Nathan Disney and the Disney Motorsport team signed off their season last Saturday (28th April) at Valvoline Raceway with a final hit out for the now retired ‘old faithful’ Rocket Chassis.
The top ten finish was not quite how the Newcastle Nightmare wanted to finish his season but he was buoyed by the fact that the car which won was anew XR1 rocket – the same chassis that Nathan will soon debut, and a chassis that Nathan can clearly see has advantages.
“Those XR1 Rockets are so much better than our old car (updated 2007 Rocket)”, stated Nathan. “They drive through and off the corner so much better, but having said that our old car is still pretty good for its age.”
A promising final night for the old girl was on the cards when Nathan pushed the Adamstown Car Doctors/Tuff Lift Hoists/Lake Macquarie Sheet Metal/Safe N Sound Self Storage/Bob Jane T-Marts Kotara/TD Graphics #11 to 4th fastest time during unrepresentative hot laps.
Even more exciting was his opening heat when he led the first 8 laps and had a great side by side multi lap battle with Daryl Grimson before finishing a close 2nd. Nathan made a great start from pole and had a slender gap until an untimely caution for Barry Kelleher who’d blown up his engine. On the restart Grimson took full advantage of the two wide restart and a superior line into turn 1 to grab the lead. Nathan fought back – hard – and the pair ran side by side trading the lead until lap 9 when Grimson secured the lead and the win.
The second heat was a much harder affair after starting mid pack on the inside and then working up to 4th place only to be passed again by that man Grimson with 2 to go. “We tightened the car up too much for the second heat,” explained Nathan, “and it was just a battle the whole way.”
The 30 lap final was another fight after starting from position 7 and being boxed in on the first lap and dropping a position. Never one to give up Nathan continued to graft hard and worked forward to 7th by lap 7 on a track that favoured a free handling car that could run the top or the bottom.
After a stoppage Nathan dropped another spot. “Mooney (Daniel Moon) passed me under yellow I reckon but it really didn’t matter that much.” laughed Nathan who was resigned to having to grind out the feature in a car that wasn’t set-up as well for the track conditions as it could have been.
Nathan then got the elbows up and put in a couple of laps on the highline to see if the car would work any better up there, but then returned to the bottom to complete the race in an eventual 9th place. “Yeah, I did a couple of laps up the top where I drove like an idiot.” was his comical post-race assessment.
“Congratulations to (winner) Ryan (Fenech), he drove well and deserved the win,” said Nathan sincerely as he thought with a smile about getting into his new chassis that is the same as the one driven by the race winner.
Overall, it wasn’t the finish or the season that the young veteran really desired, but on balance it was a solid season given the age of his equipment which was probably made to look better than it was through only his driving tenacity and experience.
“I really can’t wait to get into the new car and have a big crack on a more even footing next season.” Enthused Nathan only minutes after concluding the current race year.
“Dad (Des) and I have had a great season and a lot of fun thanks to the brilliant support of our crew and our fantastic sponsors and we really can’t wait to get the new car out there and blast it around.” concluded Nathan.
Nathans current car is now for sale as a roller or complete and would make a great car for an aspiring late model racer or novice.
Disney Motorsport and Nathan personally would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank crew members Des Disney – the heart and soul of the team, Gary and Nathan Chipchase and Sim Borsche (get well soon Sim) and sponsors Adamstown Car Doctors, Tuff Lift Hoists, Lake Macquarie Sheet Metal, Safe N Sound self-storage, Bob Jane T-Marts – Kotara and TD Graphics for all their invaluable support and assistance throughout the season.
For some awesome in car footage check out the motorsport channel at www.rubberdown.com.au or Disney Motorpsorts on Facebook.
Keep up to date with Nathan and the Disney Motorsport team on Facebook at Disney Motorsports.