ICE SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS

MFR

Team Manager: Ivan Ivanov

Riders: Daniil Ivanov, Dmitry Khomitsevich, Igor Kononov

Palmares

FIM Ice Speedway of Nations

2020  2019  2018  2017 

2020 FIM ICE SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS

RUSHING MFR WIN AGAIN 

Heading into the 2020 FIM Ice Speedway of Nations, MFR boasted thirty-seven wins in the forty years since the event was first run and there were no huge surprises this year as the MFR trio raced to a thirty-eighth title – although they were pushed hard on the opening day in Berlin by 2019 runners up Sweden. 

There was one change to the MFR team that won in 2019 and 2018 with Igor Kononov replacing Dmitry Koltakov, but other than that it was business as usual for the powerhouse nation of the sport that flexed its considerable muscles to come out on top of the seven countries competing. 

With the individual FIM Ice Speedway World Championship already secured for the fourth time, Daniil Ivanov was his team’s top scorer on both days. 

Leading ahead of Sweden, the home nation and Austria following the first day’s racing, MFR comfortably cruised into the four-man Grand Final where Sweden – having narrowly defeated Germany – awaited, desperate to reverse the 2019 outcome. 

However, the MFR pair led into the opening bend and despite a brave effort by Sweden it was effectively game over. In the race-off for third, Austria’s Harald Simon and Franky Zorn fell in the first turn and with Zorn unable to make the restart Germany delighted the home fans by coasting around the track unchallenged to take the Bronze Medal. 

Of the remaining teams, Kazakhstan made a welcome return to the competition in fifth ahead of the Czech Republic and Finland. 

PALMARES 

FIM Ice Speedway of Nations - x 38 

2019 FIM ICE SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS

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

RUSSIA KEEP SWEDES ON ICE 

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. 

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.