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After coming home second best in no less than seven previous Victorian Super Sedan Titles, Dave Gartner finally got the monkey off his back last Saturday night at Ballarat’s Redline Raceway, winning the 2017-18 season running of the event.

While he’s always managed to qualify strongly in past Victorian Titles, once again managing to do so in last Saturday night’s event to earn the pole position start for the 35-lap feature race, Gartner experienced what he could only describe as a huge feeling of relief when he greeted the chequered flag in first place; a feat he has been trying to achieve for well over a decade.

Dave Gartner Rock Solid Productions 1 cropped

Photo: Rock Solid Productions

“I’ve been chasing after the Victorian Title win for a very long time and having finally now achieved it, I honestly felt like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” expressed SA # 1 GT Bobcat / Spanlift Sheds supported Dominator racer, whose Victorian Title victory now adds to his long list of achievements, which includes winning five South Australian Titles (2003, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017).

“You can’t start celebrating in a race until you’ve actually crossed the finish line and I was so focused on hitting my marks and not spoiling my chances towards the end of the race that I didn’t even notice the white or the chequered flags. It wasn’t until I heard it over the radio that I realised the race was over and that I’d won!”

In what was only his second visit to Redline Raceway, the key for the Mount Gambier, SA-based racer was to qualify on the front row for the Victorian Title-deciding feature race, which he managed to do by virtue of placing second and first in his two heat races.

After immediately taking the lead from the drop of the green flag, it was almost all smooth sailing for Gartner, despite an inside charge from Brad Wicks in the middle stages of the race, which resulted in Gartner spinning out. Being reinstated to first place, Gartner did well to navigate the lapped traffic and manage his pace around the top of what was a slick track, going on to take the long-awaited victory and claim the Victorian Title crown.

Losing the lead to Steve Ellis on the final lap of what was his first Victorian Title attempt in 2003 since joining the Super Sedans class, Gartner, who has since encountered a myriad of mechanical dramas and bad luck in previous Victorian Titles which have ultimately hindered his chances of winning the event, couldn’t have been happier to have finally broken the curse.

Off the back of this memorable result, Gartner is now hoping to carry his form into the upcoming National Title, which is set to be held at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway (NSW) on March 2-4.

Dave Gartner Rock Solid Productions 2 cropped

Photo: Rock Solid Productions

“We’ve tried a few new things with our setup this season and it’s taken us a little while to come to grips with the changes and how to manage them,” added Gartner.

“My crew chief Kristen Harris and I decided to persist with these changes and it’s clear from last Saturday night’s result that we’re starting to understand the car more now, so we’re looking forward to seeing what we can do in the National Title.”

Travelling to Adelaide Motorsport Park this weekend where he will be the Grand Marshall in the National Street Stocks Title, Gartner may complete a shakedown run at Valvoline Raceway the weekend prior to the National Title (February 24); however, this is yet to be confirmed.

Gartner would like to thank the following 2017-18 season sponsors: GT Bobcat, Spanlift Sheds, Maxwill Racing Engines, Castrol Oils, Gartner Transport, Dominator Race Cars, Skwid Signs, 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, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Dave Gartner Racing.