Leeton’s Brobenah Raceway has proven to be a happy hunting ground for the Mills family over the years, and last Saturday night, Jacob Mills managed to continue that legacy, emerging victorious in the Graham Bourke Memorial for Production Sedans.
Not only has his dad Trevor become something of a Brobenah Raceway track specialist, picking up four consecutive NSW Production Sedan Titles from 2007 onward, Mills has also made it evident that navigating the 940-metre track runs in the family, having now raced a trio of blue-ribbon Production Sedan events at the venue during his career, winning all three of them.
Taking to the track aboard a Production Sedan for the first time since 2011 when he created history by becoming the youngest ever driver to win a National Title at the age of 17, the Howlong, NSW resident certainly didn’t have it all his own way throughout the night, adjusting to the added speed of his VS Holden Commodore.
Winning his opening heat race, despite suffering a broken axle, and going on to place second and first, Mills greeted the chequered flag in first place following his fourth and final heat race, but was relegated two positions for allegedly passing on the infield, putting him out of position two for the 12-lap feature race.
Settling into second in the opening laps, Mills quickly made his move on race leader Raymond Ussher, pipping him by the completion of lap two and taking control of the lead. The misfortune continued for Mills just a couple of laps later when the car began jumping out of second gear, causing Mills to manage his pace and drive one-handed to keep it in there, nursing the car across the finish line to win the fifth running of the Graham Bourke Memorial.
Not only did these varied challenges make his win that much more satisfying, the very nature of the memorial event is something that is close to Mills’ own heart, with the 25-year-old having been forced to deal with the passing of his older brother Brenton in late 2016.
“Supporting memorial events for people who have had an impact on the sport and the people in it is something that means a lot to me and as such, I’m quite humbled to have won the Graham Bourke Memorial,” expressed the 25-year-old racer, who has also won a pair of Bob Bailey Memorials in the past.
“I certainly know what it’s like to lose people who are close to you, so to be able to honour their memory with an event like this is really special. It hasn’t been an easy past few years, but having something to work towards can help to turn your life around.
“Results like this also make all of the hard work and effort worthwhile and it’s a great way to be able to repay my family for everything they do for me and for sticking by me through both the highs and lows. I also have to say a big thanks to my crew and all of my sponsors for their support.”
For his next appearance, Mills will contest the NSW Title, which is set to take place on the Saturday night of May 18 at Moruya’s Surfair Speedway. This will be Mills’ first visit to the Moruya track and having never podiumed in a NSW Title before, he’ll be hoping to carry his winning form into the event.
Mills would like to thank the following 2018-19 season sponsors:
Dunn’s Twin City Cranes
Jindera Panel Shop
Stewart’s Contracting Solutions
P & J Nagle Excavations Sand & Gravel Supplies
Mills Racing Engines
Kenco Racing Products
Pro1 Race Parts
Jones Winery & Vineyard – Rutherglen
Special thanks go to Daniel Creek and family, along with all Mills’ family and friends.