Australian Championship runner-up Sam Masters is set to realise a lifelong dream after being named as wild card for the DON Smallgoods Australian FIM Speedway Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on October 24.
The Newcastle, New South Wales-born racer dons the famous No.16 race jacket for his FIM Speedway World Championship debut on the night the 2015 champion will be crowned.
Masters has enjoyed a strong season, which started with him finishing second to SGP regular Jason Doyle in the four-round Australian Championship in January.
The 24-year-old has played a starring role for British Premier League club Edinburgh Monarchs this year, helping them secure top spot in the table ahead of the championship play-offs. He also lines up for the Leicester Lions in the British Elite League.
Masters can’t wait to take on world speedway’s top names in front of his home fans. He said: “It’s not every day you get the chance to ride in a Grand Prix.
“There are riders in the meeting I have beaten once or twice before. So there’s no reason why I can’t get a few points.
“I’m definitely stoked to be there. I can’t actually believe I have the opportunity to ride in the Grand Prix. It has been a dream for me my whole life. It’s going to be something different – that’s for sure.
“I know all my mates and my sponsors back home are coming along. It would be good to put on a show for them. Having our friends and family there makes it a very important SGP for us Aussies.”
Masters isn’t setting any targets for what will be the biggest meeting of his life. But he’s determined to make a name for himself as he joins 2012 world champion Chris Holder, Troy Batchelor and Doyle on speedway’s grandest stage.
He said: “I have never ridden in a meeting like this before – the top 15 riders in world. If I can mix it up, get some points throughout the night and be in the mix, it would be a good thing. I’ll go there, do my best and whatever happens is meant to be.
“I’ll definitely put 120 percent into my preparation as well as my riding. Hopefully I can get something out of it, get my name out there for next year and hopefully get some team spots in Europe.”
Masters is joined in Melbourne by track reserves Justin Sedgmen and Max Fricke.
Sedgmen, who lines up at No.17, finished third in the Aussie Championship and has also impressed alongside Masters in the Edinburgh team.
Fricke, No.18, has won three Australian Under-21 Championships on the trot and finished fourth in the senior series this season. He races for Belle Vue in the British Elite League and Danish Speedway League side Region Varde.
The FIM referee for the first Australian SGP since 2002 will be Jesper Steentoft from Denmark.
Etihad Stadium CEO Paul Sergeant congratulated Masters on his selection for the DON Smallgoods Australian SGP. He said: “We’re thrilled for Sam and his supporters and look forward to welcoming everyone to Melbourne for what is going to be a truly memorable night of speedway action under the closed roof of Etihad Stadium.”
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.