It’s been a couple weeks now since the Victorian Champion for Mini Sprints was decided and the thrill of the win is still giving race driver Owen Milton great satisfaction and enjoyment as he prepares to embark on a Formula 500 race career in the new season after clinching the back to back championship result in Mini Sprints.
Winning the title at Mid-Western Speedway was a huge effort for Milton who had to fly back into Victoria from the Pilbara on the Thursday two days prior to the running of the title still not having an engine in the car (no fault of the engine builder – owner) ready to go and defend.
On Friday morning around 36 hours before the title was to begin Milton got the call from Stephen Bell to get down to Warrnambool and bolt in a new Kawasaki that Jettco had prepared so Milton collected Jack McGrath his pit crew and made his way down to Belly where they finished bolting in the engine 2am Saturday morning.
After a little snooze the boys woke again to continue working on the car and electricals etc right up to the start of the first heat of the night which all proved worth it when Milton after some of his competitors pulled out of heat one went on to win by � of a lap.
The engine was showing impressive speed and pick up, things looked good for the Victorian Champion.
After making some fine tuning adjustments to the ECU the team started in second position in their second heat and followed home Stuart Ferguson to the finish line in second place.
The final heat was the furthest start back in the field for the night with a seventh position start. This heat race involved a scrap with Stuart Ferguson who had recently returned with the New South Wales # 4 plate and it would be Milton who this time would head Ferguson to the line in third place behind the heat leaders.
The points secured from the heats were good enough to take pole position for the title race.
During the break between heat 3 and the final Milton and crew found a leaking oil PSI gauge and without having the knowledge to understand the engines condition, Milton sought instruction from the engine owner Steven Bell whose instructions were. “Don’t worry about it, give it heaps and come home with the goods!.”
The first start was aborted as Milton and Stuart Ferguson who began the race alongside on the front row made contact with Milton spinning into the infield. Stewards put the drivers back in their positions and Milton powered into turn one with the lead.
Through the race Milton and the chasers weaved in and out of the backmarkers in the field before a stoppage with one lap to go meant a green, white chequered finish. Milton made short work of the restart and became back to back winner of the Victorian Speedway Council Mini Sprint title.
Milton found it hard to contain himself after the win and attempted to celebrate before being shut down and pushed into the pits. “I must say I was excited, having the pressure of the overall season and title night on my shoulders. During the season both Ferguson’s, Bomford & Parsons had all shown on their night they were going to be tough to beat, especially the Fergusons who had won big races this season. To come out on top meant a lot to me personally as I had more appreciation for the hard work that goes into staying on top, trying to keep ahead of the others.”
Milton had a few people he would like to thank for all their assistance and support. “I would like to thank my family including grandparents, my girlfriend Angel, Jack McGrath for crewing for the team and my sponsors for supporting me through this tough season, without out them results are hard to achieve.”
Next up before the season ends is a trip to Mackay in Queensland where Milton teams up with the Underwood Racing & Kart City Formula 500 team once again, this time to run the Queensland title. Milton last with the team in the Victorian Speedweek season.
“We are in the process of putting together a program for the Formula 500s in Victoria next season. We are selling up our Mini Sprint gear and are keen to race in a national division that can is right across Australia. With me spending so much time in Western Australia Formula 500s appeal to me in case I decide to bring the car over with me.”
Owen Milton Racing thanks: JJM Turboworld Jettco Alex Scott & Staff Smartline Fitouts Bass Bulk Haul
Written by Dean Thompson DMT Sports Media for Owen Milton Racing
Milton at Mid Western Speedway on route to back to back titles (C) Inaction Photos