Grand Prix is returning to Terenzano. Paco Castagna: It’s a big step forward for Italian Speedway
After eight years Speedway Grand Prix is returning to Italy. On 24th of April the best riders in the world will begin their quest for the title in Terenzano. One of the riders, who knows every inch of that track is Paco Castagna, who found some time to tell us about his 2020 season, hopes for the future and return of SGP series to Italy.
In 2020 season speedway rider from Italy was supposed to race for Birmingham Brummies (SGB Championship), but the season got cancelled. – Well it was pretty much a very chaotic season, I was constantly training and getting ready for the season launch in April but it never happened. We were first to get hit with COVID-19 so all of us here were very careful. I still trained a lot for the season inaugauration in United Kingdom, but every month I heard “we will probably start racing next month” and then it was delayed again. It was a shame. I had many meetings in my calendar and ended up doing something like eight or nine. It is really nothing – said Paco Castagna.
Despite difficult situation all around the world, Italian Individual Championship did take place. After six rounds of racing the championship title went to Nicolas Covatti. Our guest came in second place and the bronze medal went to Nicolas Vicentin. For couple of years now, Italian Championship title is a fight between two riders – Covatti and Castagna. This year shouldn’t bring any major changes. – It’s a shame I lost the fight for the Championship title. Nico was better than me and he deserved to win. I know what I will be changing, during this winter, in order to beat him again this year – added 26-years old speedway rider from Italy.
Last year, Italy was hit very hard with COVID-19 pandemic. I think we all remember horrible news coming from this part of the world. When the situation got a bit better, Italian Federation didn’t hesitate to start working on inauguration of 2020 season. All six rounds of Individual Championship were hosted in Terenzano. – The Italian Federation did everything they could to run Individual Championships in every motorsport and we were very lucky to have Terenzano that worked very, very hard to make everything possible. Their work was absolutely great, and I am very grateful that I was able to race in 2020 when so many people couldn’t!
It was recently announced who will be racing in Metal Speedway League in Denmark. Paco Castagna was signed by Nordjysk Elite Speedway team. It will be his debut in this league. It won’t be his first time in Denmark though. In 2018 he did spend there two weeks, during which he could count on help of former rider Brian Karger. – Well they have shown interest, they contacted me, and we started from there. It all went without a problem. The club was easy to deal with and it is very important for me. I can’t wait to see how it will go. Metal Speedway League seems very strong and of course it is a step in the right direction for me. I will have the help of my tuner Brian Karger, Tobias Thomsen and KLS. They are all very good people – explained son of Armando Castagna.
As we already said – Speedway Grand Prix is returning to Terenzano. First round of 2021 series will take part in this beautiful venue. Last SGP round in Italy took place eight years ago. In August of 2013 the tourneament was won by Niels-Kristian Iversen, who came in front of Tai Woffinden and Emil Sajfutdinow. Paco Castagna was a reserve rider during this event. Terenzano is an important place for Polish speedway fans. It was the track where Tomasz Gollob did secure his only championship title in 2010.
Was it a shocking news for our guest, that Terenzano is back in SGP calendar? We couldn’t stop ourselves from asking about the eventual Wild Card as well. – Well maybe it wasn’t shocking, but I was very happy about it. I know they work so hard on the track every year and this club consists of many great people. It’s a big step forward for Italian Speedway. The track has also changed, so it will be a day of good racing. Regarding the Wild Card, it will be the Team Manager decision. Surely there is a chance but I don’t know how big it is. Whatever comes will be fine. It’s always great to be a part of such an event – explained Castagna.
New regulations in United Kingdom that came in effect from 1st of January could make it harder for European riders to compete in British Leagues. Obtaining required visa could result in more problems for speedway clubs in UK. Our guest is very popular in Birmingham, so we can be certain that fans would love to see him in Brummies team. – Of course, it will be harder and I am keeping in touch with the club. I still haven’t signed the contract but we remain in contact. We will have to see what happens with COVID situation. Currently they have big vaccination plans, but every month something changes, so anything can still happen. We will have to wait and see. I hope it will all go fine for everyone.
In the past we have talked with another rider from Birmingham Brummies team – James Shanes. He said that this team could be a force to be reckoned with in SGB Championship. In our talk, Paco Castagna points out that the squad may look differently in the future, especially due to the fact, that the club needs to sign someone in place of Jason Garrity. – The team still has a free spot to cover so we will see who will join the squad. Anything can still change anytime. When I will know for sure that the season will start in United Kingdom, I will then think about the team as well. At the moment, not all is decided yet. We will see what happens in the next months. Currently I am preparing for the season, whatever happens, so thats is the main focus right now.