TQ racer all fired up

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By SHEL­LEY GRECO

Shane Phillips is tak­ing his driv­ing skills from the road to the track to com­pete in the Three Quar­ter (TQ) Midget East Coast Cham­pi­onships.

The TQ midget racer took up the mo­tor­sport six years ago and is hop­ing to fin­ish the sea­son on a good note.

‘‘I love the adren­a­line and the chal­lenge,’’ he says.

‘‘I get a bit ner­vous be­fore the rac­ing but once the first race is pretty much over you start to feel good.

‘‘In the TQs, there’s a good ca­ma­raderie be­tween drivers as well.’’

Phillips, af­fec­tion­ately known as Sha­neo, was first in­tro­duced to speed­way by his par­ents 21 years ago.

‘‘Mum and Dad used to take me and my sis­ter when I was 5 years old. That was the first time I re­mem­ber go­ing to West­ern Springs.’’

TQs are open-wheeled rac­ers with an over­all length of about three me­tres. They are pow­ered by mo­tor­cy­cle en­gines and can reach break­neck speeds of up to 130kmh.

Phillips, 26, won his first fea­ture race this year, as well as three podium fin­ishes.

‘‘An­other achieve­ment was in Christchurch, get­ting third in the fea­ture race in the Tri Na­tions out of 46 drivers. There were Amer­i­can and Aus­tralian drivers there too. ‘‘That was pretty good.’’ With his dis­tinc­tive or­ange and blue TQ, Phillips can be found rac­ing reg­u­larly at his home track of West­ern Springs.

Of the 31 drivers who share the track, he is cur­rently in fourth place.

He has trav­elled across the coun­try to par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous events and has been known to host a sausage siz­zle or two to as­sist in his fundrais­ing ef­forts.

Phillips is aim­ing to get into an A-grade midget, win more races and fin­ish in the top three at the West­ern Springs Cham­pi­onship next year.

The num­ber 18A driver says he wouldn’t be where he is now with­out the sup­port of some im­por­tant peo­ple.

‘‘Thanks to my spon­sors, in­clud­ing May­land Civil and Work­force De­vel­op­ments and to my crew, An­ton John­son and Stephen Phillips for all their hard work through­out the sea­son. And to my fam­ily and sup­port­ers.’’

For any­one think­ing about get­ting into this fast-paced mo­tor­sport, Phillips has some ad­vice.

‘‘I’d rec­om­mend any­one to get into it if you are keen on mo­tor­sport. It’s def­i­nitely a good start­ing point.’’

The TQ East Coast Cham­pi­onships are tak­ing place on March 29-30 from 6pm at Meea­nee Speed­way, Napier.

See atqma.net.nz for more in­for­ma­tion or face­book.com/ tq18a to con­tact Phillips.

Adren­a­line buzz: TQ racer Shane Phillips is pic­tured with sup­porter, James Mait­land, 8. Phillips is com­pet­ing in the Three Quar­ter (TQ) Midget East Coast Cham­pi­onships on March 29-30.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to see video of Shane


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