Countdown for Columb

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Sponsorship drought jeopardises Motocross star’s GP bid.

Queenstown speed ace Scott Columb faces a nail-biting race against the clock to make this year’s World Motocross GP series in Europe.

The 24-year-old needs to raise about $24,000 by next month – and that’s just to cover entry fees for the 15-race contest starting in April.

If he can’t come up with the money, Columb won’t be returning to his base in Belgium and will miss out on staging his fourth consecutive GP campaign.

“To have a year off in Europe means others get ahead and I can’t afford to waste a year,” says the former New Zealand Supercross champ.

“It’s fine competing in NZ, but to keep improving you have to ride with the best and European circuit experience is vital to me.

“But with the economic situation the way it is, sponsorship money is hard to come by and I’d really need to be over in Europe by February.”

He adds: “Things aren’t looking too bright at the moment. I’m a little bit lost on where I am and what I’m doing.

“I just keep hoping something good will come through.”

Columb admits he’s glad to see the back of 2008 during which he suffered a series of set-backs and disappointments.

Last January, things got off to a bad start when he lost his NZ Supercross crown in Auckland after getting his leg caught in another rider’s wheel – he suffered second-degree burns.

In Europe, he finished 29th in the world series which he says “wasn’t outstanding”.

There was further heartache for Columb when he narrowly missed out on sealing the NZ motocross MX1 championship title in December – despite having won five of the seven races.

“It was a very frustrating season for me and I didn’t have too much luck,” he says. “I’m glad to see a new year come around, even though it could be another tough one.”