Sheffield Tigers: Todd Kurtz happy to return to answer SOS
Ex-Tiger Todd Kurtz clocked up some impromptu air miles to answer Sheffield’s SOS on Sunday – and then produced some last-ditch heroics on the track.
The Australian, popular during his two-year stint at Owlerton, hastily arranged a flight back from a practice in Poland when he got the call to replace the injured Kyle Howarth against Scunthorpe.
And Kurtz was the 11th-hour hero all over again, preventing the Sheffield Window Centre Tigers from going nine down in heat 11 with a bullish blast through the tightest of turn-two gaps to take second behind Danny Ayres.
That meant the hosts were seven down with three to race when Kurtz cruised around in support of Danny King for a maximum in the 13th and his third place in the finale backed up another King victory to scrape a 45-44 success.
“I always enjoy coming to Sheffield and even though I was quite a distance away I was keen to do it,” said Kurtz.
“There was an opportunity to practice in Poland over the weekend. With Somerset not having too many fixtures at the minute it was good to get some track time. Then I got the call.
“I managed to get a flight back and get up here to help out the boys. I still have a soft spot for the club and want to see them do well so it was good to get the result in the end.
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“I had been due to come back on Monday but got the call, booked the flight and made it happen.”
Now with Somerset, it gave Kurtz a heads up as to what the track will be like ahead of coming back with his new club at the end of the month.
“It has changed quite a bit, it has a lot of material now and more grip,” he added.
“That was different to what I had been used to here and it took me a couple of races to adjust. It will probably be a help when I come back here with Somerset.
“My loyalties lie with Somerset this year and my focus is on making sure we do well, it is a disadvantage for Sheffield with me getting a bit of inside information on the track and how it is now but that’s speedway.”
Tigers head to Birmingham in the Championship tomorrow (Wednesday, 7.30).