Making the huge step into 360 Sprintcars from Speedway Karts at the beginning of the 2017-18 season off the back of an opportunity from fellow racer Scott Johnston, Libby Ellis has thoroughly enjoyed her debut with the class, having received great encouragement from her more experienced counterparts.
Having spent half a decade racing Speedway Karts, where she won the first ever Winter Series in Standards and scored a number runner-up finishes in multiple point scores, Ellis had previously joked with Johnston about racing his car in the Development Series at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway, but it wasn’t until the middle of last year when Johnston called her and made the offer official due to not being medically able to race himself.
Never even having fired a Sprintcar up let alone race one, despite being around the machines for the better part of a decade, Ellis jumped at the opportunity, taking to the Archerfield Speedway track to participate in the Development Series, which offers no points or trophies, allowing Ellis to familiarise herself with the car and class without being too overwhelmed by competition.
Contesting her last five race meetings outside of the Development Series, racing at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway as well as the Brisbane venue, and continuing to show improvement each time she takes to the track, the Brisbane, Qld-based racer has also been greatly appreciative of the encouragement and support she has received from not only her family and team, but also her fellow racers, including the likes of Andrew Scheuerle, Peter Lack and Luke Oldfield amongst others.
“It’s one thing to be a rookie, but being a female rookie can be exceptionally difficult, so I’m blown away by the amazing support I’ve received from other drivers and extremely thankful for it,” admitted Ellis, who recently achieved a personal best lap time at Archerfield Speedway, as well as placing third in a heat race.
“I’ve absolutely loved my first season in 360 Sprintcars and while I haven’t broken any records straight away, the only way to get better is by doing more laps, so we’re attending as many practice sessions as we can and I’m definitely improving and learning a lot as a result.”
With Johnston planning to return to the driver’s seat of his Qld # 73 car next season, Ellis has accepted an offer from Chris Trembath to race his car throughout the season, fitting it with her own engine. She looks forward to getting back out on track next season and continuing to gain as much experience as she can.
Ellis would like to thank the following 2017-18 season sponsors for their support: Albert’s Earthmoving, Pattemore’s Meats, Redlands Tyre & Mechanical, and Springwood Suzuki. Special thanks go to her partner and biggest supporter Anthony Vanderreyden, Scott Johnston and Chris Trembath.