NEW GRANDPRIX RULES MUST TIGHTEN THE TENSION

Photo: BSI / IMG

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A new points system. The top six provides access to next season. Five permanent wildcards, and grand prize place for the European champion. These four significant changes will be introduced by the FIM International Motor Union of 2020.

By Ib Søby

Over several seasons, speedway fans have experienced that a rider can win a grand prize, while a competitor can score multiple World Cup points - in the same grand prize. From 2020, a new and more logical scoring system will be introduced which ensures that the grandprix winner is also the one who scores the most points.

The new system & #8211; listed at the bottom & #8211; giving 20 world cup points to the grand prix winner, 18 to number 2, 16 to number 3 and 14 to number 4.

& #8211; We want to harmonize championship points in the World Cup standings, to ensure that the winner is also the one who scores the most points. This is also seen in Formula One and other major international competitions, and we believe the new system can attract more audiences to the sport, says Italian FIM boss Armando Castagna in an official statement to speedwaygp.com

It will still be the run-in heatpoints that decide which eight drivers will go out in the two semi-finals, but with the new system the fight to get into the final itself will be tightened. For example, there are 6 World Cup points between the number four and the number nine.

The four semi-finalists who do not reach the finals will achieve the World Cup points, depending on how many heat points they have scored that night. In case of punctuality, the known system with most first places, second places, etc. applies.

The same goes for drivers who do not reach the semi-finals.

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In order to create a better synergy with the European Championship Series, run by Polish One Sport, the European champion is also awarded a grand prize place.

& #8211; We want to give riders a different opportunity than the Grandprix Challenge. At the same time, we are strengthening the European Championship series and giving the results greater sporting significance, explains Armando Castagna.

If this rule had been introduced this year, Danish Mikkel Michelsen would have redeemed grandprix status from 2020.

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The official statement from FIM does not provide an explanation as to why it is being cut from top 8 to top 6, compared to the direct access to the upcoming season. One seat is awarded the European champion, but at the same time the permanent wildcards are increased from 4 to 5, which will give FIM and the World Cup organizer BSI / IMG more leeway in inviting drivers to participate in the grand prix series.

The qualification system itself and the Grand Prix Challenge with three seats will not be changed.

FIM and BSI / IMG also decide who is allocated reserve seats.

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The 2020 season calendar will be published on Sunday.

Grandprix field:

6 from the World Cup standings

3 from the Grandprix Challenge

1 European Champion

5 permanent wildcards

1 local wildcard for each grand prix

The new points system:

1st: 20

2nd: 18

3rd: 16

4th: 14

5th: 12

6th: 11

7th: 10

8th: 9

9th: 8

10th: 7

11th: 6

12th: 5

13th: 4

14th: 3

15th: 2

16th: 1

17th: 0

18th: 0

It is interesting to note that if the new scoring system had been in effect in 2019 Leon Madsen would have become the world champion with 154 points ahead of Bartosz Zmarzlik with 147.

Madsen scored 130 this year against Zmarzlik's 132.