When Jimmy Hörnell Lidfalk rolls out onto the ice at the famous Max Aicher Arena in Inzell in Germany over the weekend of 23-24 March for the first of this year’s two Finals to decide the ultimate destination of the 2024 FIM Ice Speedway World Championship, it will be unknown territory for the talented Swede.

With just five years of experience racing Ice Speedway to his name, the thirty-three-year-old will be making his debut in the Finals stage of the series and he is determined to enjoy the occasion as much as possible.

There are no goals,” he said. “This is the first year in the Finals for me. I’m going to do as best as I can and just go out on the ice and have fun with zero pressure.

Hörnell was very much on home ground at the Qualifying Round at Örnsköldsvik at the end of January. Having been born and raised in the municipality that lies midway between the Swedish capital Stockholm and the Arctic Circle, growing up he had been a regular visitor to the Kallehov track and he was in impressive form with a victory in his penultimate Heat helping him to progress to the Finals in a solid seventh.

I have always watched with my father when there were races on at Kallehov. My father was active as a rider in Ice Speedway in the late ’80s and early ’90s. It was fantastic [at the Qualifying Round], it’s always fun to race in front of local fans, my family and friends.

A former mechanic for the two-time and reigning champion Martin Haarahiltunen, when temperatures start to rise and the ice begins to thaw Hörnell – who works in the construction industry – switches his attention to racing Motocross, but his passion for Ice Speedway is crystal clear.

What is the best thing about Ice Speedway? All the riders I have spoken to talk about being rivals on the ice and friends off the ice. The friendship is fantastic. If you are humble and respectful towards the other riders you can always count on them helping you as best as they can if there is a problem, on and off the ice.

Both 2024 FIM Ice Speedway World Championship Finals – at Inzell in Germany on 23-24 March followed by Heerenveen in the Netherlands on 6-7 April – will be streamed LIVE on fim-moto-tv