Greg Hancock, the four-time world speedway champion, has announced his retirement after a glittering career which marks him out as one of the greats of the sport.
Hancock’s longevity is something to behold. I remember watching this great new young American talent on the speedway circuit when I myself was a kid when the solos would frequent Clarement Speedway back in the day.
“Over the last 12 months of missing a full racing season, I’ve had much time to reflect on my amazing career. Racing at the highest level, winning four World Championships, Team and Pairs World Championships amongst many domestic league championships, were amongst the most challenging and successful times of my life to date,” Hancock said.
“This last year taking care of my wife and family became life-changing in many ways and put life into a new perspective. I am pleased with my racing achievements and believe it is time to move on to a new chapter. As difficult as it is to make a decision like this, it is the right one.
“Although I am stepping away from the racing part, I do not plan to exit the scene. I have plans that will keep me close to the sport and we’ll see where that goes in the weeks ahead.”
The announcement follows Hancock’s withdrawal from the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series of 2019. The decision to retire to spend more time with his family means that the Californian will not compete in the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series in 2020.
Hancock, 49, is the only rider who has been part of the SGP line-up every year since the series was launched in 1995. Up until September 2014, he raced in each and every SGP event staged – an unbroken run of 177 appearances.
He has made 218 SGP appearances in total and scored 2,655 points from 1,248 heats – both records. Two more records he holds are the most heat wins at 455 and his 92 SGP final appearances.
One of his most notable feats was winning his first world title in 1997 and claiming his second in 2011 – 14 years later. The longest break between title wins was previously seven years. He also won three of his titles after turning 40, making him the oldest champion ever.
“Greg Hancock’s retirement is a big shock for the speedway world and he will be missed a lot by everyone. The FIM understands and supports the reasons for his announcement and we are close to him and his family in this hard decision. I’m sure Greg will not leave the speedway world completely and I’m also sure that he will remain involved in track racing. His experience, knowledge, charisma and advice will be welcome, in any position he will take in the future inside the sport. As a personal friend, I wish him all the very best for the future.”
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