TQ racer all fired up
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