Mildenhall Fen Tigers rider Jason Edwards aiming for glory in British Under-19 Championship
Mildenhall Fen Tigers star Jason Edwards believes having the support of fans of the club can help him secure the biggest individual victory of his career during Sunday’s British Under-19 Championship (3pm).
The 19-year-old will be one of two current Fen Tigers riders to take part in the coveted event at Mildenhall Stadium alongside Sam Hagon, with fellow team-mate Elliot Kelly named as one of the two reserve riders.
Despite only making one home appearance this year when scoring a paid 13 (12+1) total during the Fen Tigers’ 50-39 victory over the Armadale Devils, the teenage rider is confident that with the backing of the home fans he can claim his first major solo title.
Edwards said: “At the end of the day it’s a British final and it has the best Under-19 riders in it you can get.
“Mildenhall is always great to race around and it is a pretty fair track so you don’t really have a home advantage on that front. It is not really a tight track as although it is a small one it does race fast and allows you to build up plenty of speed.
“I hope the crowd will be behind me as a home rider. I’ve only done one meeting at Mildenhall this year but the crowd was absolutely brilliant on that occasion.
“Hopefully, for me this will just feel like another home meeting.”
Although failing to feature among the front runners in last year’s competition, Edwards knows he is capable of being in the hunt for top honours having filled the runner-up spot in the 2019 renewal of the meeting at Redcar.
“Last year I didn’t have the best of meetings but when I raced in it in 2019 I was second and I only dropped one point,” added Edwards.
“At the end of the day it’s about making five good starts.
“Everyone going there will think they have a good chance of winning.
“The format of the meeting means you only race each other once so you only get one shot at beating each other.
“It is not like the Under-21s where there is a semi and a final.
“This is just straight heats so it is all about being consistent as if you start dropping points you will soon slip down the field. With that in mind I’ve just got to focus on myself and not others.”
Among those set to line up is Fen Tigers star Drew Kemp, who is chasing a third straight Under-19 title, although Edwards believes it is hard to single out one rider in particular given the calibre of the field.
“When you look at the line up we have all raced each other and we have all beaten each other,” added Edwards.
“Drew has won it for the past two years and he is a former Mildenhall rider but he hasn’t been there for a while now and since he was last there I suspect things have changed quite a bit.
“I know it’s not the Under-21s but it is just as strong when you look at some of the names that have won it before and what they have gone on to do.”
Although Edwards is still in the early stages of his speedway career he admits it would be a milestone moment if he could become the first Fen Tigers rider since Stefan Nielsen secured back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013 to lift the title while riding for the West Row-based outfit.
“It is an individual meeting at the end of the day so it is solely on you if you do well or not. Hopefully it can be a stepping stone to take me further in the sport.“ said Edwards.
“If you do well in these meetings you can look back at them with real pleasure.
“Winning something like this would be unbelievable and it would 100 per cent be my biggest achievement so far.”