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After a very long-distance travelling week for the Fen Tigers’ starlet Jason Edwards, it’ll be a case of home sweet home at Mildenhall Speedway, proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery, on Sunday, as the talented teen aims to qualify for his fifth GB U21 Final.

The road trip which took Jason deep into central Europe in the middle part of the week is all part of the Essex based 19-year-old’s development in the sport as he explains,

“Poland Speedway this year has a new division, much like our own National Development League [NDL] here, with all the top tier sides putting in Under-24 sides.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be selected to ride for Grudziadz and have been out there this week. 

 “The English spelling of the town, in the north of Poland, is Graudence but we found out this week it’s not pronounced like that out there!  It’s an awesome set up and the stadium, which holds about 8,000 I believe, is undergoing a major refurb at the moment.  We’re all aware how successful Polish Speedway riders have been for many years now, especially at the U21 level  with their riders claiming all the recent U21 world titles, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to get regular riding experience against their very best riders at my level”

Ever the meticulous planner, Jason explains the purpose of this week’s trip,

“We’ve taken a bike out there and got it all set up and everything organised, so that when it starts up I can simply fly out each meeting – it’s about an hour away from Bydgoszcz airport. I also got to meet my new  Polish team mates so that was good also.”

Back in the UK, Jason will be in action for his new second tier club, Redcar Bears on Friday evening  in a Championship fixture and is happy to be back on track after the frustration of some early season rain offs,

“It’s typical isn’t it, come early March there’s nice weather and us riders are all ready to go, kicking our heels waiting for the start of the season – then the actual season starts and it rains!  I’ve had one home meeting with Redcar but it was frustrating that the next one got called off, as did that opportunity to ride for the Fen Tigers in a junior match at Ipswich – why, that wasn’t even rained off, it was snowed-off!”

The British weather has relented now though and Jason is full of enthusiasm to be back in front of his home West Riow crowd on Sunday aiming to qualify for that fifth GB U21 Final.

Some might be raising eye brows that with his excellent qualification record and with 10 riders seeded to the Final (in Birmingham in August) already, that Edwards wasn’t given a route straight through to Perry Barr, but he explains,

“The seeding’s been done on the top ten in terms of 2021 Championship averages – and after only brief spells at firstly Eastbourne and then Plymouth, which both ended prematurely from my point of view, well basically I haven’t got one!

“It’s fine by me though, as this gives me valuable racing time in a very competitive setting as there’s just the six qualifying places up for grabs on Sunday.  And the home crowd get to cheer on a Mildenhall rider of course!”

Jason was in the semi-final last season that was held at Redcar rather than the home staged one, impressing on his way to what was then his fourth final (and doubtless bringing him to the attention of his now Championship-employers) and he knows what’s needed attitude-wise to address the challenge of these sort of meetings,

“The main thing is to win every race – you do that and obviously qualification takes care of itself and no need to worry about the points opponents are getting.  To be honest that’s the attitude I take into every meeting – and in this individual format with no second chances in semis and race off it’s about racing every other rider in the field and getting the business done”.

That business starts at 3pm on this Sunday, 10th. April – as the season gets underway at Mildenhall Speedway, Hayland Drove, West Row, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 8QU

Track ‘phone number (on meeting days only) 01638 711777