Old enemies Team Great Britain and Australia have been pitted against each other in Event 1 of the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup at King‰Ûªs Lynn on Saturday, July 26, 2014.
The Lions are set to be spearheaded by world champion Tai Woffinden and skipper Chris Harris, while 2012 world champ b and his FIM Speedway Grand Prix rival Darcy Ward are likely to lead the Aussie charge at the opening event of speedway‰Ûªs team World Championship.
They are joined by a Greg Hancock-inspired United States side, who return to the venue where they sensationally knocked Sweden out of the competition at the Norfolk Arena in July, before claiming an heroic fifth place overall ‰ÛÒ their best performance since they reached the final in 2001.
The line-up will be completed by the winners of the qualification round at Italian venue Terenzano on July 5, where Italy meet Russia, Germany and Slovenia.
Despite their heartbreak at the Norfolk Arena this year, Sweden have a golden opportunity to bounce back when they host Denmark, Latvia and the Czech Republic in Event 2 at Vastervik on Tuesday, July 29.
The Swedes were missing SGP stars Andreas Jonsson and Fredrik Lindgren for this year‰Ûªs competition due to injury, but will fancy their chances of reaching the final with a full-strength side.
Their Scandinavian neighbours Denmark look set to push them all the way, though, and are likely to track triple world champ Nicki Pedersen and world No.3 Niels-Kristian Iversen.
This year‰Ûªs shock Race Off qualifiers Latvia and the fourth-placed Czechs will also be keen to upset the odds.
The winners of Events 1 and 2 join host nation and defending champions Poland in the Monster Energy SWC Final at Bydgoszcz‰Ûªs ZKS Polonia Stadium on August 2.
The second and third-placed teams from Events 1 and 2 earn places in the Race Off, which is also in Bydgoszcz, on July 31, with the winners also advancing to the Final.
2014 MONSTER ENERGY FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CUP DATES AND LINEUP:
EVENT 1 ‰ÛÒ JULY 26 ‰ÛÒ KING‰ÛªS LYNN, GREAT BRITAIN:
QUALIFIER ‰ÛÒ ITALY or SLOVENIA or GERMANY or RUSSIA (Qualifying round to take place at Terenzano, Italy, July 5)
EVENT 2 ‰ÛÒ JULY 29 ‰ÛÒ VASTERVIK, SWEDEN:
RACE OFF ‰ÛÒ JULY 31 ‰ÛÒ BYDGOSZCZ, POLAND:
RUNNER-UP EVENT 1
RUNNER-UP EVENT 2
THIRD PLACE EVENT 1
THIRD PLACE EVENT 2