With only a handful of race meetings under his belt in the Compact Speedcars class, youngster Bodie Smith is already making a reputation for himself as an emerging talent, with his recent results further enhancing his status.
While it hasn’t been the most ideal debut season for Smith, who spent two and a half months on the sidelines due to the engine woes aboard his Yamaha R1 powered Qld # 77 FWordSpeedShop supported Razor car, things were well and truly looking up heading into last weekend’s doubleheader at Lismore Speedway and Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway, which would see drivers bank points towards the Australian Championship.
Ready to get his campaign underway at the Lismore venue on Saturday night thanks to Stephen Bell from Jettco Developments having rectified his engine dramas the night prior, the 16-year-old driver came home third in the feature race after running second for the majority of the 20-lap distance, with his podium result banking him some valuable points.
Travelling to Hi-Tec Oils Speedway the following night for the Queensland Title, which incorporated the second and final round of the Australian Championship, Smith was hoping to come away with a top-five result, but it became clear from the outset that he was likely to exceed those expectations.
Winning both of his heat races, also breaking the track record in the first, Smith qualified in pole position for the Queensland Title-deciding feature race, and while the nerves got the better of him off the start causing him to slightly jump the start and be relegated to the second row, he regained his composure for the restart.
Hunting down race leader Cody Maroske and launching a passing move on him around the middle of the 20-lap distance to take control of first place, Smith didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the remainder of the race, greeting the chequered flag as the new Queensland Champion.
It wasn’t until he was on the podium that he was informed he had also emerged victorious in the Australian Championship point standings, giving him even more reason to celebrate.
“Winning the Queensland Title was pretty awesome, but to find out that I’d also won the Australian Championship was a dream come true for me,” expressed Smith, from the Brisbane, Queensland suburb of Chandler, whose previous highlight in Compact Speedcars was bouncing back to place second at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway after spinning out and being sent rear of field.
“It’s been a tricky first season with all of our engine dramas and in previous race meetings I’ve been watching the gauges more than the track, so I can’t thank Stephen (Bell) enough for getting that sorted for us heading into these events.
“I was pretty nervous after qualifying on pole in the Queensland Title feature race which definitely showed on the initial start, but I was able to pull it together during the race and get back to the front.”
Contesting two seasons in Junior Quarter Midgets before spending two and a half seasons with the Junior Formula 500s class, Smith has certainly done a lot of racing in a short period of time, which has allowed him to build up his race craft.
Being a part of the Speedway Australia Rising Star Program this season, Smith gained some invaluable insights and knowledge throughout the four-day camp that he believes have attributed to his recent results.
“The Rising Star Program totally changed the way I think about my racing,” added Smith, who has also been running an Ed Pink Ford-powered Spike Speedcar this season that’s owned by his uncle Craig Smith, with his best result being a pair of top-10 finishes at Archerfield Speedway in Polar Ice Series rounds back in December.
“We learned a lot about both mental and physical fitness, along with nutrition, respect of our peers, race recovery and much more, all of which has definitely benefitted my racing.”
With his long-term goal being to race Speedcars or Sprintcars in America, Smith is dedicated to completing as much racing as possible in future season. His next event will be this Saturday night’s Speedcar 50 Lapper at Archerfield Speedway.
Smith would like to thank the following 2018-19 season sponsors:
Revolution Racegear – Sunshine Coast
Iguana Signs & Concepts
Shock Absorber Theraby
Special thanks go to Smith’s dad and crew chief Brett, Lucky, stepmother Jen, pop Ian, uncle Craig, and Stephen Bell and the whole team at Jettco Developments.
To find out more about Smith and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Smith Bros Racing.