By Daniel Powell
After what can only be described as a frustrating season, Tim Rankin managed to finish it in the best possible way by taking out the Victorian Sprintcar Championship over the weekend at Hamilton’s Western Speedway.
In the lead up to the Victorian Championship the goal for Rankin and his team was to sort out the ongoing issues that had plagued the VIC # 47 Hawkes Transport / Ken Buck Excavations supported COOL for much of the season, but after taking out a solid opening heat race victory of the night, their plans changed.
“We tried a different setup at the car heading into the opening heat race and it responded well to them [the changes], so that gave me the confidence to give it my all from then onwards,” explained Rankin, who had taken out a solid victory in his opening heat race of the night. “For the rest of the night the car was very strong, the strongest it had been all season, and we knew that we could be in with a shot to challenge for victory if qualified well and stayed out of trouble.”
After a third place finish in the second heat race, Rankin went into the pole shootout equal on the top of the points with Ryan Farrell. In the pole shootout he’d recorded a strong lap to sit second and he therefore started the feature race from the front row. With pole sitter, Domain Ramsey, opting to start from the outside, that left Rankin to start on pole position.
In the Victorian Championship deciding feature race, Rankin was outjumped by Ramsey on the outside and maintained second up until the ninth lap when Ramsey slipped off the cushion and crashed into the wall. The demise of Ramsey elevated Rankin into the lead and from the resumption he was never headed despite dense lapped traffic and a late challenge from runner up Darren Mollenoyux.
“It was very tough in the feature race, as it was very fast and passing was difficult, but I managed to keep a cool head and take the win,” Rankin expressed after recording his second career Sprintcar feature race victory at the Western Speedway track. “To win the Victorian Championship was the perfect way to end what has been a difficult season hampered by crashes and engine problems.”
Rankin became the first member of his family to capture the Victorian Sprintcar Championship after his father, Mal, and uncle, Rob, had never previously achieved a win during their careers.
Heading into the 2011/12 season, the plans for Rankin and his team are to source more sponsorship in order to contest the entire SRA Series, along with selected interstate events in both South Australia and New South Wales.
For the 2010/11 season, Tim Rankin would like to thank the following sponsors for all their wonderful support: Hawkes Transport, Ken Buck Excavations, M&V Earthmoving, Jess Rankin Myotherapy, West Vic Sheds & Garages, COOL Chassis, Aussie Trackwear Racegear, Streets Ice Cream, Four ‘N Twenty Pies, and Quick Race Parts.