The last time Modified racer Shane ‘Pooh’ Wynd (Ringwood) was in Mildura, he was rushed to hospital with a blocked bowel taking him out of contention for race day.
More than a year later he returns to Mildura Sunset Strip this weekend (December 4-5) for Round 5 of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series presented by Mildura Rural City Council.
The event features the largest field in the venue’s history with 19 of those competitors vying for glory in Plumbtec Modified meaning Wynd will have to be fit, healthy and on top of his game.
“Last year I qualified and then was in hospital for the Sunday which changed all the Championship points for me and I ended up getting none,” said Wynd.
“I would love to win another Championship but it’s hard and all these young guys and girls are getting better. Modified is a great bracket for sportsmanship, just like all Group Three and Four classes are.”
Wynd, the 2014 Australian Modified Champion, currently occupies 21st position in the Series points and has his work cut out to climb the ladder following early exits in Sydney and Portland.
In Sydney he was still working the bugs out of the Dial Before You Dig Dragster following an engine refresh, the first in five years, by Farrer Race and Performance. Then one week later in Portland he endured a tough loss to eventual winner Matt Forbes.
“I worked all the bugs out at Sydney but had a great qualifying run against my mate Browny. Lost first round but problems were sorted.
“In Portland we had a great package in the first round. I won that then faced Matt Forbes. I backed off but not enough as the air caught me off guard and then the track changed which meant I went quicker than I thought I would.
“It was always going to be a good race with Matt. After we have both raced in the States in the last year we both knew it would be a good race. My reaction time wasn’t good as I sat (on the start line) for a long time after Matt’s stage bulb flickered. Next time maybe.”
Wynd’s most recent trip to the USA was a three-week binge of drag racing he dubbed the ‘Straight Line Addiction Tour’ taking in eight different tracks and over 4000 miles.
“I raced in Bristol Tennessee at the Spring Fling, it was a buzz and I was interviewed on USA TV. I did 4500 miles in a smart car and did eight tracks in three weeks catching up with friends and making heaps of new ones.”
But for now his focus is on Mildura celebrating 12 months with major sponsor Dial Before You Dig NSW and righting the wrong of last year when his health scare robbed him of his chance to race.
“Thanks to Dial Before You Dig NSW. Dominic Puiu, General Manager for NSW has been so good to me over the years and I appreciate all that Dial do for me as I would not be racing with out them.
“We even have new Dial Before You Dig calendars with the rest of the Dial Before You Dig race teams so if you’re at the track in Mildura, come and say hi.”
The Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series presented by Mildura Rural City Council visits Mildura Sunset Strip this Friday and Saturday December 4-5.
Qualifying begins from 5:30pm on Friday December 4 and continues through Saturday December 5 from 11am. Eliminations commence from 5pm Saturday with special guest cover band KEG entertaining racegoers following the completion of racing on Saturday night.
For more information please visit www.sunsetstrip.org.au