FORMER winner Trevor Green is in a race against the clock to make Saturday's Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic after making a frantic 715-kilometre dash to Adelaide early yesterday.
The 1997 Classic champ is so hellbent on adding a second victory in the country's biggest race he is likely to enter the event, should he make qualifying, with matchsticks holding his eyes open.
Green's number one motor suffered problems in the final of Wednesday night's President's Cup at Avalon while running seventh. The part failure in the motor forced Green out of the race and sent his Classic build-up into a tail-spin.
The South Australian and his crew worked until 2am to remove the motor before Green borrowed a pick-up truck from fellow racer Domain Ramsay and raced to Adelaide with the power-plant in the back.
Green arrived at the front entrance of Maxwill Motors in Adelaide at 8.15am (South Australian time) yesterday where he waited for staff to arrive. He fell asleep and at 8.30am handed the sick motor over to Peter Maxwill.
Maxwill was last night working to re-build the motor, while back in Warrnambool Green ordered his crew to start building a new race car. They were preparing to work through the night and Green expects to hit the road at lunchtime today to drive the revived motor back across the border where his team again faces a sleepless night to drop it in.
Assuming "the plan" works, Green will be pumped for yet another shot at the Classic, which opens with qualifying and heat races tomorrow night.
"You can't leave any stone unturned, it's the Classic," Green said.
"It's not ideal putting a brand new car together without having a run but I need to take some self-doubt out."
The doubts started surfacing after he suffered some damage at the Australian title in Brisbane two weeks ago. While the car seemed OK, Green said his strong performances had dropped off.
He said the Maxim chassis and motor he had planned to run had taken him to two victories at Premier Speedway, one during Easter last year and the other in December when he won the first of two feature races contested.
"The last two times we've been to Warrnambool I have won with that package. For us to change it now is a big call. I don't know if it is the right call. I've got everything crossed (it is)."
Green is a popular competitor at Premier Speedway, having won the hearts of race fans with his famous victory in the 1997 Classic, held on a Monday during the day, which saw the knockabout character drive from relative obscurity to stardom in a rags to riches story.
But the Classic hasn't always been kind to him, having suffered horrible luck several times. But as he contemplated some much-needed sleep last night, he would have been hoping he had copped his dose of misfortune already.