April 13, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

Tungate powers home to win 2024 Australian Speedway Championship at Gilman finale!

After finishing second overall in the fifth and final round, Tungate was able to overturn a 5pt deficit to win the Australian Championship by 3pts over Max Fricke, adding to the silverware he first won in 2018.

As a dual Australian champion, Tungate, from Kurri Kurri (NSW), now joins a revered group of riders who have won the Duke of Edinburgh trophy on multiple occasions, including Fricke, Chris Holder, Leigh Adams, Jason Crump, Craig Boyce and Bill Sanders.

Despite a disappointing final round, Fricke’s exceptional body of work, particularly in rounds 2-4 – including top-scoring results in Wodonga and Mildura – saw him still finish second in the championship, 6pts ahead of Jack Holder and Jaimon Lidsey.

To bookmark what has been an exceptional championship, Holder then won a run-off against Lidsey to officially finish third overall, with the leading quartet now locked in for the 2024 Speedway GP qualifiers which culminate in the Czech Republic on October 4. The top three riders in that event earn spots in the 2025 Speedway GP series.

“My main goal throughout the championship was to be consistent and try to make as many finals as possible to keep the pressure on,” said Tungate. “I’m proud I was able to do that, but it wasn’t easy in the face of such strong opposition.

“There were a couple of hiccups along the way, but I remained hungry and determined throughout and I’m delighted to win my second Aussie title. And to wrap it up at Gillman, one of the best speedway tracks in the country, was really satisfying.

“Thanks to all the riders who competed, and I especially want to acknowledge Max (Fricke) who put on a great show and is always exceptionally hard to beat.

“I’m now looking forward to the Speedway GP qualifying process. I’m now older and wiser, and I have to capitalise on that.”

The Australian Championship was turned on its head early on at Gillman after Fricke only scored 2pts in his opening three rides – an exclusion and two third places – while Tungate was peerless with four wins in succession.

Fricke wasn’t done yet, though. A magnificent rearguard action him win his final two races to sneak into the semi-finals – but that was where his gritty fightback ended as he finished last in the opening semi-final behind Tungate, Jack Holder and Chris Holder.

The weight was then lifted from Tungate’s shoulders, as he only had to finish the final to guarantee championship success – and that he did, finishing second behind Brady Kurtz and in front of Lidsey and Jack Holder. It was Kurtz’ second successive victory after claiming the spoils in Mildura’s decider.

HEAT SCORES: 1 Rohan Tungate 13, 2 Brady Kurtz 13, 3 Jack Holder 12, 4 Jaimon Lidsey 11, 5 Chris Holder 11, 6 Ben Cook 10, 7 Max Fricke 8, 8 Sam Masters 7, 9 Josh Pickering 7, 10 Michael West 7, 11 Keynan Rew 5, 12 Ryan Douglas 4, 13 Zach Cook 4, 14 Fraser Bowes 3, 15 James Pearson 3, 16 Jake Turner 1, 17 Jack Morrison 0, 18 Dayle Wood DNR.

SEMI-FINAL 1: Tungate, J Holder, C Holder, Fricke.
SEMI-FINAL 2: Lidsey, Kurtz, B Cook, Masters.
FINAL: Kurtz, Tungate, Lidsey, J Holder.

FINAL STANDINGS (after five rounds):
1 Tungate 70, 2 Fricke 67, 3 Jack Holder 61+3, 4 Lidsey 61+2, 5 Kurtz 57, 6 Ben Cook 42, 7 Chris Holder 42, 8 Pickering 41, 9 Masters 41, 10 Douglas 40, 12 Zach Cook 28, 12 Rew 22, 13 Pearson 18, 14 West 14, 15 Bowes 11, 16 Justin Sedgmen 9, 17 Tate Zischke 5, 18 Jye Etheridge 4, 19 Morrison 3, 20 Turner 1.

Report and Images by Australian Speedway Championship

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