The FIM Speedway Grand Prix Commission has confirmed Jaroslaw Hampel, Peter Kildemand, Andreas Jonsson and Antonio Lindback as the four permanent wild cards for the 2016 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series.
Two-time FIM Speedway World Championship runner-up Hampel‰Ûªs title challenge was halted after three rounds this season when he suffered a broken leg in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup in June. He will be determined to get back into the race for gold next season.
He was replaced in the series by first reserve Kildemand, who produced an heroic charge for the top-eight automatic qualification places, falling just three points short, despite racing three rounds less than Chris Holder in eighth.
Former world No.2 Jonsson ended his 2015 season with some strong SGP scoring, while Lindback has been rewarded for a strong domestic campaign, which saw him win his first Swedish Championship, reach the Swedish Elitserien play-off final with Indianerna and win the Polish First Division with Latvian team Daugavpils.
The quartet have been nominated to join the eight riders who finished in this season‰Ûªs FIM Speedway World Championship top eight ‰ÛÒ Tai Woffinden, Greg Hancock, Nicki Pedersen, Niels-Kristian Iversen, Jason Doyle, Matej Zagar, Maciej Janowski and Holder.
The top three from the 2015 GP Challenge at Polish track Rybnik on September 5 ‰ÛÒ Bartosz Zmarzlik, Piotr Pawlicki and Chris Harris ‰ÛÒ complete the field.
Swedish racer Fredrik Lindgren, Danish starlet Michael Jepsen Jensen and Czech hotshot Vaclav Milik have also been named as substitute riders and will be drafted into SGP events should any of the 15 regular stars miss a round due to injury, illness or other reasons.
The riding numbers for the 2016 SGP series will be confirmed in due course.