IT’S been a few months coming but this weekend the most recently crowned National Modified Sedan Champion will roll out on track with the Number One sticker on the panels.
Kye Walters, 21, mastered his way to be the best Modified Sedan driver in the country at the Australian Title held in April this year and will this Saturday return to Queensland for the first time since the feat to compete at the Gympie Gold Rush Modified Sedan Showdown.
Walters isn’t a stranger to panning for gold at the Gympie track, having made the nearly 1900km hike twice before.
“In my first attempt I ran fifth then last year we got rained out on the final night,” Walters said.
“But the weather looks suburb for this weekend and I’m really looking forward to returning to the mountain.”
Gympie Speedway made the decision to cancel the practice planned for Friday night due to limitations with water, but Walters said he doesn’t expect this will impact on the track for the weekend, with “excellent racing” to be expected.
“The track crew always do a really good job no matter the situation,” he added.
Walters will be well supported once again by his faithful crew this weekend, with the usuals making the trip for the season opener.
“We all enjoy the racing and can’t wait to get stuck back into it,” Walters said.
The Gympie track presents drivers with a unique path containing a dog leg but it’s not a situation Walters and his crew can’t tackle.
“We actually don’t change anything from our baseline set up for Gympie,” he said.
“We may do some fine tuning when we are racing but no major changes at all.”
Nominations for the event were released yesterday, with 28 drivers competing.
The list includes four National Title holders – Walters, along with Aidan Raymont (Modified Sedans), Steve Jordan (Super Sedans) and Tim Atkins (Production Sedans).
Broadening the achievements a little further, 10 of the nominated drivers have held more than 30 State Titles combined across numerous classes.
Raymont and Walters have had some closely fought battles recently, and this weekend another chapter will be added to their story, as they once again go head to head.
“Aidan will be ultra fast as per usual, but in Queensland you can never count anyone out,” Walters said.
“I reckon Tim Atkin will be fast as well!”
Despite heading into the two night meeting with the sought after Number One on the panels, Walters said he feels no external pressure, with the youngster admitting he is his own biggest critic.
“I’m just really proud to be wearing the A1 this season, it’s been a dream of mine for a long time,” he added.
The makeover visually to his AU Falcon is the biggest change his crew carried out during the off-season, the team opting for “preventive maintenance” rather then “radical changes”.
“We had a package that was competitive last season so I don’t want to venture too far from that, however if you don’t keep searching for speed you can get out classed pretty quickly,” Walters said.
After claiming his maiden Australian and State Title last season, as well as taking out his second VMPA Championship, Walters said there is still plenty to work towards in Modified racing.
“My goal is just to be competitive again,” he said.
“I’d love to go back to back in all my achievements but will see how it all pans out!”
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