Kane back on top of series
PERSEVERANCE has paid off for Darren Kane, the Ipswich driver claiming the National Super Sedan Series at the weekend.
Kane sealed his third NSSS title (the others being 2004 and 2009) with victory in the final round at Sydney on Saturday in his number 36 Boettcher Race Parts supported Mazda RX8
Kane admitted to being “pretty worn out” after driving back from Sydney on Monday and fronting for work yesterday, but there was no wiping the smile from his face.
The season started brilliantly for Kane as he shot to the front of the Queensland and national series, before threatening to derail in the new year.
It began with mechanical failure ruining his chances at the Brisbane Round of the NSSS on January 2.
Then came the floods which trapped Kane in his Karalee home for four days and flooded his Boettcher Racing Team’s Bundamba workshop.
He then failed to finish the Murray Bridge round of the NSSS on January 25 before his engine died on him in the Tasmania Grand Prix on January 29.
A new engine ensured his season swung back towards the positive with podium finishes at the Grand National and Australian championships, both in Tasmania.
“The new engine had a little bit more power than the other,” Kane said.
“When it is fresh, it always makes a difference.”
On February 20, Kane defended his NSW title at Sydney Speedway before winning the final round of the NSSS at the same track in style and with it the NSSS title.
“We won two of the three heats and I broke the one track record that has stood since 1999,” Kane said.
“I had the highest points score, so you get to start from where you want.
“I gave Jamie McHugh the better part of the track to start from because I wanted to keep out of trouble.”
It almost didn’t work.
McHugh used the high part of the track to his advantage to take the lead and at one point pushed Kane off the track and back into third spot.
But McHugh’s race ended soon after due to mechanical difficulties and Kane was able to take the lead and hang on for the win.
“We’ve been the dominant car for probably the last three years but sometimes things don’t go for you,” he said. “It is a tough competition and most of them are driving the same cars as us.”
That hasn’t stopped Kane winning eight of the 12 feature races on offer this season and he has his eyes on more yet, including the 50-lap Grand Prix at Toowoomba this weekend and the remainder of the Queensland series, which he leads.
“Probably the only thing we haven’t won is the Australian title, in which we finished third,” he said.
It is a position he wouldn’t have dreamt of being in following the floods and he put his success down to his own perseverance and that of his team.
“What Ian (Boettcher Racing team owner Ian Boettcher) has been though, he could have given it away for the rest of the season,” Kane said. “So I think he was pretty happy on the weekend.”
It has more than made up for Kane and the Boettcher team’s disappointing 2009-10 season in which they were plagued by mechanical problems.
“It was disappointing to miss out on last season’s series as we had a few unlucky breaks during a few of the rounds and this season we were determined to not let that happen again,” Kane said.