Tom Brennan's back-up team have vowed to give him the best chance possible when he moves on to the European stage.

But racing mentor Martin Dugard admits it will be a big step up for the Eastbourne heat-leader.

Brennan, 16, will race in the semi-final of the European under-19 Championship at Pardubice in the Czech Republic on July 5.

Dugard and the Forman IT Eagles are getting all the help they can for him and fans chipped into a whipround at last Saturday’s home meeting against Coventry.

It is the sort of chance which could open doors in Europe for the Hassocks-based rider.

And it is a chance which Dugard – a former British champion not really known for his exploits abroad – would love to see him seize with both hands.

Dugard told The Argus: “We had a good look at it to put Tom in the best position we could. It’s expensive to go over but, if we are going to go all that way, we need to be organised.

“It’s a big step for Tom to do the European under-19s, “I wasn’t able to fulfil that when I rode because it wasn’t the sort of thing I did but I now wish I had.

“I know from experience what needs to do done at these tracks and I don’t want Tom going out there blind.

“I wish I had been able to do more continental stuff because at the time it was all moving abroad.

“If you want to get anywhere these days, you have to be good in Poland and on the continent.

“It was going that way when I rode. English speedway has taken a step back.

“It used to be, if you wanted to achieve anything, you came to England. We hope to set Tom in the right direction.”

Pardubice is the home track of Lukas Dryml, the former Eagles star.

But the now retired Czech international has not been able to offer too much help.

Dugard said: “I got on to Lukas two weeks ago when I knew we were short-listed.

“I wanted to see whether he could help with equipment because he always has good, fast equipment for the bigger tracks.

“He wasn’t able to help us but Eddie Kennett has leant us a big-track engine.

“I’ve ridden there myself and I know a bit about the place.

“I know what it’s like when it’s sunny and what it’s like when it rains.

“It’s an afternoon meeting so it’s going to be hot and humid. The temperature is normally 28-30degC.

“It’s a 12-hour drive in the van from Calais to Pardubice so we are looking to get Tom a flight from Gatwick so he doesn’t have to do that before the meeting.”

Brennan is in only his second full season in National League racing and has been in great form so far this year.

Although he is at a very early stage of his professional career, European clubs will be aware of any riders who shine at the meeting. He said: “I’m over the moon to be involved. It will be a good experience for sure.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped us out. Every little helps.

“It is such a big occasion and we wouldn’t be able to do it without any help.

“I have only done one foreign meeting before that was on a 250cc.

“It’s a different ball game. You are up against the best in the world but we are all up for it.

“I’ve just to get used to a different style and how they ride.”

Brennan’s trip to the Czech Republic is reward for his outstanding performance at the GB under-19 final, where he dropped just one point en route to the silver medal.

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