A Matter of Opinion....Jan Staechmann....24/01/2004
Jan is a Danish Internationalist, World Finalist and former Grand Prix rider. You can follow Jan's life, career and business interests at the consistently excellent staechmann.com.
How would you reflect on your own season in 2003 ?
I would say my 2003 as a whole was very good. I am very pleased to have been a Stoke ever-present, and to have finished in the top 4 or 5 for the league in points scorers.
We had a few problems at various stages when stuff we were running didn't perform as well as in testing, and that cost me points, and I think I had a total of 10 engine failures, which is unacceptable although unavoidable. But as a bottom line, I'm very pleased with 2003.
2004 is your testimonial season what plans do you have for that ?
It's not actually a testimonial, but a jubilee, celebrating 20 years in British Speedway. If you want to talk Testimonial, then in 2007 I will have been an Oxford/Steve & Vanessa Purchase asset for 10 years.
We have a lot of stuff planned, and I'm having a great time trying to organise it all with the committee. It will take place at Stoke on the 21st March, and it will be a 4-team tournament, featuring the major 4 teams I have ridden for: Stoke v. Oxford v. Long Eaton v. Wolves.
The line up is coming together nicely, and is absolutely awesome in my opinion (but then again, I am biased!). I am inviting people who are personal friends that are or have been team mates through the years and is led by 5-time world champion, and we have another big name to add to that in the next press release on Monday.
How does the life of a Speedway rider now compare to the lifestyle when you first came to Britain ?
Well I've gotten older and become more mature if that's what you mean?! I have always been very dedicated to what I do, and if anything my life has become very very busy in recent years. I have elected not to ride abroad due to the increased commitments I have in the UK, and I find that I am enjoying having the odd day off now, as opposed to having to do all the travelling. I enjoy life in the Premier League, it's variety and competitiveness, and I have the ideal home track within a half hours drive from where I live in Staffordshire.
You're involved in an advisory capacity with Buxton what do you hope to achieve there ?
We were involved at Buxton in 2003 in a promotional capacity. Initially we approached Ken Moss with a view of running training schools, but it was then suggested we take over the whole promotion due to his ill health, and consequently sad passing away.
It was a very interesting venture and both Mark and I enjoyed being part of the Buxton family very much, and I feel we made many friends there. Unfortunately it became increasingly difficult to devote the necessary time to the project, and when the Moss family indicated that they would fancy promoting again, it all fell into place for everyone.
I think it was a good season up there, the team did really well, many of the riders improved greatly, and we were able to bring a few guys in from the SAS training school, who held their own and are full team members now.
If asked to contribute to the BSPA AGM what proposals would you put forward ?
I think this is a very big question, but briefly I think we need someone to take charge who is able to look at the bigger picture, rather than the usual petty rule changes that seem to only serve the purpose of leaving 2 or 3 senior riders out of work, such as Billy Hamill and Peter Karlsson. I think it's a travesty to have guys like that, solid team men, forced out of the league. In any case I'm the wrong guy to ask such a question - after all, I'm just a rider, right? What could I possibly know? :o)
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This article was first published on 24th January 2004
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