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Speedway Grand Prix: Darcy Ward expects Tai Woffinden to raise the roof in Cardiff
PIRATES skipper Darcy Ward predicts the Tai Woffinden factor will help create a sensational atmosphere in tomorrow's eagerly-anticipated British Grand Prix (5pm).
More than 40,000 fans are expected to pour into the Millennium Stadium for a meeting in which Cardiff debutant Ward will attempt to hunt down valuable points in the GP title chase.
US star Greg Hancock currently tops the standings but home favourite and reigning world champion Woffinden is just a single point behind, with Ward a further 12 adrift of the Brit in sixth place.
After missing last year's British GP with a fractured shoulder, Ward believes the Wolverhampton talisman's status as speedway's shining light will inspire home supporters to deliver an electrifying buzz in the Welsh capital.
Ward told the Daily Echo: “I've never ridden Cardiff before so I have been looking forward to it as it is the biggest event in speedway.
“This is probably the biggest meeting of my career so far, so it's a dream to ride there and I think it will be especially huge this year with Woffy being world champion and number two in the standings at the moment.
“He is going to have a big crowd supporting him because of that and there's always good, hard racing there on a track that looks tough to ride.”
Meanwhile, Ward's former Pirates team-mate Chris Holder will not take his place at the starting gate as he remains sidelined.
The wrist injury sustained by the Ringwood-based rider in Denmark last month has significantly improved but a neck problem picked up in the same incident has continued to cause concern.
Holder said: “My hand is actually quite good, it's my neck that's the worst thing.
"You can't mess around with something as important as your neck, so there's not much I can do other than sit it out.”
The Sydneysider will once again be replaced in the field by first reserve Michael Jepsen Jensen.
Speedway Grand Prix standings: (top 10) 1 Greg Hancock 73, 2 Tai Woffinden 72, 3 Niels-Kristian Iversen 62, 4 Nicki Pedersen 60, 5 Matej Zagar 60, 6 Darcy Ward 60, 7 Chris Holder 55, 8 Jaroslaw Hampel 54, 9 Krzysztof Kasprzak 49, 10 Freddie Lindgren 47.
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