Carlin revs up to push back to the front
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.
UP FRONT: Lara sprintcar driver Mark Carlin.