June 24, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

Tom Brennan bids to follow in Dugards footsteps after winning Cardiff SpeedwayGP wildcard

Tom Brennan bids to follow in Dugards footsteps after winning Cardiff SpeedwayGP wildcard

Great Britain shooting star Tom Brennan admits he will be getting a few tips from Speedway GP-winning stepdad Martin Dugard after sealing the FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Cardiff wild card in Manchester on Saturday.

Brennan finished third in the British Championship Final to earn his spot alongside British champion Dan Bewley, runner-up Tai Woffinden and Robert Lambert at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, August 17.

Brennan’s family knows all about wild-card winners. Stepdad Dugard was famously called up for the 2000 FIM Speedway GP of Great Britain – Coventry and topped the podium. He also received a spot in the first-ever Speedway GP event at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on June 9, 2001.

Brennan was born nearly a month later on July 2 and will have only heard about Dugard’s heroics from his family or the sport’s history books.

But now he has a chance to live his own Speedway GP dream in Cardiff and he’s not heading to the Welsh capital to make up the numbers.

He said: “I’m in it to win it, as hard as that sounds. Maybe that sounds unrealistic right now, but I am in it for a reason and why not?

“My stepdad Martin Dugard won a Speedway GP in Coventry in 2000 as a wild card. Maybe I will get some advice from him. I’m sure he will give me some tips after this.

“I am going to Cardiff, and it is a dream come true for me. I will do the best I can. I’ll try and get as much experience as possible. To be surrounded by the best guys in the world is an honour already. It’s a huge opportunity and I’m sure these boys will be showing me the way.

“I am riding pretty well right now, so that day in Cardiff is definitely something I can aim towards and go and have fun.”

While Brennan earned the coveted Cardiff spot, he was a little disappointed not to carry off his first British Championship as well.

He topped the heat score chart on 13 points to qualify automatically for the final alongside Bewley, who recorded 12. But Brennan admits his inexperience may have cost him in the final as he lined up alongside SGP winners Bewley, Woffinden and Chris Harris, who was fourth in Manchester.

Brennan (middle) battles leader Bewley (right) and Harris (left) in the final. PHOTO: Taylor Lanning

He said: “To have the Cardiff wild card is a huge thing, but at the same time, I wanted to win that British Final.

“I definitely gave it everything. I got through those heat races pretty well, but a lack of experience in that final situation definitely showed. Big congratulations to the boys on the podium. They definitely showed me the way around in that last race.

“I think the main thing is I should have ridden my own race. I definitely rode very tight after that first lap. That’s just part of the pressure. Once you are in a podium position in those finals, you obviously want to maintain it. I was maintaining rather than chasing. That’s just something to work on.

“But if you had said I would be sat here in third place before the meeting, I probably would have taken it. For me, to top-score in the heats is a huge thing. I would like to thank everybody – my family, my supporters and my team. They worked really well.

“I have managed to get a third and a second in the British Championship. Hopefully it is time for the win soon. We have to keep working to do that.

“In Cardiff, it will just be a matter of getting out of the start and riding my own race, and then we will see where we are at. It will be a very good comparison for me against the best riders in the world.”

British Final top two Dan Bewley (right) and Tai Woffinden (left) celebrate with a double burnout. PHOTO: Taylor Lanning

Bewley joins Barry Briggs, Ivan Mauger, Andy Smith and Woffinden in an elite club of riders with three British title wins on the bounce.

The world No.7 landed his third British Championship with a fearsome charge under Woffinden going into lap three of an epic final, and the Cumbrian star admits he needed it after struggling from the starts all evening.

He said: “I didn’t make any starts all night. For the final, I thought I could do with making a better one, but I heard after picking gate one that no rider had won from there. I thought the final would be a good time to turn that around.

“I made a decent start, but Tai got a good run around the first corner. Sometimes you get in the right place and get that bit of drive. I was just able to nip up the inside and it just happened.

“It’s not the easiest track to lead on, but it was an awesome crowd. To get three titles in a row after Tai and a couple of others have done it is great.”

BRITISH FINAL HEAT SCORES: 1 Tom Brennan 13, 2 Dan Bewley 12, 3 Steve Worrall 11, 4 Tai Woffinden 10, 5 Chris Harris 10, 6 Adam Ellis 9, 7 Robert Lambert 9, 8 Charles Wright 8, 9 Anders Rowe 7, 10 Kyle Howarth 6, 11 Craig Cook 6, 12 Connor Mountain 6, 13 Jordan Jenkins 5, 14 Lewis Kerr 4, 15 Drew Kemp 4, 16 Simon Lambert 0.

SEMI-FINAL: Woffinden, Harris, Worrall, Ellis.

FINAL: Bewley, Woffinden, Brennan, Harris.

Words SpeedwayGP – Feature Image by Taylor Lanning

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