Former Peterborough Panthers star is back in the World Championship

Neils Kristian Iverson in action for Peterborough Panthers.
Neils Kristian Iverson in action for Peterborough Panthers.
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Niels Kristian Iversen has won back his place in the World Championship at the first attempt.

The locally-based former Peterborough Panthers racer finished second in the Grand Prix Challenge in Germany last night (July 28) to secure a return to the sport’s biggest stage next year.

Former Peterborough Panther Craig Cook just missed out on qualification for the World Championships.

Former Peterborough Panther Craig Cook just missed out on qualification for the World Championships.

Iversen racked up 11 points from his opening four rides at Landshut and clinched qualification despite a retirement in his final outing.

The 36 year-old has raced extensively in the World Championship in the past and boasts five GP victories, but he lost his place last year after being plagued by injuries and surprisingly overlooked for a wildcard.

Iversen, who currently rides for King’s Lynn in this country, said: “I came here to qualify and I managed to do it with one race to spare.

“I’ve worked so hard to get my place back in the series and I want to thank all of my sponsors, mechanics and family who have continued to believe in me and support me.

“The hard work will now start as I look to be ready come the start of the 2019 series.”

Iversen was one of several former Panthers riders involved in the Grand Prix Challenge, but there was no joy for the others.

Craig Cook, who represented the city club during the 2016 season, agonisingly missed out on the top-three position needed to qualify when losing in a run-off to Swedish rider Antonio Lindback.

Rising British star Robert Lambert - who appeared for Panthers in 2015 - scored nine points while Aussie ace Jack Holder, who was with the city club last season, bagged eight.

Huntingdon-based Dane Kenneth Bjerre managed seven points while Hans Andersen - a team-mate of Iversen in the title-winning Panthers team of 2006 - finished on six.

The Grand Prix Challenge was won by Janusz Kolodziej of Poland.