So many of the speedway community managed to stay up in the early hours of the morning to watch the grand prix in New Zealand.
After many interesting rounds in the evening, the shock came in the last heat, the final. The polish crowd at the Western Springs went crazy when Jaroslaw Hampel winning the New Zealand grand prix. After missing five rounds last season due to a broken ankle in Cardiff, a win was a welcome sight for the Pole.
But there was more excitement for Polish fans with Tomasz Gollob coming second. Nicki Pedersen came third after a very slow start to the event. As usual he got a mixed reception of cheers and boos for getting third.
The show now being on Eurosport gave a very different angle to live speedway. The two commentators, both Australian gave a relaxed vibe to the show, with the sport doing the talk. The communication between the two was informative and intriguing because of their knowledge on the sport.
Wildcard Kiwi Jason Bunyan participated like he did last year, probably hoping for a better result as well. The reserves were Sean Mason and Dale Finch.
Heat one saw former 2010 World Champion Tomasz Gollob, taking the first three points. With Tai Woffinden coming in second place.
Heat two saw World champion 2011 Greg Hancock going against the 2012 World Champion Chris Holder. But it seemed the 2011 champ coming first just ahead of Chris Holder. Wildcard Jason Bunyan came last.
Heat three showed the reason why we all rave about Darcy Ward, the grand prix rookie came first in his first ride as a full time grand rider in the series. The female fans favourite Slovakian rider Martin Vaculik coming second. Although the shock of the heat was the experienced Nicki Pedersen coming last.
Heat four had a Swedish one, two and three with Andreas Jonsson, Fredrick Lindgren and Antonio Lindback getting points on the board.
Going onto heat seven was very interesting because of two friends going against each other. It saw Darcy Ward coming first with Chris Holder second.
After heat eight it seemed to be a role reversal with those getting one or no points were now getting first and second place, whereas those who were top of the board were now off the pace in the pack.
There was a couple of decisions the referee has to make with one being controversial. It came with Jason Bunyan, when many saw he did nothing wrong, the referee thought different, but that made no difference to the wildcard’s evening.
Although the FIM are trying to introduce youth, the old guard who have the experienced prevailed to a podium place especially with Gollob and Pedersen.
The next grand prix will be on April 20th in Bydgoszcz Poland.