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Celebrating 20 years of British SGP in Cardiff

Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff

British rider Dan Bewley brought it home on Saturday with his Speedway Grand Prix win at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

It comes as Britain’s biggest indoor motorsport event celebrates 20 years of the sport and the first British rider to win in Cardiff since Chris Harris in 2007! A triple celebration in fact, as it’s Dan Bewley’s first-ever SGP win, beating Speedway GP World Championship leader Bartosz Zmarzlik and his fellow Polish star Patryk Dudek, with Leon Madsen taking fourth place.

British hero Dan Bewley hopes he can inspire the nation’s next generation of speedway heroes after ending the country’s 15-year wait for an FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain. Credit: Speedway

As well as attracting thousands of fans across the globe, it’s a special event for many reasons for people in Wales.

If you are a fan of the sport, you will no doubt have heard of Newport Wasps, a British (and Welsh I should add) Speedway team based in South Wales between 1964 and 2012. Until ten years ago, there was an even a purpose-built stadium for the sport until its demolition. If you’re interested in the history of the Wasps, Jo Barnes recently published an article on Speedway and its local roots.

Transforming the stadium

The Principality Stadium (formally Millennium Stadium) held the first-ever staging of the British Grand Prix., with Tony Rickardsson storming to victory.

Since 1999, the stadium has been synonymous with sporting excellence. In June of that year it featured a Wales rugby union win against South Africa. Speedway showcased the stadium’s multi-purpose capabilities in 2001 by staging the Grand Prix; where for the first time the stadium was transformed into a world-class racing venue.

For every year since, apart from 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, the Principality Stadium is transformed from rugby pitch and concert hall to world-class Speedway track. Every year, 3,500 tonnes of dirt is specially imported to create the unique track required for the race.

As the longest running third party event at the Principality Stadium, the motorsport has become synonymous with Cardiff

Celebrating Speedway as a family

It’s also a very special event for us, as we’ve been coming to watch the Speedway in Cardiff since 2008, along with thousands of other families.

Pictured: Rhys Gregory & Alice Alexandra

Speedway is one of only a few events that offer a complete package for families. If like me, you want to bring your family to experience the roar of the stadium, the Speedway Grand Prix is a safe bet. It isn’t as busy as other sporting events, making it more accessible to families with young members. Despite there being less fans, it retains its buzz and atmosphere that the Principality Stadium is known for.

Speedway Grand Prix 2022 in Cardiff

In terms of pricing, it’s definitely geared towards families. There is always a variety of tickets and concessions on offer, making it more affordable for people who wish to bring their whole family.

For the first time, the action continued on Sunday as the Principality Stadium hosted the FIM SGP2 of Great Britain – the second round of the revamped FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship, with entry included in the FIM British Speedway GP ticket price.

The Speedway draw back in 2013

In previous years, the Speedway riders draw used to take place in the city centre on the Friday. I’m not sure if they still do this, but it has previously been held at the Queen’s Arcade shopping centre, usually with a local celeb to announce the order of the riders.

Speedway Grand Prix fanzone in Cardiff

The action also starts long before the engines fire up with the Speedway fanzone, whose home is on city hall lawn. There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the sport, meet riders, get your face painted and grab an ice cream.

Firework display at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff for the Speedway Grand Prix 2022

The event always culminates with a spectacular indoor firework display, which marks the end of the evening’s racing following the winner’s presentation.

What’s next for Speedway?

Next up is the Betard FIM Speedway GP of Poland – Wroclaw on Saturday, August 27, with the first-ever SGP3 event – the revamped FIM Speedway Youth World Championship for the sport’s 250cc under-16 riders on Friday, August 26.

British hero Dan Brewley is set to return to Cardiff in 2023 to defend his crown. The Speedway Grand Prix will return next year on Saturday, 2nd September 2023.

The date is set for Saturday 2nd September 2023 at the Principality Stadium, with all hospitality packages held at 2022 prices for a limited period plus an up to 30% discount on certain category tickets, again for a limited time.