SPEEDWAY star Sam McGurk is just 12 years old, but the Bradford rider is already making tracks on the world stage after his stunning silver medal in France at the FIM World Youth Gold Trophy.

Sam, who comes from Wyke, is the current Youth British Speedway champion, and that success allowed him the chance to compete against the finest riders around the globe in Morizes earlier this month.

Second-placed finishes in heats seven and 10 helped Sam safely into the semi-finals before another runner-up spot saw him advance to the showpiece event.

Another fine ride in the final ensured him second place behind supremely talented Czech youngster Jaroslav Vaniček.

Sam mother and father, Emma and Mark, are delighted at their son's progress, and speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, they enthused: "It's Sam's biggest achievement to date.

"He recently did a European event in the Czech Republic and came fourth there. He's at the top of his game but unfortunately some riders can't take opportunities like these as it's all self-funded.

"It's a bit different abroad to racing in the UK as there's five on the start line instead of four but wherever he races, the riders are of very equal ability and it's a tough competition."

Despite the appetite for speedway in the UK, the McGurks lamented the lack of finance and opportunities currently available.

They said: "There's an influx of riders who want to test themselves but speedway is struggling in certain areas. A couple of clubs in the Midlands have been forced to close and there aren't any in West Yorkshire.

"Bradford has a committee of fans who want to run speedway here again and they have combined with the Halifax fanbase to launch the Yorkshire Dukes.

"It's just a team name at the moment though and they still need somewhere to race."

Sam is not the only young speedway talent in the McGurk family. His older brother Harry also raced in Morizes and reached the semi-final stage.

Speaking about their son's futures, Emma and Mark said: "Harry is already able to compete on 500cc bikes as he is 14.

"Sam is currently on a 125cc bike but he is looking to move up to 250 next year. He hopes to compete more abroad, where he should progress when facing tougher opposition."