Car­lin revs up to push back to the front

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - ALEX OATES SPRINTCARS

MARK Car­lin has ex­pe­ri­enced the highs and lows of rac­ing in re­cent years.

A three-time na­tional cham­pion in a mod­i­fied sedan, Car­lin has more or less made up the num­bers in his de­but sprint­car sea­son.

But he is ready to change all that.

“We’ve gone from be­ing at the pointy end to be­ing down the back,” Car­lin said.

“That’s been pretty hard. Every­one you speak to says it’s a five-year ap­pren­tice­ship to work out how it all hap­pens and we’re only in a our sec­ond year.

“The cars are just dif­fer­ent, ev­ery­thing about them. The way you drive them . . . the whole lot. It’s a chal­lenge, but it’s good.”

A 20-year sedans vet­eran, 37-year-old Car­lin crossed to sprintcars last sea­son and de­scribed it as a “learn­ing curve”. “It cer­tainly was,” he said. “It was just com­pletely dif­fer­ent with the wing and the power of them. It’s two com­pletely dif­fer­ent things. It’s al­most the op­po­site to what I’d al­ways done in the sedan.”

Car­lin has nom­i­nated for the new Eu­reka Garages & Sheds Sprint­car Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion sea­son, which opens at Avalon Race­way tonight.

He joins David Mur­cott, Jamie Veal, Peter Doukas, David Alder­s­ley, Grant An­der­son, Mike Van Bre­men, Grant Stans­field and new kid on the block Ja­cob Dick­son, who are signed up for the first race of the se­ries.

Car­lin bat­tled away in Cmain for much of last sea­son but he is hop­ing to take gi­ant strides this sum­mer.

“We’re just look­ing to learn as much as we can this sea­son now that we know what we’re up against,” he said.

“I’d like to get more to­wards the pointy end and be mak­ing A-mains con­sis­tently.

“I think we’re get­ting bet­ter each meet­ing, but we’re still a long way off. Last year we just burnt around to get a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence, re­ally. We just need more ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Aid­ing Car­lin’s cause is a new car with a new shock pack­age.

“Vir­tu­ally the only thing that’s the same is the en­gine,” Car­lin said.

“It felt pretty good on Satur­day night. We’re still not quite 100 per cent, but we’re work­ing on it.

“They didn’t have the timers run­ning, it was vir­tu­ally how you felt, but the car felt good and I was pretty happy with it.”

Mean­while, Eu­reka Garages & Sheds has signed on as nam­ing rights spon­sor of the SRA sprint­car se­ries for a 16thstraight sea­son.

Pic­ture: IN­AC­TION PHO­TOS

UP FRONT: Lara sprint­car driver Mark Car­lin.

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