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13 January 2021
BY DYLAN DE JONG
A Wimmera man has firmed his position as a Victorian speedway title holder for a second consecutive year, following a tense final at the weekend.
Pimpinio’s Jock Baker won the Victorian Speedway Council Limited Sportsman title from 16 other competitors on Saturday.
Baker took out the top position at Kalkee’s Blue Ribbon Raceway, where he maintained a half-lap lead for the majority of the 25-lap race.
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Hamilton’s Andrew Wilson placed second and Portland’s Bowen Donkers, third.
This is Baker’s fifth state title win, having won two South Australian and three Victorian titles.
Baker said he went into the race at his home track with confidence, even despite being out of practice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m pretty confident on the home track. The only worry was getting tangled up in some other drivers and some mechanical failures,” he said.
“But all-in-all, we couldn’t fault the car – wherever I pointed it, it went.”
Baker said a hiccup halfway through the race that resulted in a restart was not enough to obstruct his lead.
“I was half a lap ahead by the time we finished the 25 laps,” he said.
“At lap 12, my brother Dean blew a radiator hose and one of the cars hit the water and spun out in front of me.
“The orange lights came on and I hit the water and skidded up to the wall and stopped.”
Baker said he was thrilled to see a return to competitive racing across Victoria. After the Victorian titles in March last year, all race meets were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There was no practice, nothing at all other than sitting in the shed and working on the car last year,” Baker said.
“We had a month to get the car prepped for the titles, so my two boys and I pulled the car to pieces and put it back together.
“We went over every nut and bolt and left no stone unturned.”
Baker said he hoped races could continue throughout the year.
His next race meet will be King of the Rock at Bairnsdale later this month, before competing in the South Australian titles in Mount Gambier later this year.
The entire January 13, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!