HERBIE HOPES FOR RE-RUN
Sunday 16th September 2012, 21:25
World champion Greg Hancock says Tarnow “seem 99 percent sure” their Polish Ekstraliga play-off semi-final at Torun will be re-run.
The second leg was called off by referee Piotr Lis when Hancock arrived four minutes after the scheduled 5pm start time due to a cancelled flight.
Torun were awarded a 40-0 whitewash as Lis deemed the Swallows team didn’t meet the 34.00 minimum average. But 2.50 rider Jakub Jamrog was in the pits and ready to race prior to the start and, had his figure been taken into account, the Tarnow average would have been 34.03.
It is believed the meeting will be restaged at the Marian Rose Motoarena on Thursday and confirmation is expected on Monday.
Hancock is hopeful his table-topping side will get a chance to defend their 48-42 first-leg lead, and he was astonished that a sell-out, 15,000-strong crowd was sent home over his four-minute delay.
"We were saying â€˜just penalise me somehow and let us continue.â€™ But instead of that, they penalised everybody."
- Greg Hancock
He said: “I’m just getting word now that they’ve made a mistake in the calculations. It sounds like Tarnow are very confident they can get it re-run. They’ve been calling me and saying what’s happening, but no-one can say anything until it’s 100 percent.
“They seem 99 percent sure right now, but we can’t say anything official until it definitely happens.”
He added: “It’s not good at all. The whole thing is a joke in my own mind and it feels crazy.
“I understand there are rules and regulations you need to follow, but when it comes to this and you’ve done everything you can to make it, it’s one of those things.
“It’s a shame they had to go to that extent and disappoint so many people when I made it there four minutes over the time.
“I knew all along it was a possibility that this could happen, but we were doing everything we could to avoid it. When I got within 800-900 metres of the stadium, I still had a minute or so to go before 5pm.
“We were stuck in traffic getting into the stadium and by the time I got in there, it was over. I ran down to where the referee was standing with all the team guys, but they just said ‘no, that’s the rule.’”
Hancock criss-crossed Scandinavia in his bid to reach Torun. “I was flying Stockholm via Oslo to Gdansk and I should have landed at 12.45pm in Gdansk,” he explained.
“When I got to Oslo, my flight was cancelled, so they re-routed me through Copenhagen first and then on to Gdansk. I landed in Gdansk at 3.20pm and the meeting started at 5pm.
“In normal circumstances, it’s about a two-hour drive, but we did it quite a bit quicker than that!
“I was four minutes late to sign on and I know that’s the rules, but it’s just a shame. We tried and you’d think they’d be a bit more forgiving and try to help out. We were saying ‘just penalise me somehow and let us continue.’ But instead of that, they penalised everybody.”
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