Lewis Bridger has taken the first step towards competing in speedway’s premier individual competition next year.
The Bexhill-based rider came through the FIM Grand Prix Qualifier at Berwick-upon-Tweed on Monday night to book his place in the Grand Prix Challenge Semi-Finals.
The qualifier was due to take place on Saturday, but was postponed due to rain and rearranged for 48 hours later, meaning Bridger missed an Elite League fixture for Lakeside Hammers on Monday.
Bridger also flew out to Poland for a meeting on Sunday before returning to Northumberland where he competed at the Shielfield Park track for the first time in his career.
The top 10 automatically qualified for the next stage and Bridger finished in a three-way share of eighth place alongside fellow British riders Chris Harris and Craig Cook.
Bridger scored eight points from his five rides. The 24-year-old picked up one in each of his first two heats using his standard engine, but then changed bikes to his ‘baby’ engine which worked much better. Bridger won his third race, was a close second in his fourth and beat a Grand Prix rider in his fifth.
The next round of the qualifiers will take place in Gorican (Croatia) and Czestochowa (Poland) on June 21. Before then, Bridger will compete in the British Final at Wolverhampton on Monday when a wildcard place in the British Grand Prix will be up for grabs.
Bridger would like to thank sponsors Hagon Shocks, PJR Racing, Alan Belham Speedway Service, J&S Sproule, lovethisvilla.com, Point Two air jackets, Talon and Pro MX.