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Van business scrambles to support motocross racer

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Tommy Searle Tommy Searle Grand Prix motocross racer Tommy Searle has been crowned 2019 British champion and thanks to support from Cricklade-based company Big Van World.

Company boss Michael Austen, who is a huge fan of motocross, stepped in to support Tommy who needed sponsorship to contest the last four rounds of the 2019 British Championship.

Globally, Tommy is ranked currently 20th in the world.

“I’ve always loved the motocross racing scene,” Michael said. “I first met Tommy about ten years ago through the Grand Prix racing circuit and have enjoyed watching his career flourish over the years.

"For the last four years we’ve given him a van for himself and his bikes, however this year when he parted amicably with a previous sponsor we stepped in to support his domestic championship. We are so thrilled he went on to lift the British trophy.”

Tommy, now 30, started riding at the age of five when he was bought his first motorbike as a Christmas present. He began his racing career in 2006 aged 17.

He said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to have the support of Big Van World and to have found in Michael Austen someone who shares my passion for bikes and racing.

“Motocross is a tough sport and during my 13-year racing career I’ve had many successes as well as some injuries and setbacks. 2019 has been a great year and I’m proud to be British champion.”

Michael of Big Van World also supports James Dunn, based in Wiltshire who competes in the EMX250 championships and Max Anstie, from Newbury, currently ranked 12thin the world in the MXGP 2019.

“I’ve always had a huge passion for the sport and I used to compete myself and I still follow the Grand Prix all over the world – I’ve also been sponsoring DRT Kawasaki team, run by Steve Dixon, for almost ten years,” he said.

Steve Dixon said: “We appreciate the support and passion of Michael and Big Van World over the years. Our sport needs that kind of sponsorship and we value seeing Michael turning up at events globally and we are humbled by his commitment to us.”

Big Van World, based at Chelworth Park, Cricklade is the UK’s largest used van supermarket. Established over 20 years ago by founder Michael Austen, the company employs more than 40 people and sells more than 2,000 vehicles every year.