Off the back of a pleasing 2018 season campaign in the Northern Territory, Darwin’s Chace Karpenko has once again travelled south to compete for the third occasion in recent seasons in an effort to gain more track time and experience.
Reaching new heights on home soil at Darwin’s Northline Speedway during the recently concluded 2018 season that reaped plenty of success, Karpenko managed to achieve a career milestone in the 410 Sprintcars class, driving to commanding victory to claim his maiden Northern Territory Title crown, making him hungrier than ever to continue his current form.
Continuing his trend of racing down south, having previously based himself in Victoria and then NSW in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons respectively, Karpenko is preparing to do his fair share of travelling this season, with his schedule taking him to South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.
Having last weekend started his southern campaign with his maiden visit to Murray Bridge Speedway in South Australia for the running of the Bill Wigzell Battle of the Bridge, which coincided with the opening Ultimate Sprintcar Championship SA round, Karpenko continued his current momentum, qualifying on pole position and leading the feature race for the opening half-a-dozen laps before a miss with setup saw him slip back to eventually finish in seventh.
Certainly not intimidated by the formidable competition regularly seen throughout the southern states, Karpenko is determined to gain as much track time as possible to build on his setup knowledge at tracks around the country and challenge at the pointy end of the field.
“The level of competition throughout this country is toughest it’s ever been, so not only is the regular competition going to help me improve as a driver but keep my eye in during the off season back home,” explained the 32-year-old racer.
“I want to continue learning and challenging myself further, which travelling and going up against Australia’s best definitely helps me to do. My aim this season is to work on my consistency and setups in order to give me a well-rounded knowledge of the main tracks across Australia.”
Teaming up with the Western-Australian based Cowara / Jak Civil Sprintcar team, which is owned by Steve Duggan, Karpenko will be making his debut aboard the WA # 41 Sprintcar at the Perth Motorplex season opener on October 27, which will be his first outing at the track in Sprintcars since 2011. He will also be contesting other selected race meetings for the Cowara / Jak Civil Sprintcar Team, including the King of Wings on November 17 and the WA Title on December 8, both of which will take place at the Perth Motorplex, with the potential for additional shows.
In between his western swing, which will see him fly in and out of the state to compete, Karpenko will return to South Australia where he will pilot his own NT # 21 Top End Access / Maley’s Barristers and Solicitors supported Maxim for the fourth Eureka Garages & Sheds Series round at Mount Gambier’s Borderline Speedway (SA) on November 24.
Taking a break over the Christmas-New Year period, Karpenko is set to contest the Grand Annual Classic at Warrnambool’s Premier Speedway in Victoria and then travel up to Queensland in late January to participate in the Australian Championship at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway. This will be Karpenko’s maiden visit to the venue and he will no doubt be looking to improve on his previous best Australian Championship finish, which was 12th in 2010 at Northline Speedway along with 15th in the 2016 event at Premier Speedway.
Karpenko would like to thank his 2018-19 season sponsors: Top End Access, Maley’s Barristers and Solicitors, Mick’s Ally Fab, L&S Offroad, Mobile Car Detailing, Signcity NT, Norton Australia, Lubrimaxx, McMahon Services, Megawear, 1300SILAGE, Autosmart NT, Coonawarra Panel Works, and Frank Scardifield Smash Repairs.
Special thanks must go out to his wife (Megan), the Gates family (Allan and Cheryl) who will be storing his car in South Australia, and Chad Ely and Tregan Gates for their assistance during last weekend’s outing.
To find out more about Karpenko and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Chace Karpenko Racing.