While Dave Gartner is no stranger to winning South Australian Super Sedan Titles, having banked a handful of them throughout his career so far, there was something extra special about last Saturday night’s victory, with SA Title # 6 being Gartner’s first on home soil at Mount Gambier’s Borderline Speedway.
With the Penola, South Australia-based racer’s home track being a happy hunting ground for him over the years, having seen him win the 1998 National Street Stock Title in addition to many feature races, he had not yet been able to prove himself on the 372-metre track in a SA Title event; until last Saturday night that is.
It was an almost flawless night for Gartner during the re-run of the 2017-18 season SA Title, who utilised his significant knowledge of the track during his heat races, coming away with two wins and a runner-up finish, which was enough to earn him the pole position start for the 30-lap feature race.
Making the most of his start to immediately take control of the lead, Gartner managed to survive a couple of early stoppages to cement his position out in front. With the 22 remaining laps going non-stop, the race certainly wasn’t an easy one for Gartner, who was forced to endure pressure from second-placed Ryan Alexander.
Navigating lapped traffic on what was a demanding track, Gartner did well to ride the fine line between pushing hard and looking after his car, with his experience ultimately paying off and rewarding him with the sixth SA Title of his career, and in doing so, making him the only driver to achieve four consecutive SA Titles.
“To win my sixth SA Title was great, but to finally be able do it on home soil and put on a show for the large crowd, including my sponsors, made it much more special,” commented the SA # 1 GT Bobcat / Spanlift Sheds supported Dominator pilot, who has also previously won three SA Street Stock Titles in addition to his two National Title wins in the class (1997 and 1998).
“It definitely wasn’t the easiest of victories, as I was very conscious of looking after my car on what was a challenging track and holding off the pressure from second-placed Ryan (Alexander), but I just needed to hold my line and keep composed, and in the end it all paid off.”
Later this season, Gartner will be shooting for title # 7 in the hopes of equalling the current record for five consecutive state title victories. The 2018-19 season SA Title it set to take place at Whyalla’s Westline Speedway on March 23.
In the meantime, Gartner’s next appearance for the 2018-19 season will be at Murray Bridge Speedway this Saturday night (December 1).
Gartner would like to thank the following 2018-19 season sponsors: GT Bobcat, Spanlift Sheds, Maxwill Racing Engines, Castrol Oils, Gartner Transport, Dominator Race Cars, EB Photographics, KNJ Photography, and Brims Coastal Cement. Special thanks go to Gartner’s hard-working crew Kristen Harris and Brett Watson, along with his family and friends.
To find out more about Gartner and his team and to keep up-to-date with all of their racing activities, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Dave Gartner Racing.