Jason Bunyan has been confirmed as the wildcard recipient for next month's speedway GP at Western Spring in Auckland.
The launch for this year's race was held at the venue today, with promoter Bill Buckley looking to build on last year's successful event which attracted 20,000 spectators.
Once again, it will be the first fixture on the 12-race world championship calendar and will feature 16 of the world's greatest speedway riders.
Bunyan was born in Mlton Keynes in England, but has raced in New Zealand for a decade and competes under a Kiwi flag.
Last month he became the New Zealand champion for the eighth time, scoring a maximum of 15 points before winning the final.
Bunyan was given the wildcard last year too and finished last in all but one of his five races, but is hoping for better results this time.
It wasn't a surprise for him to know that he'd get the wildcard again, but said it felt good to get it confirmed.
"I worked hard for it," Bunyan said.
"I knew I had to win the New Zealand [Championships] again this year. My domestic season was okay towards the end.
"New Zealand is like home to me and I wanted to do everything I can to be the wildcard here and who wouldn't want to be a part of this slick operation at Western Springs"
"Last year it was probably one of the best events on the SGP calendar."
Current world champions, Chris Holder from Australia, had a terrible time in Auckland last season, getting just four points and like Bunyan, he is looking for a better time at Western Springs in 2013.
"Four points wasn't a very good result for me and afterwards in the pits I was in tears, but I went back home and regrouped," he said.
"I am looking to coming back here in a month's time and doing much better and it would be awesome be on top and get the season started well."
- © Fairfax NZ News