Speedway ace caps dream season
LEWIS Bridger has capped something of a dream season on the speedway track by winning the Conference League Bronze Helmet.
The Bexhill-based star-in-the-making, who has won the Paul Strank Roofing Open in addition to winning the Conference League Fours, reaching the semi-finals of the Conference League Trophy, lying third in the Conference League and being in the last four of the Knockout Cup with his Weymouth Wildcats club, powered to his most prestigious victory to date by winning all bar one of his races at Mildenhall on Sunday.
The crowning glory for the 15-year-old, pictured above, was a brilliant move up the inside of runner-up Jamie Courtney (Oxford) in the two-man final.
"It was magic," said grandfather Tony Thompson. "You would have thought it was a local rider because the stadium absolutely erupted."
Bridger, who is one of four riders nominated for the Speedway Writers' Association Conference League Rider of the Year Award, saw off fellow nominee Mark Burrows (Wimbledon) to win his semi-final.
Both his semi-final and final wins, plus the last of his four heat victories, were achieved on his second bike after an engine failure on his first machine forced him out of the one heat he failed to triumph in. One of his heat successes was accomplished in the fastest time posted during the entire competition.
Bridger, tipped by many as a future World Champion, will ride for Great Britain's under-18s team against a select team at Buxton next week. This will be his second national cap as he represented Britain at under-16 level against Germany two years ago.
He will reveal his riding plans for next season at The Brighton Bonanza indoor speedway spectacular on December 11.