Proving that he’s still a force to reckoned with, Matt Redpath put in a dominant performance on Saturday night at Carrick Speedway to collect the third Tasmanian Formula 500 Title of his career.
After winning back-to-back Tasmanian Titles in 2006 at Carrick Speedway and 2007 at Latrobe’s Gulf Western & Independent Oils Raceway, the 30-year-old racer, from Sassafras near Latrobe, was in great form on Saturday night, having qualified pole for the 20-lap Tasmanian Title-deciding feature race.
Seizing the lead from the drop of the green, Redpath was all class, using his experience to navigate the track while getting some good breaks in traffic, and ultimately steering his Tas # 23 Dutchman Performance Suzuki GSXR 600 powered Triple X machine to victory, 6.361 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Nick Kingston, off the back of a two-year hiatus.
“This Tasmanian Title win is definitely the most satisfying by far, having recently returned to racing after two years in the sidelines,” expressed Redpath, who wasn’t overly confident heading into the event, having only contested four race meetings so far in the 2016-17 season prior to the title, including winning the Peter Redpath Memorial, in honour of his father, at Gulf Western & Independent Oils Raceway earlier this season.
“The competition in this day and age has definitely stepped up a level across the whole country, let alone in Tasmania. Back when I won my previous titles, we ran two-stroke engines and now we run four-stroke, so we’re still finding our feet with the new car and picking it up as we go.
“I have to give a special thanks to my main man and brother, Josh, who plays such a huge part in the team. He’s always there to help me out with anything I need and I wouldn’t be able to do this without him.”
Openly admitting that he didn’t have a Tasmanian Title winning car throughout his earlier heat races, which saw him score two second-place finishes from mid-pack starts, Redpath and his team worked on fine-tuning the setup, making some slight changes for the feature race, which ultimately worked in his favour.
For his next appearance, Redpath will return to Carrick Speedway on Sunday, March 12 for the Titch Jordan Memorial, before travelling to Murray Bridge Speedway in South Australia to contest the 2017 Australian Title on the Friday and Saturday nights of April 14 and 15. Redpath will be hoping to improve on his best previous finish in an Australian Championship, which was eighth place in the 2008 running of the event at Lismore Speedway (NSW).
Redpath would like to thank the following 2016-17 season sponsors for their valued support: R&P Road and Performance (Nick Kingston), DW Motorcycle Repairs (Dylan Willsher), Sprint Shack (Glenno Inglis) and DK Race Parts (Mark Dalton).