Chad Wirtzfeld, the Isle of Wight ‘Wightlink’ Warriors third signing for the 2019 speedway season, will become the youngest rider to represent the Island side when racing gets under way next April.
At 15 years old, the Blandford based youngster has been riding motorcycles for nearly ten years and has been on the radar of the Warriors management since racing returned to the Andrew Younie stadium in 2016. He was one of the first team mascots taking regular demonstration rides whilst gaining competitive experience on the grass tracks and longtracks both in the UK and in Europe. He has also been a near ever present at the ‘My First Skid’ training schools based at the Smallbrook Stadium and has now reached a level where Warriors team manager Jackie Vatcher feels the step up to National League action is appropriate.
Now fully recovered from a serious arm injury sustained last summer, Chad explained, “Last year I had a high speed crash in Germany and was out of action when I passed my 15th birthday. That is the age when riders can be included in teams and I had hoped to have got some rides with the Warriors or Wizards but the injury stopped that, but I’m now fully fit and have been able to prove that. I’ve got to say the Warriors management have been brilliant and being offered a chance to go straight into the main team at reserve is a dream come true. I know I have a lot to learn and will be doing my best to help the team as well as building on my two point starting average”.
Jackie Vatcher was confident that Chad has a bright future in the sport and said, “Chad was always in our thoughts for a 2019 team place and the new regulations allow us to introduce him on a really low average. He has the ability to do much better than two points per match and he will be able to call on a surprising amount of racing experience for a fifteen year old. He has a great support team around him and we will all be working together to settle him in and grow him into a valuable member of the Warriors side”.
We spoke to Chad before tonight's training session at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium.