He broke through for his first-ever ANDRA Christmas Tree at Mildura earlier this season, and since then Melbourne-based Supercharged Outlaws racer Tim Stewart hasn’t looked back.
In the last three events he has raced – starting with Mildura – Stewart has been to the finals every time, securing the event win two out of those three times. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that Stewart’s ‘THE STANG’ ‘66 Fast back Funny Car is new for him and his crew this season.
Now, the 56-year-old Director of Fire Fighting Systems is looking ahead to try and make it four from four finals at this weekend’s South Coast 660 at South Coast Raceway (January 20/21) – round seven of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series.
“At round three in Mildura we broke through for our first ANDRA Christmas Tree, we faced off against the top qualifier Paul Stephens in the first round and a win there gave us a by to the second round. We then raced Rodger Weste in the semi and our good friend Jason Keily in the final – they were all tightly-contested wins and we were right on our dial-ins,” explained Stewart.
“In Adelaide it was a bit of a strange one where we had some luck go our way, with Adam Murrihy breaking out more than we did in the semi-final and then when we faced Keily again in the final, he red-lit.
“With going to Darwin and Alice Springs and also having a test in Mildura, even though those weren’t so successful it all amounts to lots of time in the seat, and the data and the changes made as a result have helped us to know the car quite quickly. Early on we were still learning the car and perhaps there was a bit of brain fade in there as well,” Stewart laughed, “but it is all coming together now.”
Thanks to his efforts at rounds three, four and six of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series (he missed round five due to work commitments), Stewart has reached the maximum points threshold in the championship (300 points) and so has some wiggle room at Portland this weekend.
“We have four to five competitors currently on the points ladder who have a chance of taking out the championship come the Grand Final in Adelaide which is exciting. It could turn out to be anyone depending on who is on their game on the day, I can’t wait to see what happens,” said Stewart, who thanks his wife Sue as well as Patty DeGilio, Brent Stewart, David Thornton and Alan Wood for their support this season.
“Even with it being so tight, since we have reached the capped points, we can afford to make a few changes at Portland to see how the car reacts.
“We are planning to hopefully make some changes with the engine’s performance, as it is still a soft tune and we want to see if we can qualify a bit higher up the order. We will also concentrate on different staging ideas to improve reaction times.
“We are looking forward to Portland – the track is always prepped well and the facility is a credit to the members and the volunteers. They go that extra mile to make you feel welcome.”
Round seven of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series will be held at Portland’s South Coast Raceway on January 20 and 21.