The ice speedway is a motorbike-operated winter sport that is part of the railroad sport and has been around since the 1920s. It developed from winter training in various motorcycle competitions as an independent sport. The participants use light speedway machines that are tailored to the low temperatures and the particular smoothness of the ice rinks .
Ice speedway served as winter training for sand track races (speedway) and motocross from an early stage . The start of an independent sport practiced in winter cannot be documented. The likely origin is the invention in Russia in 1924. Another origin is the use of motors to drive runners or for a seat (while the driver is wearing skis), as it is sometimes seen as a show insert at competitions.
In Russia, ice speedway is almost a mass sport because the climate offers the best natural training conditions. In 1997, for example, 1,500 active athletes were registered there, which is why the Russians dominate the competitive scene worldwide. World championships have been held since 1964. In 2004, riders from 17 countries took part in the international competitions; in addition to Europe, Australia and New Zealand as well as Mongolia and the USA are represented. Although only a few drivers practice this sport in Germany (around 50 in 2001), there have been German championships since 1994. The clubs initially provided Russians with German driver licenses. Six German locations are active in the ice speedway: Inzell , Berlin , Erfurt , Unna , Frankfurt am Main , Steingaden .
The athletes are also called spidermen or rider . Although there is no gender segregation according to the rules, most of the participants are male.
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) is responsible for the set of rules .
Special ice speedway machines
The drivers use sturdy 500 cc motorcycles with a maximum of 70 hp , because driving skills and not high performance are important. The most commonly used engines are the Czech Jawa . The regulations permit the use of two-stroke or four-stroke engines . The motorcycle chassis are mostly in-house constructions, in which lightweight materials such as carbon or aluminum are used. Vertical installation of the engines is preferred today because of the better driving characteristics. The special motorcycles drive an average of 90 km / h, and top values of 140 km / h have already been achieved. Because it is mostly self-made, there is a check for compliance with the technical regulations and the weighing (weight approx. 110 kg) before the start.
The tires are studded with a maximum of 28 mm long spikes (front wheel 130, rear wheel 75 to 120; up to 200 have also been mentioned). Due to the enormous hold of the spikes, the highest acceleration values are achieved on the short distance as well as the greatest lean angles in motorcycle racing. There is no drifting on the ice speedway . Sturdy pipe cages are attached over both wheels to protect the other drivers. Instead of brakes , the motorcycles have ignition interrupters attached to the athlete's wrist with thin cords. In the event of a fall, the motors and also the drive wheels stop immediately. - The price of a racing machine in 2001 was around 20,000 DM, of which the chassis alone accounted for around 6,000 DM.
Requirements for the sports arenas
Ice speedway is completed on natural or artificial ice rinks. The length of the track is arbitrary, but 400 meter ice ovals are popular as a standard. Speed skating rinks and increasingly ice rinks are often used as venues. Track records are held for the individual tracks, which are often achieved in separate runs. The lap record speeds achieved are around 100 km / h.
The ice rink De Bonte Wever in Assen (Netherlands), not far from the Dutch TT MotoGP Grand Prix circuit , is particularly well known . An ice speedway world championship Grand Prix has already taken place in the famous Olympic Viking Ship ice stadium in Hamar (Norway).
In contrast to grass or sand tracks, ice speedway areas are intensively equipped with large cushions all around to protect drivers and spectators. This protection can consist of bales of straw, foam cubes or loose insulation material and is also increasingly used for competitions in summer.
Ice speedway competitions
There has been a Grand Prix (GP) competition since 1994, which consists of eight races in different countries. In the beginning of the year a series of these was held in Berlin in the Wilmersdorfer ice stadium. In some years the GP fights are also considered to be World Championship races. At the turn of the year 1996 to 1997 the German Gerd Sievers organized an international comparison for the first time under the name “Master of Spikes”. This invitation competition of the world's best drivers took place at the beginning of the winter season in the speed skating hall in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen (" Wellblechpalast "). The participants had to pay an entry fee and determined the fastest driver in several runs over two days, who received the title “Master of Spikes” and good prize money. This competition was very well received and has been held annually since then. There is a special bonus for winning the master’s title three times. - The ADAC has been organizing an “Aces on Ice” race in Unna since 1998 . The participants fight for the "Warsteiner Cup". There is also a team race. A “Golden Spike” racing series attracts the Spidermen every year to the venues of Flims (Switzerland), Assen (Netherlands), Divisov (Czech Republic), St. Johann im Pongau (Austria) as well as Steingaden and Erfurt (Germany). In Inzell , Germany, an "ice speedway festival" is held annually around the stations of the racing series, in which the German champions are determined.
At the end of a race, the winners and some drivers will be “asked” to do an alcohol check by drawing lots.
List of ice speedway world champions
- Homepage for ice speedway .
- Page no longer available , search in web archives: Homepage to Eisspeedway (2)
- Info on the 'Masters of Spikes'; Retrieved on July 1, 2009 ( Memento from October 19, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
- Motorsportclub Holzwickede with information on Aces on Ice
- Ice speedway in southern Bavaria ( Memento from March 14, 2009 in the Internet Archive )