Tom, Jason and Drew aim for Euro U-19 glory

Eastbourne Speedway’s three teenage tornados will battle for European Under-19 glory this week.

Tom Brennan has been seeded to the final while team-mates Jason Edwards and Drew Kemp have a tough semi-final to face.

Competition organisers made a late change to the arrangements which led to Hassocks-based Brennan receiving one of the nine seeded places in the final on August 16 at Žarnovica in Slovakia.

Edwards and Kemp are in the semi-final at Pardubice in the Czech Republic on August 14 where they need to finish in the top six to head across the border into neighbouring Slovakia for the final.

Brennan heads to Žarnovica on a high having qualified for the European U-21 final in September after a gusty performance in his semi-final where he finished joint fourth*.

He said: “The news that I would be seeded through to the U-21 final as Great Britain’s guaranteed representative is amazing.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it and am as prepared as I can be.”

There is strong possibility that he could come up against Edwards and Kemp in the final and said he wished both the best of luck in the semi-final, as well as to GB’s other representative, Berwick’s Leon Flint.

Brennan said: “Obviously Jason and Drew are team-mates but on this occasion we’re riding as individuals and not as a team.

“In these competitions you have to look at everyone as individuals and it’s always going to be competitive.”

Edwards said he could not wait for the opportunity. “We haven’t been racing this season, but I’ve been practising as much as possible and I’m just really enjoying riding my bike,” he said.

In one training session, his tutor was three-times world champion, Jason Crump.

Edwards went to Pardubice last year and said the most noticeable thing for him was the size of the track.

“It’s just under 400 metres, which is bigger than anything we have over here, but it’s where I want to be and the experience of riding and racing on that type of track is priceless,” he said.

For comparison purposes, Eastbourne’s home track is 275m.

Kemp has been on track at least once a week since lockdown eased at the beginning of June.

He said: “Even without racing in the UK, I’m more than ready for the European Under-19s.

“The Pardubice track in the Czech Republic is big, wide and fast which suits me well.

“That’s the type of track I like for sure – I’m really looking forward to it.

“I rode at the Euro Under-19s last year and did well.

“I won the semi-final with a 15 point max and came fifth in the final, but this year I’m looking to take it a step further – well 5 steps further!

“I haven’t had a massive amount of experience riding in Europe, just Germany and Slovakia, but I think I’ve had enough to know what I need to do, and I know I’m capable of doing it.”

Kemp heads for the Czech Republic the day after his 18th birthday so the party’s very much on hold, with Kemp adding: “I’m aiming to make it a double celebration.”

*Brennan has qualified for the European Under-21 final which will be held at Nagyhalász, Hungary, on September 12.

Image Credits: Mike Hinves