Despite having previously experienced success in the Junior Sedans class, Drew Flatman achieved what is well and truly a new career highlight during last weekend’s National Junior Sedan Title at Collie Speedway, delivering a stellar drive which was rewarded with a runner-up finish.
Making the long, 29-hour trek from his home in Adelaide, South Australia to the Western Australian track, Flatman certainly had his work cut out of him, with 61 of the country’s best Junior Sedan drivers in attendance, all hoping to prove themselves and come away with a positive result.
The opening night of competition certainly got off to a positive start for Flatman, whose consistency throughout qualifying saw him claim a pair of third-place finishes and win, banking him enough points to sit fifth in the standings heading into night two.
Coming home sixth in his final heat race, Flatman lined his SA # 112 National Karate
/ Flatman Mechanical supported Daihatsu Charade up on the inside of the fourth row for the National Title-deciding feature race.
Holding his line throughout the first 15 laps of the 25-lap distance, it was on lap 16 that Flatman began to make his move, making up one position, before stealing another two places with four laps to go.
The final lap was nothing short of exhilarating, with Flatman launching an attack and doing extremely well to navigate his rivals in order to power from fourth place to second in the closing stages of the race, resulting in a pleasing second-place National Title finish.
This result was certainly an improvement on last season’s running of the National Title at Maryborough Speedway in Queensland, where Flatman finished eighth in the B main.
“After travelling such a long way and going up against such a tough field, we couldn’t have been happier with a second-place finish in the National Title,” expressed the 16-year-old driver.
“It really wasn’t an easy event, but we were able to keep as consistent as possible throughout qualifying, which gave us a decent starting position for the feature race and allowed us to be competitive.
“I have to thank my parents, along with the rest of the team and our sponsors for all of their hard work and support, and for making it a possibility for me to contest the National Title.”
The son of Street Stocker racer Darren Flatman, the pathway into speedway for the youngster was clear, and he’s been continuing to make gains since first hitting the track. Prior to his National Title podium, Flatman’s most notable achievements were winning the Robert Gwynne Memorial and placing fourth in last season’s SA Title.
Hoping to carry his recent form into the rest of the season, Flatman will be looking to deliver a front-running performance in this weekend’s WA Title, which will be fought out over two nights at Narrogin Speedway. Later in the season, he will hope to improve on his best SA Title result during this season’s running of the event at Murray Bridge Speedway on April 4.
During the 2019-20 season, Flatman is supported by the following valued sponsors:
Special thanks go to Flatman’s mum and dad Jan and Darren, along with Bernard Gwynne, the Thorne boys, and Bradley Sheridan.