Travelling over 4,000 kilometres from their base in Perth, Western Australia to Darwin’s Northline Speedway in the Northern Territory to embark on what has been their largest campaign yet, Daniel Hartigan and car owner Peter Harvey did well to hold their own against some stout 410 Sprintcar competition throughout the past three weeks.
Participating in the NT Title followed by the hotly-contested Chariots of Thunder Sprintcar Series, which was fought out over two doubleheaders on consecutive weekends, the Perth-based duo’s run certainly wasn’t without its challenges.
However, amongst an impressive list of rivals, many of whom have become household names within the Australian speedway circuit, the pair certainly proved that they have what it takes to face the pressure head on, drawing a number of positives from their three-week campaign.
“I’ve never raced at Northline Speedway before, so to do so in prestigious events such as the NT Title and the Chariots of Thunder Series was fairly unnerving, but overall it was a great experience for the whole team and we really showed ourselves that we’re capable of mixing it up with the country’s best,” expressed the pilot of the WA # 83 Reds Transport – Port Hedland / ODH Mechanical – Karratha supported Maxim owned by Peter and Tania Harvey.
“There’s a lot to learn when it comes to racing 410 Sprintcars and our Darwin campaign has done a world of good for both our knowledge and our confidence heading into the rest of the season. I can’t thank Peter, Tania and the rest of the team enough for making this trip a possibility for me and I’m keen to see what we can achieve going forward.”
With the NT Title acting somewhat as a warm up for the Chariots of Thunder Series, Hartigan’s form during what was only his third outing in 410 Sprintcars definitely boded well for the next fortnight.
Qualifying 10th for the 30-lap NT Title-deciding feature race after picking up a win and an eight-place finish in his heat races, Hartigan did well to stay within top-10 contention given the turbulent nature of the race, making his way up to seventh with under 10 laps remaining and eventually going on to cross the finish line in a pleasing fifth place.
Heading into the opening night of the Chariots of Thunder Series the following week with added confidence off the back of his Darwin debut, Hartigan’s fortune took a turn for the worse, with a broken valve during his opening heat race putting the team behind the eight ball for the rest of the night and forcing them to participate in the C main, where hey narrowly missed out on a B main transfer spot, coming home third.
Rallying for night two, Hartigan was as determined as ever as he managed to score the quick time in his group before placing third and second in his heat races. Starting the feature race from eighth position, Lady Luck once again wasn’t on Hartigan’s side as he was unable to avoid contact with two cars spinning out ahead of him, causing enough damage to bring his night to a premature end.
Some challenging heat races certainly added a degree of difficulty to Hartigan’s qualifying efforts during the third night of competition, starting out of 12th in the B main and finishing ninth after having placed ninth and fourth in his heat races.
On the final night of competition, Hartigan was back to form throughout qualifying, picking up a fourth and first-place finish in his heat races and scoring an outside second-row start for the feature race after going up against Rusty Hickman in the pole shuffle. Powering up to sixth in the first dozen laps, Hartigan had to fight for position throughout the 30-lap distance, eventually finishing just outside the top 10 in 12th.
The season proper will get underway for Hartigan and Harvey at the Perth Motorplex on October 26.