TWENTY-year-old Kye Walters from Torquay, Victoria is the new National Modified Sedan Champion.
In claiming Australia One last night he capped off a stellar season of racing after recording five Series wins in the Victorian Modified Production Association along with the Tasmanian Modified Sedan Title crown.
After being happy with how his car, affectionately known as “Rowdy” performed in practice, Walters and crew opted to run with that set up and not the set up that had proved them well at Kings Royal – held at the same track – earlier this year.
Walters’ campaign to be Australia One got off to a disastrous start when he was involved in an incident in his opening heat and with nowhere to go broke an arm in his AU Falcon.
“I thought our weekend was done for sure after the first heat, the car looked super bad on the track but it was lucky that it looked worse than what it was,” a jubilant Walters said this morning.
“I knew I had to win the heats but you can’t get desperate for it either as you usually end up in worse shape.
“Twelve lap heats helped as you can be super patient.”
With the track fast and taking its toll on cars with numerous roll overs and tyres flying off an regular occurrence, Walters had two more heat races to begin to make amends for his first round result.
“The track on Friday was so fast the cars were on the verge the whole time,” he said.
“Everyone’s cars were nervous over the holes, you were just kind of waiting for something to happen.”
Walters started out of Position Seven in his second heat race and drove to take the chequered flag.
In his last heat race for the night he started from Position Three, again going on to take the win.
With Aidan Raymont and Brodie Boss highest in points after Night One of racing, Walters occupied 12th position, trailing by 28 points.
Night Two of the National Title seen a different track greet drivers with the track crew working hard to make it less tolling. It was a track that Walters not only appreciated, but was suited to.
“I love Kingaroy when it’s on the fence fast and wide and puts on a spectacular show for everyone,” Walters said.
“It was fast top and bottom with two lanes.
“A perfect track in my opinion.”
Walters was meant to start from Position Two in his final heat race, but took the place of Steven Manly with his withdrawal in Pole Position.
With the fastest lap time in the race, Walters claimed first place before Greg Worling and Michael Shelford.
A DNF and three heat wins seen Walters start from Position Eight in the A Main with the likes of Modified Sedan royalty in Cameron Waters, who started pole, Brodie Boss, Aidan Raymont and Martin Hawson to chase down.
Ten laps in and Walters was sitting in fourth position with Boss and Aidan Raymont opening a handy lead over the field.
After moving into third there was a yellow which put Walters on the back bumpers of Boss and Raymont and at the restart he was able to go with the two racing talents.
The yellow light came at a good time for Walters.
“Boss and Raymont had a huge gap on the field,” Walters recalled.
“I could only just see them but wasn’t sure if I was catching or just keeping a steady gap, the yellow come at a good time for me that’s for sure.”
Half way through the race Walters made his move and took control but he didn’t have it all his own way, withstanding another challenge from Raymont after a yellow light meant the field came back together.
Walters said he only caught glimpse of where the field was under yellow, with the big screen an “awesome addition”.
Leading the closing stages of the final with a hungry crowd of drivers chasing him for honours, Walters said his focus was to not make any mistakes.
“I knew I couldn’t afford to lose any time with the lapped car too,” he added, running higher on the track none the wiser he was opening up a larger lead.
“Honestly, I had no idea but I watched Raymont (Aidan) try pass Bossy (Brodie Boss) on the bottom a few times (earlier in the race) and he couldn’t get it done so I thought I was pretty safe because I was pretty much rubbing the wall!”
Walters went on to take the chequered flag .931 of a second in front of Aidan Raymont with Mark Raymont finishing third, Boss fourth and Josh Crang rounding out the Top Five.
Claiming a National Title would be a “dream come true” heading into the event, Walters is feeling amazing having that dream come to fruition.
“It means the world honestly,” he said.
“We put so much effort and time into our racing so it’s the best possible reward.
“The season has been sensational honestly.
“I wouldn’t of thought I would of done so well that’s for sure!”
Walters is looking forward to a restful off season, refining some things and coming out next year stronger.
The new Australia One sends his thanks to his dedicated crew as well as his sponsors:
True Design Homes
Chris Edwards Custom Race Cars
CM Towing and Transport
Down Under Graphics
I and J Speedway Equipment
Max Fry Smash Repairs
Mobile Sandblasting and Protective Coatings