When we published the proposed 2022 UIM F2 World Championship calendar Edgaras Riabko, the President of the Lithuanian Motorboat Federation commented that ‘negotiations were still in progress’ with the venues where he hoped to organise races. So, we got back in contact with him to see how things were progressing.
We are currently working with three different cities with a view to staging a round of the World Championship at two of them this year. In conversation with the UIM they have asked us whether staging back-to-back races would be possible. We have looked at the possibility of racing in Klaipėda on June 25-26, and then Kupiškis a week later. It’s a lot of work but we have not ruled it out.
It’s fair to say that Riabko and his team are well drilled at organising two F2 races in a season after hosting both the European Championship and a round of the World Championship every year from 2017 till the pandemic struck in 2020. During that time Riabkos’ European achievements made him a ‘house-hold name’ in Lithuania and he still holds the city of Zarasai remarkably close to his heart.
Unfortunately, we have not managed to secure an event in Zarasai. As you can imagine it’s a dream venue for me. I consider winning the two gold medals at the European Championships the highlight of my racing career so far. Hopefully one day we will return.
So where else in Lithuania is Riabko looking? Could the teams be making their way to the north-eastern city of Kupiškis for a third time?
I am immensely proud of the excellent relationship I have with Kupiškis and I really appreciate the co-operation I have with Dainius Bardauskas the Kupiškis Mayor. It’s a small city but it has a huge heart for our sport.
Kaunas, the hometown of Riabko that hosted the opening round of the World Championship between 2017 and 2020 has not been ruled out.
We are still working with Kaunas, so the venues on the calendar could still change. As you can imagine I’m working extremely hard to close a deal with them.
Or could the teams be heading towards the Baltic Sea and the brand-new venue of Klaipėda.
Yes, Klaipėda is the third city we are working with. It is the oldest city in Lithuania and one that has a beautiful old town. Every summer it attracts hordes of tourists to the warm stone streets and sandy beaches, it would be exciting to hold a race there. I am always looking for new race venues.
Recently I found one in Šiauliai, a city in northern Lithuania. It’s a fantastic location for racing, and this year it will host a round of the F500 and F4 World Championships in September, hopefully it won’t be long before we hold a round of F2 there as well.
We are sure it won’t be long before Riabko announces which venues and when they will hold a race as he told us that he will try to have a final decision made by the middle of February.