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AUSSIE CHAMP CLAIMS MELBOURNE WILD CARD | Road | Sport

Australian champion Brady Kurtz is set to realise the “biggest dream I’ve had since I was a kid” after being named QBE Insurance Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix wild card.

The 19-year-old dons the famous No.16 race jacket at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on October 22 as he continues to make rapid progress in the sport since making his professional debut in 2014.

Kurtz is excited to test himself against the SGP elite for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest indoor motorsport event.

He said: “It’s every kid’s dream to ride in a GP and it’s pretty cool that it’s going to happen. I wasn’t home in time to go to last year’s Australian SGP, but I saw it was a good show. I’m pumped to be a part of it this time.

“I’m looking forward to the track – I think it’s something that will suit me well. I’m just going to go there and enjoy it really. Obviously there isn’t any pressure on me. But at the same time, I want to do well and see where I’m at.

“I’m sure a lot of the boys have never raced against me before and maybe they haven’t heard a lot about me. But it’ll be awesome to be there. Riding in my home SGP in Melbourne will be something pretty special.”

Kurtz underlined his huge potential with victory in the four-round Australian Championship series in January. It’s his debut year in the senior competition and he only made it through with victory in the qualifier.

He was handed the under-21 reserve spot for Australia in this year’s Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup, and was called into action at the Race Off in Manchester, when Max Fricke crashed out of the meeting with an elbow injury in his first race. Kurtz scored six points as the Roos triumphed to reach the Final, in which they finished fourth.

After starring in the British Premier League for Somerset in 2014 and 2015, the New South Welshman was handed his Elite League debut with reigning champions Poole this year. He also doubles up with Plymouth in the Premier.

Kurtz joins Aussie heroes Jason Doyle and Chris Holder in the Melbourne event. With Doyle just eight points off the World Championship lead in second place and Holder 10 behind him in fourth, the Aussie champion is predicting a special night for the Etihad Stadium crowd.

He said: “With Doyley and Chris doing so well this year, I can’t see why the crowd can’t be even bigger than last year for us. I’m sure it will be good. Doyley is in the best form ever and someone will have to get going if they think they’re going to stop him.”

Kurtz is joined in the QBE Insurance Australian SGP by track reserves Sam Masters and Max Fricke.

Aussie Championship runner-up Masters – last year’s wild card – dons the No.17 race jacket, while third-placed Fricke is No.18.

The referee for the Melbourne meeting is Krister Gardell from Sweden.

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