Kim Fardella thought a Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Super Stock Championship was unlikely.
The down to earth West Aussie from Manjimup was only ever in it for the fun of it competing locally until making the decision to race at the 2015 Winternationals.
Little did he know that trip would kick start his journey to the 2015/2016 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Super Stock Championship.
“To win a Super Stock Championship is something that we never put too much thought into as we figured it would be out of reach for us,” said Fardella.
“After spectating around Australia over the years and racing occasionally at local events we decided it was time we had a go and towed to the Winternationals at the end of last season.
“After having a great time there we ended up in Darwin racing at Nitro up North running in Top Sportsman, then started the new season back in Super Stock/Super Comp at Alice Springs the following weekend.
“With a runner up and bonus points it didn’t take us long – Terry Watt, Jackie Watt and myself – to decide to give the Championship a go.”
Following the Desert Nationals runner up, Fardella reached the semi finals at the East Coast Nationals in Sydney and South Coast Raceway in Portland a week later, a first round exit at the Rowe Memorial in Melbourne, another semi final back in Portland and a first round exit in Whyalla.
“We knew racing would be hard with a lot of more experienced and better set up teams than us and didn’t expect too much of our first season racing in the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series,” he said.
“We took one meeting at a time enjoying it like it was the last time we would get to do it. Thankfully we managed to keep racing and after a couple of trips towing to and from home in Manjimup WA we had offers from several other racers, and accepted them, from Geddes Racing (Ballarat) and Huntsman Racing (Adelaide) to base our gear on the east coast for the remainder of the season which saved us a lot of time driving.”
The good nature of fellow competitors and teams gave Fardella a boost ensuring he would enter the ANDRA Championship Grand Final level on the 300 points cap with defending champion Steve Norman and Jim Ioannidis.
Fardella came through his first round match up with Con Soldatos while Ioannidis eliminated Norman. Ioannidis himself exited in the semi final stage leaving Fardella to claim the Championship with a win over Louis Svingos setting up a final against fellow West Aussie Jamie Chaisty.
The title already in the bag, Fardella completed the double when Chaisty red lighted to finally secure a deserved National event win and return home with not one but two ANDRA Gold Christmas Trees.
“We have been lucky enough to compete at a lot of the ANDRA Summit rounds this season getting to max points along with Steve Norman and Jim Ioannidis.
“And with everything coming together for us at the Grand Finals in Adelaide it topped off what was already a year we will never forget with a lot of good racing at new places for us and meeting a lot of good people.
“I would not have been able to do this without the help of Terry and Jackie Watt with Terry being involved with this car from the beginning helping me get it on track several years ago.
“He does a majority of the car set up and tuning on race day as well as many hours in the shed between meetings doing what needs to be done and the endless hours trying to find ways to go faster.
“Jackie as well as organising between meets also works on the car on race day and is at every meet doing a lot of jobs to keep us going along with Nicole Chaisty and Reg Cocking who help when available.
“Thanks to Nicole for backing me up on track and Willow from Valley Engines, Sharon from the Royal Hotel Portland, Victoria and Maxine from Huntsman Racing for stepping in when needed and taking risks with my sometimes erratic driving.
“Thanks to those who supported us and helped make this possible. Jackie Watt Consultancy, Mandurah Caravan and Tourist Park (WA), Longtime local supporters Manjimup Freight Distributors, Safe Site Traffic Solutions and Huntsman Racing.
“Mat Vandersluys from Valley Engines & Components-ET Racing Clutches in Victoria builds the engine as well as supply clutch and drivetrain parts and a lot of other pieces we use and is always there to help.
“The performance and reliability of Mat’s work is much of the reason we were able achieve the Super Stock Championship this year as well as quality from Mat’s suppliers Arthur at Custom Engines, Tom and Sharon at Performance Industries, Steve Taylor at PRC plus others.
“It has been a long journey since I first started racing at Ravenswood Raceway in Super Street then sharing a car with Darren Miller so we could both afford to race. A lot of people have helped over the years with all sorts as well as advice and all that has led to where we are in racing now so thank you to you all.”