Rookie Speedcar driver Jacob Potts has already experienced the highs and lows of one of speedway’s most exciting categories in his brief stint in the division, and he comes into this Saturday’s John Day Speedcar Classic at Perth Motorplex hopeful of learning more against some tough rivals.
Potts, 20, is a former 360 Sprintcar driver who made the shift to Speedcars this season. He finished fourth on debut – an impressive effort in the highly contested class.
“My positive first night was down to the team I had behind me,” Potts said. “The set up, advice and support made it easy to step into my first Speedcar experience. I had a few issues adjusting from wing racing but I felt extremely positive after the night’s racing. My goal had been to just go out and learn the new car and hope for a finish in the top 10.”
Two weeks later Potts was back to try and improve to a podium position, but this time he crashed out of contention in the feature race.
“It was a tough night, and it definitely didn’t go as planned. It was pretty disappointing after the positive first night but we’ve fixed the issues and hopefully I’ll be able to get some more positive experiences and learning this week.”
Potts started racing Junior Sedans when he was just 12 years old and travelled all over Australia, and beyond, with his Toyota Corolla. He was chosen as a Speedway Australia Rising Star and even attended the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
“Meeting so many like-minded motorsport drivers and learning from some very inspirational people was something I’ve carried into my racing,” he said.
“I was lucky enough to travel twice over to New Zealand in the Australian junior team and then I then had a short stint in a Production Sedan, but just felt it wasn’t enough for me.
“We headed to a 360 Sprintcar as my dream had always been to race Sprintcars but as the numbers in 360s lowered there just wasn’t enough (teams) in the class so we went back to the drawing board. I’m pretty pumped for Speedcars.”
The shift to a Speedcar means Potts can no longer rely on a big wing for aerodynamics. As a driver, he has found himself busier at the steering wheel.
“I found you had to drive the car a lot more, not having the wing for support,” he said. “I really enjoyed the challenge and look forward to upskilling my driving over the rest of the season.
“Because of the power-to-weight ratio, Speedcar racing is fast and exciting to watch, especially when you get a big field out there.”
This Saturday is set to be another booming event at the Perth Motorplex speedway, with the John Day Speedcar Classic sharing the card with the WA Sprintcar Championship, as well as BGC Late Models and Solos. Gates open from 4.30pm, with heats from 5pm and the main show from 6pm.
Words: Luke Nieuwhof.
Pic: Richard Hathaway