When the reigning Danish team champions from SES - Sønderjylland Elite Speedway, after the winter break, begin their title defense in 2023, it will be largely with the same squad of Danish drivers who have carried the team to silver in 2021 and the gold triumph this year.
By Ib Søby
The agreements are now in place with Anders Thomsen, Mads Hansen, Nicolai Klindt, Benjamin Basso and Jesper Knudsen.
Jonas Knudsen moves to Esbjerg Vikings, while SES has also entered into an agreement with the tdl. Region Varde is driven by Jannik Sørensen.
The 23-year-old Jannik Sørensen will primarily be seen as a replacement for Jesper Knudsen, but of course hopes to get into action for SES
- Yes, I have to go out and fight for the place, but maybe I will also get the opportunity if Jesper Knudsen is busy with international tasks, says Jannik Sørensen, who runs a plumbing company in Bramming, but at the same time has an agreement with the Swedish Lion in Gislaved.
Two foreign drivers have also been given a place in the gross squad at SES.
It is the 29-year-old Swedish champion Oliver Berntzon and the 27-year-old Adrian Gala from Gniezno in Poland.
The strength of unity
SES director Jacob Olsen is pleased to have the squad in place, and looks forward to a new season with more fans at Vojens Speedway Center.
- This year we experienced progress from race to race, and had a fantastic final. I really believe that we are building up a strong group of fans who are gradually becoming friends with our drivers, says Jacob Olsen, who points out that recognition and togetherness are a core value for SES.
In this he is supported by team leader Claus Ørts.
- A strong team is simply the key to success for SES. We like to have pure Danish roots, and we have also seen how our young drivers like Mads, Benjamin and Jesper have inspired each other to get better and better over the course of the season, says Team Leader Claus Ørts, who will also continue in 2023, assisted by Peder Bøndergaard and Ole Jakobsen.
Due to his broken leg in August, the two-time Danish individual champion – and the nation's most recent Grand Prix winner – Anders Thomsen missed the end of the season, being replaced by Slovenian Matej Zagar.
- I'm really looking forward to getting back on a speedway bike and giving it gas at the Vojens Speedway Center, says Anders Thomsen, who, in addition to SES, continues in the prestigious Polish Ekstraliga for Gorzow, just as he received a permanent wildcard for the WC Grand Prix series in 2023.
- In the middle of my injury break, it was a huge relief to be able to maintain my status as a WC rider. It gives a bit more energy in the dark training evenings of the winter months, says Anders Thomsen, who trains with Team Denmark in Aarhus and spends a lot of time on his exercise bike.
- I've been without crutches for a month, but I'm not going to run a marathon yet. I exercise every day, at the same time as I have to take care of my leg, says Anders Thomsen, who expects to sit on a speedway bike again in February or March.