Tweed driver revs into top gear

SELF-CONFESSED Tweed rev-head Daniel Currens, pictured, will push his pedal to the metal at Willowbank’s Queensland Raceway this weekend, burning HQ rubber in the Top Gear Racing Series’ Golden Holden One Hour.

The round eight meet gives amateur motor racing a new dimension, with Australian motorsport favourites, the Holden HQs and Geminis, taking their thrill-a-minute brand of racing into the endurance arena.

With the action taking place on Queensland Raceway’s national layout, Currens and the HQs are expected to get away on the straights, with the Geminis closing the gap under brakes through the corners.

“The Geminis are like go-carts in the way the drivers can throw them into the corner, while we try to wrestle our heavy HQs around the track,” Currens said.

“It makes for an exciting race, because although our top speed is greater, they’re producing the same lap times as us.

“I like any type of motor racing, but I enjoy endurance events because I love racing and obviously get to spend more time behind the wheel.”

A mechanic by trade, Currens loves putting his skills under the bonnet to the test as much as his talents behind the wheel.

“Endurance races are a true test of the engineering of your machinery,” he said.

“If it’s not the real deal it won’t last the distance, and approximately half the cars in the field will break down, because they are mainly set to be fast in a sprint, and so are too highly strung for a long race.

“My 1971 HQ is set up for everything. I hold the Australian record for never once failing to finish a race.”

The Holdens will run two practice sessions during today’s Top Gear sprint, followed by a packed day of qualifying tomorrow, two-10 lap races and the grand finale, one hour enduro.

But there’s an added twist – the adrenalin packed hour race includes a compulsory driver change.

Enter Murwillumbah’s Steve Etther, Currens’ tag-team partner.

With pit stops being an extreme rarity for Top Gear racing, fans should prepare for a few anxious moments in pit lane.

“Steve used to have a HQ race car driver school at Lakeside raceway a few years ago, and competed in the Commodore Cup too, so he certainly knows what he’s doing,” Currens said.

“But he’s worried that he may be a bit rusty at the moment, and that it may take him a few laps to settle in, but we’ll be very competitive and everyone will certainly know we are there.

“We produced the record for the fastest ever driver change last year, and as a result picked up 10 positions, but obviously at the same time a bad one can cost you, so we’ll be practising plenty.”

The final round of the Top Gear Racing Series also features four other categories, with sedans, sports cars, racing cars and super karts.

There are a variety of makes and models in each class, with the sedans including everything from classic Datsun 1600s to brand new Mitsubishi Evo Xs and former V8 Supercars, while the sports car category will feature the likes of Porsches and Alfa Romeos.

Engines start up from 9am both days, and entry is free.

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