It was a case of fourth time’s the charm for Shane Steenholdt, who this season managed to take out the overall VSA Sprintcars Club Championship point score, after knocking on the door for the past three seasons.
Having never missed a single race meeting in four seasons with the VSA Sprintcars class, even after breaking his left ankle during a large crash at Rushworth Speedway in the 2015-16 season, the SS Auto Racing team owner had consistently run at the pointy-end of the three previous Club Championship point scores; however, he hadn’t quite managed to bank enough points to earn the win – up until this season.
Despite experiencing some electrical issues during the opening half of the season, which were later solved following some engine changes, Steenholdt couldn’t have been happier with how his team performed, largely crediting the team’s pleasing results to the advice of crew chief Marc Behan and team-mate Mark Noonan on how to approach each race meeting.
Not only did the Bairnsdale, Victoria-based racer and Noonan achieve three 1-2 finishes for the team, with Noonan taking the victory twice over Steenholdt, they also managed to impressively lock out the front row in four different feature races throughout the season, with Steenholdt ultimately going on to collect enough points to earn him the top spot in the Club Championship.
“Winning the Club Championship point score has been my goal in each of the past four seasons, so to finally achieve it is a great feeling and quite a relief,” admitted Steenholdt, whose 2017-18 season came to an unfortunate close at Rosedale Speedway on Saturday night, when he clipped the right-rear wheel of fellow front-row starter Gerry Hoekstra on the opening lap of the feature race, sending him crashing into the wall.
“I have to say a huge thanks to Marc Behan and Mark Noonan, who both played a huge part in slowing me down a bit this season and helping me to understand that I didn’t need to win each race meeting to come away with solid points. I wouldn’t have been able to win the Club Championship without them.
“Running a three-car team is a massive effort by the whole team and isn’t without its fair share of challenges, so it was fantastic achievement that we were able to reward all of our team and sponsors with such a competitive season.”
Planning to continue running his three-car team next season, Steenholdt may also challenge himself further by running selected 410 Sprintcar race meetings with a leased engine from Dennis Jones.
Steenholdt would like to thank the following 2017-18 season sponsors for their continued support: Dwyer’s Motor Group, Riviera Panels, Riviera Tyre Service, SS Auto Wholesaler, All Power Marine, Doyle & Shields Motorcycles, Nicholson Hotel, and Progressive Car Freighters. Special thanks go to the team’s crew chief Marc Behan, his son Cade, Mark Noonan and his son Koby, and everyone else who comes to the track to support the team.