Driver’s dream is back on right track
A SUCCESSFUL time at the track is reliant on more than just the skill and wit of the driver behind the wheel.
Gympie's Craig Campbell would never have realised his dream of racing around Bathurst if it was not for the help of his mechanic Bevan Thoroughgood.
Campbell was competing in the Saloon Nationals when he became unstuck in a round before Bathurst - his dream track to race on.
"I had a bad crash in Sandown (before Bathurst), I had no doors," he said.
Not one to let his mate down, Thoroughgood took Campbell's wreck and straightened it out before the Bathurst round last year.
"It went from a shell to a race car in three weeks and finished 10th at Bathurst," Campbell said.
Campbell said his restored Holden Commodore held up well on the rain-slicked track at Bathurst as he hurtled around it at speeds of more than 250kmh.
But he was clipped by another driver, which launched him into a spin.
Frantically Campbell found second gear and was able to get his car back under control to lose just one place.
At the end of that race Campbell finished 10th and accomplished his mission of getting his name up on the top 10 tower.
Campbell's fastest lap around Bathurst was 1min 27sec in the wet.
As the months have gone on, Campbell slowed down his racing but when the chance to compete at Queensland's newest motorsport event opened up he could not turn it down.
So Campbell and Thoroughgood made their way down to Wondai to compete in the first Wondai Street Sprints.
As the first sprint series in which Campbell has competed, he said he wasn't sure how they would fare against the sprint-trained drivers.
He said he preferred the gung-ho drifting around corners born from his days of speedway.
"With a dirt track you're supposed to go sideways but on bitumen you're not supposed to go sideways," he said.
"But it's more fun going sideways."
Campbell showed no signs of changing his driving style as he put his full faith in Thoroughgood to help him through the weekend.
The driver and mechanic met after Campbell bought one of his Commodore race cars off another driver Thoroughgood helped out with in the pits in 2012.
Since then Campbell has always sought help from Thoroughgood to get his cars up to scratch.
As a small engine mechanic by trade, Thoroughgood has developed the know-how to get the most out of a car on the track.
With no preference to what car or engine he works on, he has become a Jack of all trades, often mastering them too.
While Thoroughgood was a mechanic he was not always tied up with race cars.
In a bit of a role reversal, Thoroughgood said it was actually his son who introduced him to the world of the pits.
"My lad was involved in another race car, and he just got me roped into it," he said.