By Daniel Powell
After 12 months on the sidelines, Karl Skelton returned to wingless sprint competition last Saturday night at Sydney Speedway guest driving for the Hawkins Motorsport team.
The now Queensland based Skelton was offered a cameo drive with the Hawkins Motorsport team, which is normally campaigned by Warren Maybury who was unable to compete on the weekend due to prior commitments.
From the first time Skelton stepped into the NSW # 11 All Class Insurance Brokers supported XXX machine he was on the pace, and it was no more evident than when he drove to victory in his opening heat race, and in the process recorded the fastest lap of the entire night. He then backed up that result with a fourth in his second heat race, and he then went on to start from position eight in the feature race field.
Despite showing plenty of pace throughout the 20-lap feature race, Skelton managed to encounter a number of hurdles along the way. Charging his way up to fifth early on, Skelton hit a snag on the 10th lap when he spun out. At the same time Skelton had discovered that he had lost all use of his brakes aboard the Trevor Hawkins owned car. Due to his spin causing a stopping despite not stopping entirely, Skelton was forced to the rear of the field for the restart. In what was a performance that was highlighted by controlled aggression, Skelton managed to work his way up to sixth by the fall of the chequered flag after passing cars at will.
Skelton summed up his night was a pleasing one, especially since he was back on the pace from the get go after a 12 month break, and was extremely thankful to car owner Trevor Hawkins for the opportunity to drive and regular pilot Warren Maybury for letting him take over his drive for the one night.
“I cannot thank to Trevor and Warren enough, and I was glad to thank them for the drive with a strong performance,” Skelton said, who recorded the fastest lap in both of his heat races on the night. “Going into the race meeting, I wasn’t too sure how I’d go, but after I had won my opening heat race, I felt confident that I could run with the front runners. It was a shame that I had a spin, as I felt that I had enough speed to challenge for a podium finish.”
Apart from Hawkins and Maybury, Skelton would like to thank Justin Watt for all of his support and believing in him, along with the Watt family for all of their hospitality during his time back in Sydney.
This Saturday night (April 7) Skelton will step into Justin Watt’s NSW # 90 Eagle car for the second round of the Queensland Wingless Sprint Easter Trail at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway.