Although it wasn’t the easiest of runs for Jake Griffin in last Saturday night’s Australian Legend Car Title at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway, a solid effort saw him come away with a pleasing fifth-place finish.
Having been against all odds in the early stages of the feature race, Griffin maintained his composure in the face of adversity to achieve the solid result, in what is only his second season with the class.
Heading into the Australian Title in strong form off the back off a runner-up finish the previous Saturday night at Goulburn Speedway, Griffin’s qualifying run didn’t quite go as planned, being forced to qualify for the feature race via a convincing win in B main 2, after a fourth, seventh and fifth-place result in his heat races.
Starting from position 18 in the 30-lap Australian Title-deciding feature race, Griffin quickly moved up into 13th, before soon believing that his race was over, when he spun out in the early stages and ultimately slipped back to last place.
Keeping his calm, Griffin decided not to dwell on his error, instead choosing to focus on the task at hand by progressively making his way forward one position at a time.
By lap 24, Griffin had managed to well and truly overcome his previous mistake and was sitting in fourth; however, he wasn’t quite able to hold off eventual runner-up Rob Rawlings Jnr and was forced to settle for fifth.
“I’m thrilled to have been able to salvage a top-five finish in the Australian Title, after what was a tough start,” said Griffin, who was also awarded first place in the Semi Pro class.
“We didn’t get the setup exactly right for the feature race, so all of the restarts really worked in my favour, as I was able to get fairly good speed off the line. Heading into the event, I was aiming for a top-10 result, so to have done that despite the run we had is a great result.”
Having to travel four hours from his property in the old goldmining town of Windeyer, NSW, to Sydney, one hour of which is a 40 kilometre stretch on a dirt road, one of the biggest draws to racing for Griffin is the opportunity it gives him to see his dad, who’s based in Sydney.
“Dad plays such a huge part in my setups for each race, as well as giving me amazing support, no matter what the results,” added Griffin.
“Living four hours out of Sydney, I don’t get to see him much anymore, so racing really just allows us to spend more time together and it’s something I wouldn’t be able to do without him.”
Having learned a lot and reached new heights during his second season with the class, Griffin plans to build on his consistency throughout the 2017-18 season, in order to start contending for his maiden feature-race win.