Contrary to popular belief, motor racing is not an individual sport, and no one knows that better than Sean Rose, whose lasting relationships have been the driving force behind his journey.
While his career has seen him pursue numerous ventures in a range of motorsport disciplines, both as a driver and car mechanic, one thing has remained constant for Rose; the mentoring and support from people such as Rod Dawson and Trevor Llewellyn that recently allowed him to reach new heights in the Modlites class.
Travelling to Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway to contest the Queensland Title, the Redcliffe, Queensland-based driver was in unstoppable form from the outset, winning both of his heat races and lining up in pole position for the 25-lap feature race.
From there, Rose immediately took control of the lead, but by no means was it an easy race for him, with Terry Leerentveld applying constant pressure on the leader, before he crossed the finish line in first place.
“It’s a dream to win the Queensland Title and it’s definitely in no small part due to all of the support and hard work put in by the people around me,” commented Rose, whose winning result was a great way to bounce back following a disappointing DNF during this season’s Australian Title, which was eventually won by Rose’s teammate Kyle Honour, while running in podium contention.
“You’re only as good as the people around you and without the guidance, advice and time that I’ve received over the years from several close friends and supporters, results like this simply wouldn’t be possible.”
Having grown up around Speedway Australia Hall of Fame inductee Ron Wanless and his kids Dean, who later raced NASCAR and V8 Supercars, and Todd, who went on to win the 1996 Australian Sprintcar Championship, motorsport was in Rose’s blood from the beginning, with his dad Jim having also raced.
Getting his first taste of competitive racing at the age of nine, competing in go karts on the tar circuits, Rose spent six seasons learning his race craft before eventually stepping away from driver duties when he turned 15 due to budget constraints.
Completing his mechanic apprenticeship with Rod Dawson, who was well known in motorsport circles throughout Queensland, at Dawson’s service station at the age of 18, Rose went on to purchase the station from Dawson five years later; his first foray into business ownership.
It wasn’t until 1997 that Rose decided to return to the driver’s seat for car owner Trevor Llewelyn, this time in the road racing Gemini Series, which his dad had also previously competed in. It was here that Rose experienced his first major success, winning the Queensland Championship in 1998, the second and final year he contested the series.
Transitioning to Saloon Cars in 1999, Rose then began looking after race cars for other teams in Saloon cars and other categories, storing them and prepping them for race day, while also commencing business in the wrecking Industry in the late 1990s.
Trading asphalt for dirt in 1999, Rose made his speedway debut in the Compact Speedcars class, once again returning to the sidelines at the completion of the season.
Purchasing a Cheetah Sprintcar at the beginning of the 2004-05 season, Rose had leading American driver Tim Kaeding pilot his car for the majority of the season, before stepping into the machine himself and racing sporadically for the next five seasons, late selling all of his equipment, which included a new Maxim chassis, to Western Australian car owner Mat Muir.
Revisiting circuit racing in 2014, Rose joined the Aussie Racing Cars ranks, where he currently still competes in selected race meetings, while looking after a handful of cars for other competitors, including last year’s champion Joel Heinrich, with the assistance of Kyle Honour, Graham Williams, Steve Draheim, John Coonan, Timothy Walters-Laird and Nathan Berry.
Once again being bitten by the speedway bug, Rose completed a test session in a Modlite with long-time friend Anthony Stewart, making his debut on a part-time basis with the class in the 2016-17 season after purchasing a JBR Modlite from fellow racer Kevin Britten.
Contesting his first full season with the class last season, the 45-year-old showed some solid pace and was on the cusp of a feature-race win, but couldn’t quite manage to pull it off; a milestone he can now well and truly tick off his bucket list.
Having also gotten back into Sprintcar racing this season aboard a Triple X car, Rose looks forward to splitting his time between Modlites and Sprintcars again next season, along with continuing with his Aussie Racing Cars commitments.
To find out more about Rose and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Redcliffe Wrecking Racing.