DESPITE the challenges of 2020, a Great Western rider has taken on the world's best in the the final rounds of the World Enduro GP Championship in Portugal.
A member of Australia's world champion 2018 World Trophy Team, Andrew Wilksch, has recently returned to Australia, after fighting his way back into the sport after the COVID-19 outbreak struck, which slowly delayed and eventually cancelled all racing that was planned for the year.
In 2018, the 24 year-old claimed the South Australian Off-Road Championship outright title and early last year he was offered his dream ride with one of the top teams, the Husqvarna Enduro squad, where he was to be paired with reigning world champion Daniel Sanders.
But with most racing events cancelled for the 2020 season, Husqvarna left the sport, leaving Mr Wilksch's career hanging by a thread.
"I have raced at the World Enduro Championship once before in Germany in 2017, and I have always wanted to go back," he said.
"I had to look into all possible options to keep progressing myself as rider and my career as whole."
Finally, after months of trying, Mr Wilksch landed a ride with an Italian-based motorcycle team, Jolly Enduro Team, to race the final rounds of the 2020 championship as the season restarted.
Mr Wilksch competed in the final rounds of the championship at Marco De Canaveses, where he finished 21st and 20th respectively.
"I am happy to have had the experience, but I know there is much more improvement to come," he said.
Despite the difficulties of his preparation, Mr Wilksch impressed the Jolly Enduro Team and has been offered a ride with them in 2021.
"I am very excited about this opportunity and I am working hard to gain support to help me follow my dream," he said.
Mr Wilksch is one of two Australians to earn a place in the 2021 championship.
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