Since teaming up at the beginning of the 2017-18 season, 410 Sprintcar driver Rhys Baxter and car owner Kevin Schembri are proving to be a combination worth watching, with the duo now challenging for regular top-five results.
It was back in 2016 that Baxter initially met Schembri while racing Wingless Sprints aboard both his own car and Andrew Chivell’s, with his five seasons with the class being highlighted by a pair of top-10 results in the 2013 and 2016 Australian Championships.
Also racing Wingless Sprints briefly, Schembri eventually decided to make the transition into car ownership, purchasing a Maxim Sprintcar and inviting Baxter to fill the driver’s seat. Making their debut in the 2017-18 season, the 29-year-old driver and Schembri spent their maiden season learning the ropes, before stepping it up to a new level this season.
Having previously struggled to convert their strong qualifying performances into feature-race results, Baxter and Schembri have since managed to rectify this, picking up a pleasing fifth-place finish during a recent Eureka Garages & Sheds Series at Ballarat’s Redline Raceway and backing it up during last Saturday night’s series grand final at Warrnambool’s Premier Speedway.
Qualifying seventh for the 30-lap feature race, Baxter was immediately able to make up some positions at the drop of the green flag, moving into fifth place where he remained throughout the entire distance to close his and Schembri’s season in an extremely positive fashion.
“Last Saturday night’s fifth-place finish was a brilliant result for us and a great way to cap off our second full season together,” commented the Cobden, Victoria-based racer.
“Our aim is just to have as much fun as possible and not put too much pressure on ourselves, but at the same time it’s really encouraging to know that we have what it takes to go up against some of the larger teams. It’s also great on a personal level to be able to give something back to Kevin after all of his support and for allowing me to race his car.
“We really began to make some gains towards the end of the season and knowing that we can achieve competitive results has given us a great confidence boost, which will no doubt bolster us heading into next season.”
Baxter would like to thank the following 2018-19 season sponsors for their continued support:
Webber & Chivell Fertilisers
Prossers Paint and Panel
K&M Baxter Home Improvements
Special thanks go to Kevin Schembri, Andrew Chivell, Baxter’s mum and dad Debbie and Keith, his brother-in-law Jack, his stepdad Tomo (Paul), and his partner Charlee and their three daughters Ayrli, Dekohda and Harpah.
To find out more about Baxter and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Rhys Baxter Motorsport.