After beginning his 2017-18 season on a somewhat challenging note in the V6 Sprints class, everything certainly came together in fitting fashion last Saturday night at Murray Bridge Speedway for Chris James, when he claimed an emotion-charged victory in event in his dad’s honour: Des James Memorial.

Having first won the Des James Memorial back in 2013, the occasion marked the second time in James’ career that he was able to honour his dad with a winning result in the event, which was introduced in 2006 to commemorate the life and memory of his dad Des James, who passed away in 2005 while racing his V6 Sprint at Murray Bridge Speedway, when James was just 14 years old.

Inheriting his dad’s Stealth car and joining the V6 Sprints class three years later, which is where he has been racing ever since, James was determined to follow in Des’s footsteps and it’s results like these that make it all worthwhile for him.

While his form heading into the memorial event hadn’t been the best, with James having experienced a run of bad luck throughout the season, despite showing solid pace, a consistent performance aboard his SA # 12 Custom Conveyancing / Jordan Factory Karts supported Eagle car, which he purchased from Graham Racing Developments three seasons ago, saw him qualify on pole position for the feature race, after placing first and third in his heat races.

Making some setup changes prior to the feature race, which wouldn’t normally be standard practice, the decision ultimately paid off, with the changes offering James added stability and momentum on what was a tricky track. Withstanding some early pressure from Brock Lane in the opening laps, James couldn’t be stopped, having taken the lead from the outset and holding on to it for the duration of the race, which had been cut down from 20 laps to 15 due to a mid-race incident.

Photo: Savage Shots Photography

To say that it was an emotional victory for James would be quite the understatement, with the 27-year-old racer being filled with a mixture of joy and relief upon crossing the finish line, with his results in past memorial events being hindered by a range of misfortune.

“This is the most important race on the calendar for us, so to win it for a second time means so much and it’s honestly a huge relief to know that I could do it again,” said James, who was once again running the ribbons that his late mum Elizabeth had made in 2005 following the passing of Des, which only come out of the toolbox once a season for the memorial event.

“It’s still such an emotional night for myself and the team and it’s definitely not an easy race to win, so it’s a special result.

“I’d like to say a huge thanks to Tony and Danni Barrow for everything they continue to do for me. They actually supplied me with an engine when I won the 2013 Des James Memorial and they’ve been there for me without fail since my parents passed away. They’re like family to me and this wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

Off the back of this memorable result, James, who resides in the Adelaide suburb of Davoren Park, will next be competing in the King of the Riverland doubleheader at Renmark’s Riverland Speedway and Waikerie’s Sunline Speedway on March 10 and 11. He will then be contesting the South Australian Title at Whyalla’s Westline Speedway on April 28, where he hopes for a successful defence after winning last season’s running of the event.

James would like to thank the following 2017-18 season sponsors for their continued support: Custom Conveyancing (Narelle and Daniel), Jordan Factory Karts (Barrow Family), Auto Pro - Murray Bridge (Trevor), C&M Engine Services (Chris), Pinnacle Graffix (Jamie Matherson), and Finish Line Media (Brad Henderson). He would also like to thank Tony, Danni, Jordan and Ali Barrow.

To find out more about James and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Chris James Motorsport.

Photo: Savage Shots Photography