Peterborough Panthers team chief Carl Johnson reckons guest star Brady Kurtz is destined for the top after he delivered a stunning performance in their top-of-the-table showdown at Sheffield last night (May 14).
The Australian teenager roared to a 15-point maximum as Panthers battled their way to a 45-45 draw at Owlerton to continue an unbeaten start to the league campaign.
Even though their four-match winning streak came to an end, they stretched their advantage at the summit after collecting two league points for an away draw.
And team boss Johnson was full of praise for his star turn. He said: “Brady was in a different class all night.
“He told us he loves riding at Sheffield when we booked him for the meeting and he showed it with a terrific performance.
“He is a rider who will definitely go places in the sport if he can continue his current rate of progress. He looks so comfortable on a bike and riding comes so easily to him.
“It was another example of a guest doing an excellent job for us and we’re happy to keep our unbeaten start going in the league.
“In all truth we can count ourselves unlucky not to have won the meeting, but we have only dropped two points from a possible 18.
“We are in a great position and we have to keep picking up the results.”
Kurtz wasn’t the only man to impress for Panthers as Simon Lambert piled up a valuable 12 points.
The reserve ace was the only other man to claim a heat victory on a night when Robert Lambert was badly missed.
Panthers could only collect five points from the ill youngster’s four rides – considerably less then he would have been expected to rack up on a track that was likely to suit him.
He has appeared in only one of their six league meetings to date due to two bouts of illness and commitments with his top-flight club, King’s Lynn.
Panthers were also hit by a series of unfortunate retirements as Ollie Greenwood broke a chain when third in heat nine and captain Ulrich Ostergaard encountered ignition trouble and had to pull out of the same position in the finale.
Ostergaard had also had mechanical issues late in heat 12, but managed to hold on to second place on that occasion to follow in Simon Lambert for a 5-1 that edged Panthers ahead.
But they were pegged back when Lewis Blackbird exited the penultimate race after being shoved to the back as Jason Garrity and Josh Bates claimed a 5-1 for the hosts.
And the teams remained deadlocked as Kurtz completed his sparkling performance with his final success in heat 15.
Panthers face a two-week break from league action until hosting Berwick on Friday, May 29.
They have a KO Cup clash earlier that week when entertaining Plymouth at the East of England Showground on Bank Holiday Monday, May 25.
SHEFFIELD: Jason Garrity 12+1, Craig Cook (guest) 11+2, Andre Compton 10, Josh Bates 5+1, Arthur Sissis 4, Ashley Birks 3, Rider replacement for Ty Proctor.
READYPOWER PANTHERS: Brady Kurtz (guest) 15, Simon Lambert 12, Ulrich Ostergaard 9+2, Lewis Blackbird 5+3, Michael Palm Toft 3+1, Oliver Greenwood 1+1, Rider replacement for Robert Lambert.