Pomona's Rusty Whittaker is preparing to hit the ground running for the upcoming 2020-21 speedway season. Photo: Corey Gibson Photography
Pomona's Rusty Whittaker is preparing to hit the ground running for the upcoming 2020-21 speedway season. Photo: Corey Gibson Photography

Whittaker eyes up big season in the dirt

After making some “massive gains” last season Pomona’s Rusty Whittaker is itching to hit the ground running when speedcars return to the track.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a fruitful 2019-20 campaign in the dirt, finishing sixth at the Australian Championship, winning the ATRS Archerfield Midget Series and finishing second in both the Queensland Championships and the Club Championships.

He also secured third place in the Toowoomba Highbank Hustle.

Whittaker believed changes his Neilson Motorsport team had been implementing throughout the season were only just starting to come to fruition when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

As such, the rising racer was eager to come out of the blocks even stronger when the season returned.

“The team and I enjoyed a great season, where we have achieved a lot of pleasing results and had a lot of fun in the process,” Whittaker said in a statement.

“One of the big areas we have improved on is getting our car quicker for later in the night.

“In the past, we have had the car that has been great over short distances and then struggled, to a degree, for consistent speed in the longer distances.

“The team has been working hard on turning that around and I feel that our results from this season just gone have seen us made a number of massive gains in that area.”

Speedcar racing is set to return around October, with Whittaker especially hungry to move up the field at the Australian Championship on February 25-27.

“With last season’s campaign cut short due to the coronavirus lockdown, I’m really looking forward to getting the full season in,” he said.

“Apart from running the big events in my home state, we are planning to make as many trips as possible down to Sydney to get prepared for the Australian Championship that is going to be held there.

“After last season’s pleasing Australian Championship result, the goal for the team and I is to not only back up that result (sixth) but hopefully improve on it.”

Whittaker is in his third season with Neilson Motorsport and is backed by Steelmart - Sunshine Coast along with a raft of other sponsors.