the second night in Heerenveen and they were treated to another Koltakov masterclass and another maximum score - his sixth of the series. Whilst the Russians again claimed the top three positions in the championship there was an impressive debut from Sweden’s Martin Haarahiltunen, who won his first ever race on the opening night in Astana and finished fourth overall.

However, it is Koltakov who remains the Ice King, with three gold and three silver medals from the last six years.

PALMARES

3 World titles – 2015, 2017, 2018

4 Ice Racing Team titles – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

2017 FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Champion

RETURN OF KING KOLTAKOV
    
After surrendering the FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Championship title by just one-point last season, Dmitry Koltakov was back to his best in 2017 and he regained the crown in fine style.

Last year's champion Dmitry Khomitsevich opened his defence in Togliatti against the usual strong opposition from Russian compatriots and a glut of young Swedish riders leading the resurgence of the sport in Scandinavia. In the end he conceded just a single point to Koltakov after two days of racing in temperatures as low as minus 17 degrees, which made the ice brittle and track conditions testing.

One week later Shadrinsk in the Kurgan Region of Russia welcomed the series to the Torpedo Stadium for the first time with even lower temperatures of minus 25 degrees and here it was Igor Kononov who came out on top on both days, moving to within 5 points of the leaders. Then on to Kazakhstan and the highest stadium in the series at Almaty, where weather problems prevented practice and restricted racing on the first day. Again Kononov took charge, winning both events to edge closer to Koltakov.

Kononov's resurgence was short-lived however as the championship moved into Europe and Berlin, where Koltakov dominated to increase his lead to eight points, beating Kononov three times as Khomitsevich slipped further behind.

Finally, the competition visited another new venue, the Thialf Stadium in Heerenveen, Netherlands, which produced exciting racing under cover and a double World Champion in Koltakov, who secured his second title with an unbeaten display over two days until a fall whilst leading the final spoilt his maximum bid.

PALMARES
2 World titles – 2015, 2017
3 Ice Racing Team titles – 2015, 2016, 2017

Dmitry Khomitsevich

2016 FIM Ice Speedway Gladiators World Champion

Born on 18 October 1985 in Kamensk-Uralskii, Russia

DMITRY STRIKES GOLD AT LAST

Dmitry Khomitsevich achieved a lifelong ambition in the 2016 FIM Ice Speedway World Championship, clinching the gold medal after taking bronze for five of the past six seasons. Finally stepping out of the shadow of his brother Vitaly, who won the title back in 2013, Khomitsevich overcame his compatriot and defending champion Dmitry Koltakov to snatch the title in a dramatic final round at Inzell in Germany.

Victories during the ten-round season for Khomitsevich at Krasnogorsk, Berlin and a famous double at Assen meant that he went into the two-round showdown on equal points with the consistent Koltakov. Khomitsevich edged ahead by two points in qualifying races on day one but a jump-start in the final gave Koltakov the opportunity to draw level again going into day two. The final day of the season was a disaster for Koltakov, who lost his first race to Daniil Ivanov and dropped a further point in a crucial Heat 19 clash to Khomitsevich, who now needed just a single point in the final to clinch the title. This time he held his nerve at the start and held off the challenge of Ivanov to take third place and strike championship gold at last.

PALMARES

World title - 2016
2 Ice Racing Team titles – 2015, 2016