FIM Speedway Grand Prix first reserve Jack Holder kicked off 2022 in fine style after lifting the New South Wales State Championship on Sunday.

The Torun favourite topped the podium at Kurri Kurri, defeating Sam Masters, Josh Pickering and Ben Cook in the A Final.

Holder raced to 12 points in the heats – a tally bettered by former Aussie champion Masters on 14 and Pickering on 13.

All three riders earned automatic qualification for the A Final, with Ben Cook defeating Maurice Brown, Matthew Gilmore and Zach Cook in the B Final to complete the A Final line-up.

Holder then got the verdict in his biggest meeting of an Aussie summer, which has seen the Australian Championship and FIM Oceania Championship cancelled due to Covid-19 travel restrictions Down Under.

He could be in for a much busier European summer this year as he lines up for Torun in Poland and Sheffield in the SGB Premiership. He is also first in line for a SpeedwayGP call-up if any of the series regulars are forced out of a round due to injury, illness or other reasons.

Holder’s triumph in the NSW Championship follows back-to-back title wins for Justin Sedgmen in the Victorian and South Australian State Championships in December.

Sedgmen topped the SA podium in Gillman on December 28, beating Fraser Bowes, Brayden McGuinness and Zane Keleher in the A Final.

This followed his Victorian title triumph on home track Mildura ahead of Jordan Stewart, James Pearson and Fraser Bowes on December 18.

A top-four finish in an Australian state championship ensures riders qualify for a UK visa, if they do not have one already, although an increasing number of Aussie riders are now seeking team places in the Polish leagues.

Photo: Taylor Lanning