Jerzy Szczakiel (born 29 January 1949, Grudzice, Poland) is a retired Speedway rider. He is one of two Polish nationals to win the Speedway World Championship, the other being 2010 World champion Tomasz Gollob.
Szczakiel first rode in the World Final in 1971 at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden where he failed to score in his five rides. Szczakiel's next (and last) World Final was in 1973 at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów, Poland. In front of the largest crowd in world speedway history (estimated to be around 130,000), he scored 13 points, winning his first 3 rides and finishing 2nd in his last two. He won the title after a run-off with the defending champion Ivan Mauger of New Zealand after both riders tied on 13 points. Mauger fell in the run-off, leaving Szczakiel to finish unchallenged and win the championship. Fellow countryman Zenon Plech finished third. Before the meeting, Szczakiel was considered a rank outsider to win the championship.
In an amazing turn around of form, just two weeks after winning the World Championship Szczakiel represented Poland in the final of the 1973 Speedway World Team Cup at the Wembley Stadium in London, England. The new World Champion failed to score a point from his four rides, finishing last in his first race, retiring with bike failure in his next two, and being excluded from his last race for breaking the tapes at the start.
World Final Appearances
Speedway World Pairs Championship
Speedway World Team Cup
- 1973 - London, Wembley Stadium (with Pawel Waloszek / Edward Jancarz / Zenon Plech / Jan Mucha) - 4th - 8pts (0)
- 1974 - Chorzów, Silesian Stadium (with Zenon Plech / Jan Mucha / Andrzej Jurczynski / Andrzej Tkocz) - 3rd - 13pts (0)
- Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5
- 1973 Speedway World Team Cup results
- Martin Rogers (1978). The Illustrated History of Speedway. Studio Publications (Ipswich) Ltd. ISBN 0-904584-45-3
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