Giving himself little hope of winning last Saturday night’s Tasmanian Speedcar Title at Latrobe’s Gulf Western & Independent Oils Raceway, Luke Redpath well and truly exceeded his expectations in the event, coming away with the top honours.
While Redpath has displayed great consistency throughout the season, having gained significant track time between Speedcars, Wingless Sprints and Speedway Karts, with eight feature-race victories under his belt, he was unsure that his car, which is a once-off Tony Stewart Racing car built in the mid-1990s, powered by a V6 Mitsubishi Magna engine built by his dad Bobby, would be up to the challenge.
Photo: Angryman Photography
Qualifying fifth for the Tasmanian Title-deciding feature race, Redpath quickly proved that being out-powered by his rivals’ custom-built Speedcar engines wouldn’t be enough to stop him from collecting the third state title of his career, clinching the crown after a late-race charge for the lead.
“Heading into the feature race, we were just hoping to be able to hold on to our starting position and maybe challenge for a podium result, which would have been amazing, so to be up against the odds in an older car and to come away with the Tasmanian Title win is extremely surreal,” admitted Redpath, who has previously won Tasmanian Titles in both Wingless Sprints and Lightning Sprints.
“We really didn’t give ourselves much chance of winning the event, but it came down to the amount of track time we’ve had this season, which no doubt put us in a much better position to be competitive.”
It certainly wasn’t an easy race for the Sassafras, Tasmania-based driver, who was involved in numerous battles for position throughout the 20-lap distance. Immediately making his way into third place on the opening lap, Redpath had planned to run the bottom of the track, but was unable to get past second-placed Matt Hefford, who had also chosen the same line.
Slipping back to fourth place briefly and quickly making his way back up to third, Redpath drifted to the top of the track, where he showed his nose to Hefford, forcing him to move high to defend his position and allowing Redpath to sneak underneath him to take over second place.
While he was overjoyed to be sitting in the runner-up spot, Redpath didn’t stop there, setting his sights on race leader and defending Tasmanian Champion Joe Lostitch. Not knowing how many laps he had left, but aware that he was catching the leader on what was an extremely slick track, Redpath gave everything he had in the final stages of the race, capitalising on his pace on the low line when the pair approached lapped traffic and ultimately coming out in front with just two laps to go.
This season highlight came off the back of an impressive showing in the Australian Wingless Sprint Championship at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway earlier this month, where Redpath proved that he was not daunted by having never previously visited the track, coming away with a fifth-place finish amongst a stout field of over 90 cars from around the country.
Photo: 44 Photography
Having now sold his Speedcar, Redpath plans to complete the remainder of the Tasmanian Wingless Sprint schedule as he chases the Club Championship, while also defending his Tasmanian Title, also at Gulf Western & Independent Oils Raceway, on the Saturday night of March 17.
Redpath would like to thank the following 2017-18 season Wingless Sprint sponsors: Floorworld - Devonport, Jacmad Engineering, Statewide Turbos and Diesel Injection, Redpath Haulage, JMR Labour Hire, and Ceramic Coating Tasmania, along with all of the special donations from people in order for him to contest the Australian Wingless Sprint Championship. Special thanks must go out to Ann (mum), Bobby (dad), Tamieka (sister), Brooke (sister), Brock Webster and Kirbi Wood.
To find out more about Redpath and all of his future racing activities, LIKE him on Facebook by searching Redpath Motorsport.