Croatian speedway star Jurica Pavlic will put his local knowledge to the ultimate test after being handed the wild card for the FIM Fogo Croatian Speedway Grand Prix at Gorican on July 28.
Pavlic’s family have turned the Speedway Stadium Milenium from a field into a world-class Grand Prix venue, and having his own track to practice on has been a real blessing for the 23-year-old.
He has been in stellar form for Leszno in the Polish Ekstraliga this season, emerging as a big scorer in the absence of injured world No.3 Jaroslaw Hampel.
Pavlic, who dons the No.16 race jacket in Gorican, has also racked up a procession of promising scores for Vastervik in the Swedish Elitserien, where he rides with SGP regulars Chris Harris and Peter Ljung.
The 2009 FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship silver medallist knows the Gorican track better than any other rider.
He scored five points there when he served as the wild card in the 2010 Croatian round, but will hope the experience he has gained since then carries him into the semi-finals and beyond.
Pavlic is joined in the meeting by track reserves Dino Kovacic and Samo Kukovica.
Kovacic, who lines up at No.17, qualified for last year’s FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship Final and served as an FIM Croatian SGP track reserve last season.
Slovenian racer Kukovica, 23, who wears No.18, is based near former FIM Slovenian SGP track Krsko. This is his debut appearance in an SGP event.
The two reserves will only take to the track if one of the main 16 riders are forced out of the meeting through injury, illness or other reasons, or are excluded for a starting offence.
The referee for the Gorican showpiece is Britain’s Jim Lawrence.