NGK-sponsored Speedway star Greg Hancock is celebrating after becoming the 2014 FIM Speedway World Champion.
The 44-year-old American became the oldest rider to win the title when he clinched his third world championship at the Borygo Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland.
The 1997 and 2011 champion is the first American to win Speedway’s biggest prize three times and his victory also saw him become the first rider to win the SGP series despite having missed a round, after suffering multiple fractures to his left index finger.
The Swedish-based Californian scored 13 points in the final race to take the world title by eight points from runner-up and Torun GP winner Krzysztof Kasprzak, of Poland, and fellow triple world champ Nicki Pedersen, of Denmark, who beat last year’s world champion Tai Woffinden, of Great Britain, in a run-off for third place.
Greg said: “Every year I ride, the biggest carrot at the end is to win the World Championship. The first one was fantastic; the second one was amazing and this is unreal.”
And he is determined to add to his record-breaking exploits: “If I wasn’t confident, I wouldn’t say I’m going to ride next year. Being world champ feels sweet every time. It still feels like it’s sinking in. The adrenaline is dropping now, but the actual sensation of being the champ is finding its place. It’s an incredible feeling. It really is.”
NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd has sponsored Greg for a number of years, supplying the company’s specialist Iridium racing plugs which he uses on his 500cc bikes.
The sponsorship came about after John Money, of NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, met Greg’s manager Richard Child.
John said: “At the time Greg was using another company’s spark plugs, but after meeting up with Richard I managed to persuade him to try NGK and we haven’t looked back since then.
“Greg is well respected within the Speedway world and is very popular with British fans so the tie-up has been very worthwhile. He is a great ambassador for Speedway and NGK and we are delighted that he has achieved these milestones this year.”
NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd has a long-standing association with Speedway. As well as individual riders, it sponsors the Coventry Bees team which has won through to the forthcoming British Elite League Grand Final.