Top drivers put new cars to test
CENTRAL Queensland might call for more rain, but tonight is the one time it is certainly not required.
At the Rockhampton Showgrounds about 40 of the fastest cars and most daring drivers will be out on the track to contest the opening round of the Carline Mufflers National Super Sedan series.
It should be a beauty.
Yesterday it was back to work in the family business for big Michael Doblo, but while he was kept busy his mind was certainly focused on tonight’s massive meeting.
These days Doblo is racing a new car, a Rocket, and it will not be just spectators at the track learning more about the vehicle.
“I’ve only done two meetings in it,” he said.
“It has certainly got potential.”
Although Doblo was the top qualifier when racing at Toowoomba, he admits these are early days in the relationship between man and machine.
“I should have it right about half-way through the series, it has a different suspension set-up,” Doblo said.
“When we do get it right it will be quicker than the old one.”
So can the Rockhampton crowd look forward to a more subdued display from Doblo tonight?
“I’ll still be bringing the wall down to get around them,” he promised.
As a veteran of the national speedway scene, Doblo does not see the competition getting any easier.
“This will be one of the hardest series to try and win,” he said.
Not that the challenge is seen to be coming from new speedsters bursting onto the Super Sedan scene.
“Darren Kane is the one to beat,” he said.
“He sets the benchmark.”
While Kane, winner in the corresponding race at Rockhampton last year, will be one to watch he is far from the only one.
Doblo predicts Victorian Michael Nicola is another who will be there near the front of the pack.
“He is also in a new car and he is quick,” Doblo said.
An in-form racer is Tasmanian Kevin Purton who Doblo said had been in the first two during his last two outings.
It is not just drivers outside Central Queensland who will be looking for a podium finish.
Doblo’s Ocean Tyres team mate, Chris Bussey of Gladstone, will be going flat out to impress.
Then there will be some of the local stars searching for a piece of the action.
Yeppoon brothers Leigh and Matthew Williams like to mix it with the best around.
Matthew is another racer coming to grips with a new vehicle. And what better way of saying you have mastered a machine than performing well on your home track? Doblo, however, sees the local challenge coming from Craig Torr, another trying to impress in a new car and racing at more venues this year.
As always, Torr refuses to get flustered even though he admits this will be a big meeting for him, but he too picks Kane, Nicola and Doblo as being hard to beat.
He’s also happy with the way things are going for himself and his new car.
“It’s not going too bad, a couple of good ones (meetings) and a couple of bad ones,” he said.
“We have found a few things wrong with the car.”
If those things are corrected, then Torr could well be near the front and putting in a big challenge to the big names tonight.