Appin's Chris Holder has joined Australia's motorcycling greats as the youngest speedway world champion in the Grand Prix era.
Based in England as captain of the Poole Pirates, Holder clinched the world title in virtually the final race of the Grand Prix season in Poland last weekend.
With the title on the line, the 25-year-old and closest rival Nicki Pedersen collided at the first turn in their final-round semi-final.
The collision set off a wild exchange between rival crews in the pits, but on the restart Holder sped away for a convincing win to clinch the world crown.
Speedway has a huge global following, particularly in Europe, with Holder's victory televised on Fox Sports' Speed channel.
"I really can't take it all in right now," Holder said of his victory.
"All I hope is that all the guys back in Australia feel it was all worth getting up so early out there to watch it."
Poole boss Matt Ford paid tribute to his Aussie star's "incredible" achievement.
"Here is a rider who is the youngest ever world champion in the sport's Grand Prix era and it took him just three seasons of GP racing to rise to the very top," Ford said.
"Ever since I was first made aware of his huge talent I knew he had the making of a world champion and there can be no-one around who would honestly deny him this title.
"I believe he will be a great world champion and it is a great honour that he is part of our club - a very special part - and it is now down to all of us to show him just how much we appreciate him."
Holder was in contention last year for the world title before bad luck left him to finish eighth.
But his perseverance paid off with a dream season as he joins the likes of Wayne Gardner and Troy Corser as a Wollongong world champion on two wheels.
Holder is Australia's fifth world speedway champion and was immediately congratulated by another former Aussie champion Jason Crump, who was racing in his final season at the elite level.