SGP FUTURE STARS | GLEB CHUGUNOV
As the 2021 season approaches, SpeedwayGP.com shines a spotlight on some of the potential SGP stars of the future. Next up, Gleb Chugunov.
13 / 01 / 2021, 18:00
As the 2021 season approaches, SpeedwayGP.com shines a spotlight on some of the potential FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars of the future. Next up is Russia-born Polish international Gleb Chugunov.
Chugunov made his FIM Speedway Grand Prix debut as a wild card for the Wroclaw double-header weekend last year, and he quickly proved he can mix it on the big stage.
Scoring seven World Championship points in round one was a rock-solid start to his SGP career, before he stormed to nine and a semi-final spot on in round two. It was a consistent display which suggests there’s plenty more to come from a rider who is no stranger to racing for world titles.
Chugunov burst on to the world stage during the 2017 FIM Speedway World Cup. He was initially named as Russia’s reserve for Event 2 in Vastervik and scored a point from two rides.
But his big moment came at the Race Off in Leszno – hours after Russia suffered the hammer-blow of losing Grigorii Laguta when it was announced he had been suspended on the day of the meeting.
Chugunov was thrust into one of the sport’s most cutthroat meetings, but rose to the occasion spectacularly with 11 points to inspire Russia to victory alongside Emil Sayfutdinov and seal their spot in the Final.
While he only bagged three points in the Final, it still ensured Russia beat Great Britain to the bronze medal at the Alfred Smoczyk Stadium.
It wasn’t long before Chugunov tasted gold, though. He served as Russia’s reserve as they claimed the country’s first senior speedway world title of any kind in the inaugural Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Final in Wroclaw in 2018.
Chugunov took just one ride across the tournament, but he played a bigger role when the Final came to Togliatti in 2019. He scored a point from each of his under-21 outings to help Russia retain the trophy.
After also claiming fourth place in the 2019 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship, Chugunov’s time representing Russia came to a close.
He announced last winter that he had gained Polish citizenship and would fly his adopted nation’s flag on the world stage. This also handed him the chance to race as a junior rider for Wroclaw in the PGE Ekstraliga – nailing down a place in their starting line-up.
Chugunov raced to a strong 1.765 average and his electrifying form for much of the year was pivotal as Wroclaw earned the bronze medal.
This year he steps into their top five, but remains eligible to serve as either their under-24 rider or a Polish senior. Either way, he looks set to play a key role in their title chances this season.
And having enjoyed his first taste of SGP action in 2020, he will be determined to make sure there is more to come in the years ahead.