Last year Colin Smith of MR Automotive Racing made a surprise visit to the championship podium, with consistency seeing him snatch second in the title to share the podium with victor Tony Ricciardello and third-place getter Darren Hossack.
This year, Smith is fourth in the title standings ahead some pretty big names, and while it is unlikely he will be able to snatch a place on the stage at this year’s championship dinner, he and his team should be proud of their efforts all the same.
“Generally the year has been pretty good – we were a bit off the pace at Sandown (the first round) as we had made a few changes to the fuel system on the car and hadn’t been able to test it. Because of that it wasn’t 100% and so we finished a few spots further back than we probably should have, but apart from that it has all been pretty normal for us,” said Smith.
“Well, aside from Queensland Raceway, where we had our first DNF in nearly two years – it was just an alternator issue, but it was still a shame for us. Apart from that though, it has all gone to plan overall.
“While it is unlikely we will be able to climb onto the podium this year, we are happy to be where we are – we are in front of a lot of people that should be well in front of us, and probably would be if they had run all the rounds.
“Consistency is a big part of it – we have had only one race this year where we have failed to finish – it is the same as last year, you have to finish every race, and then depending on what everyone else does, you can end up at the top.”
As far as the title goes, Smith has his money on eight-time champion and Guinness World Record holder Tony Ricciardello – who was today voted the Shannons Nationals’ Driver of the Decade – for the title.
“I think Tony will wrap it up – even if he finishes second for every race he should have it, the main thing will be finishing every race for all of them,” said Smith, who thanks his crew - especially father Warren – for their support, MR Automotive, Valvoline, Malcolm and the team at series sponsor Kerrick, and Rob and Liam Curkpatrick and the Shannons Nationals team for all they have done over the years.
With 2015 rapidly drawing to a close, Smith is preparing for next year, but without any firm plans in place so far.
“I haven’t thought as far ahead as next year as yet as we are concentrating on this weekend, but saying that we do have a new gearbox on the way ready for next year – there is nothing wrong with this one, it is just getting a bit old,” said Smith.
“We would certainly like to do the national series again next year, and once the dates are locked in we hope to be able to go to every round.”
One difference from last year, is that Smith has had a very special race fan following him to most tracks across 2015, following the birth of his son Carter earlier this year.
“Carter is actually in New Zealand this weekend with his mum Rebel – I am still in holiday mode, I came back on Sunday but they stayed on for another week, so they might be watching the live stream on Sunday to cheer me on!” said Smith.
The Kerrick Sports Sedan Series were on-track today (Friday 13 November) for two unofficial practice sessions at Sydney Motorsport Park, with Jack Perkins topping both sessions ahead of Tony Ricciardello. Saturday will host two sessions of qualifying ahead of the first of three races for the weekend, before two further races on Sunday. For full event information, please go to http://www.sportssedans.com.au/index.php?page=sydney-motorsport
|1. April 1-3 Sandown Motor Raceway|
|2. June 10-12 Winton Motor Raceway|
|3. July 29-31 Queensland Raceway|
|4. Sep. 9-11 Phillip Island GP Circuit|
|5. Nov. 11-13 Sydney Motorsport Park|