Taste of speedway led to two states’ titles
TIM Atkin, who rules Queensland and Victoria with production sedan championship wins, tells how he got started in his sport of choice.
Q. Tim, what got you into the sport of speedway?
A. I started speedway at the age of 18 when my mate asked me to be a passenger in his car.
Instantly I was hooked on the sport and loved the feeling of whipping around the track.
Q. When did you start racing?
A. I started racing after around four years of being a passenger when I built my own car.
It was a VS Commodore and pretty rough but I enjoyed it.
Luckily I had made heaps of mates during my years at speedway so they really helped me out and gave me pointers on racing and cars.
Q. What type of sedans did you race?
A. I started in street sedans which is what a majority of beginners start in. I have moved to production sedans this year.
Q. Why make the change from street to production?
A. Production sedans are much more competitive and tend to have tougher drivers.
Q. What would you say your greatest achievement in speedway is?
A. My greatest achievement would definitely be winning three Queensland street sedan titles. It was surreal to do something nobody has done before
Q. How did you go at the recent Victorian production sedan titles?
A. I went better than expected and actually won it. After driving for 20 hours to the Alexandra track, it was my first time racing outside of Queensland. We had three heat races in which I placed second, first and second, putting me into pole position heading into the 30-lap final.
The track was pretty rough and there were several crashes. Eventually I had a 100m lead on the field with experienced racer Stephen Laidlaw who is the current South Australian champion.
Unfortunately for Laidlaw he crashed on the sixth lap and I stormed home to win the race.
Q. As you're in your first season in production sedans and already winning two state titles how does it feel?
A. I'm struggling to get my head around it. With the Queensland title win last month and the Victorian title this month, it's been pretty quick and I haven't really let it all sink in yet.
Q. What did you think of the Alexandra track at the weekend?
A. It was great! The track was much longer than usual and was the fastest I have ever raced on. Usually a track is roughly 400 metres but Alexandra's course is 560m which is awesome. There were several holes by the end of the night causing problems but luckily I came out fine.
Q. Is it possible to train for races?
A. Not really, no track holds practice days, which means the only way to get better is to gain experience from racing.
Q. With the racing season coming to an end, you probably only have a couple races left?
A. yeah my next race is in Gympie on May 4 when Gympie Speedway hosts their final meet of the season.
Q. Is there anybody you would like to thank?
A. Firstly my sponsors for always helping me out and also to everybody that has supported me during the season. Without them I definitely wouldn't have gone so well this year.
Name: Tim Atkin
Favourite food: Seafood
Favourite music: Whatever is on the radio
Sport you would play if not competing in speedway: Fishing