CHRIS Holder is interested in racing in Britain next year and contact has been made between the Aussie and Pirates, the Daily Echo can exclusively reveal.

A winner of five top-flight titles in the skull and crossbones, club asset Holder is understood to have made clear his position to Poole chief Matt Ford prior to departing for the Australian Grand Prix last month.

Were the Sydneysider to sign for next season, it would prove an enormously popular move with supporters, who were wowed by his Wimborne Road displays between 2008 and 2016.

Pirates lacked an out-and-out number one in the campaign just gone and Holder would appear to fit the bill on a circuit he knows as well as anyone.

Ford turned down the chance to put Holder in the 2017 septet due to his weighty 12.53 average, brought about by a controversial conversion factor ruling.

But the fans’ favourite is a much more feasible option this time round as following an ill-fated campaign at King’s Lynn, his rating has plummeted to a bargain 7.16.

Last winter, Holder stated publicly his disappointment at missing out on a team place at Poole, citing a lack of loyalty, but it is believed matters have been smoothed over.

Furthermore, it is thought Ford helped Holder write an appeal to the Auto-Cycle Union which resulted in his nine-month ban being reduced, enabling him to start the British season in March, rather than returning in mid-April.

The former world champion’s fine was also cut from £3,000.

Holder endured a tumultuous season at King’s Lynn which unravelled when the Stars raced against Pirates in July – a meeting in which track conditions came under the spotlight.

The five-time Aussie champion raced in just two heats at the Adrian Flux Arena and twice missed the two-minute time allowance.

Alongside Troy Batchelor, Holder was sacked by the Norfolk club in the wake of the controversy.

The Ringwood resident finished 10th in this year’s world championship but received a wild card to retain his place in next year’s series.

And Pirates team boss Neil Middleditch has already stated he would like to see Holder in the Poole septet, alongside highly-rated youngsters Brady Kurtz and Jack Holder.

Ford has opened talks with Kurtz over a return and has stated a desire to bring back Puddletown charger James Shanes, while Polish flier Kacper Woryna is also a likely inclusion.

Meanwhile, the first Riders' Equipment Fund event of the off-season is due to take place tonight in the Champs Bar at Wimborne Road.

A general knowledge quiz will be presided over by Pirates presenter Nigel Leahy and will begin at 7.30pm, with doors open from 7pm.

Players can form teams of up to six although single entries can be combined on the night to make scratch teams.

Entry is available on the door at £4 for members and £5 for non-members. All are welcome.

Funds raised will go towards members of Pirates' 2018 team. For further information, contact Stan Vatcher or Val Vatcher on 01202 691143.