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ZAGAR OUT, BOMBER IN

SGP star Matej Zagar has confirmed he will not race in the GP Challenge at Poole on Saturday and is replaced by Britain's Chris Harris.

23 / 08 / 2013, 15:59

Grand Prix star Matej Zagar has confirmed he will not race in the GP Challenge at Poole on Saturday and is replaced by Team Great Britain skipper Chris Harris.

The Slovenian star is seventh in the World Championship on 84 points – putting him comfortably inside the top eight and on course to secure automatic qualification for the 2014 series.

Zagar is 11 points clear of Tomasz Gollob in ninth. And with eighth-placed world champion Chris Holder set to drop out of the qualification spots, the Ljubljana-born man is confident he will defend his position.

The Belle Vue and Piraterna rider could have sealed SGP qualification with a top three finish at Wimborne Road.

But Zagar has opted against competing in the notoriously cutthroat Challenge and will save his energies for the World Championship, where he is looking forward to the Doodson Slovenian SGP in Krsko on September 7.

Zagar is replaced in the GP Challenge by Harris, who lost his spot in the SGP series at the end of 2012.

The Cornishman was said to be bitterly disappointed after missing out on Britain’s wild card for the meeting to Danny King and will be determined to make the most of his unexpected opportunity to secure an immediate return to the World Championship.

Bomber's opportunity comes despite the fact he was knocked out of the qualifiers in the quarter final at St Johann. But with no other reserves available to fill in, the host federation was given the option to track a replacement for Zagar.

For the same reason, Harris’ international colleagues Ben Barker and Lewis Bridger have been called up as track reserves.

Polish rider Maciej Janowski is an injury doubt for the event as he sits out Poole’s trip to Lakeside tonight with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Danish star Peter Kildemand must overcome a heavy fall at Swindon on Thursday to make the meeting.

GP CHALLENGE LINE-UP: 1 Vaclav Milik, 2 Maciej Janowski, 3 Krzysztof Kasprzak, 4 Peter Kildemand, 5 Timo Lahti, 6 Hans Andersen, 7 Kenneth Bjerre, 8 Troy Batchelor, 9 Danny King, 10 Niels-Kristian Iversen, 11 Tomas H Jonasson, 12 Michael Jepsen Jensen, 13 Piotr Pawlicki, 14 Martin Smolinski, 15 Chris Harris, 16 Daniel Nermark. RESERVES: 17 Ben Barker, 18 Lewis Bridger.

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