Ice Speedway

 

Speedway races are spectacular enough on cinder tracks but racing on ice adds a whole new dimension to this daredevil sport.

The technique is also different; the bikes are leaned over into the bends, similar to road racing. This can only be achieved with the tyres on these specially designed motorbikes fitted with 27mm long spikes - about 100 in the front and 200 in the back. Mudguards have a decidedly different function in this sport - perhaps they should be renamed “spikeguards”! 

Ice Speedway, sometimes known as Ice Racing, sees events take place in a few countries in Europe, Russia and the United States, but is most common in those countries where you would expect to see it: Russia, Sweden, and Finland, but also in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Tracks are either artificial (like an ice-rink) or natural (e.g. on frozen lakes). The format is kept simple, with the focus on the speed and excitement of the quickness of the race: four riders race four laps, and only the rider who comes fourth does not pick up any points.

The Individual Ice Racing World Championship has, surprisingly, been going since 1966!

These pictures were taken at the 2005 Swiss Ice Speedway Championships at Flims, Switzerland. 

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