Dual races, twice the chance for Van Ginneken

TIM Van Ginneken is doubling his chances of claiming a breakthrough Victorian sprintcar title at Avalon tomorrow night.

The 26-year-old is preparing for a big night of racing, entering a car in both the open and 360-cubic inch engine classes. 

He won’t be alone, with six drivers doubling up, including Warrnambool’s Jamie Veal and Terang’s Jack Lee.

Running both championships on the one night has given the trio the opportunity for twin titles — a rare feat in sprintcar racing.

For Van Ginneken, he can’t split his priorities. While the 410-cubic-inch engine car is his own, the 360 beast is owned by Bacchus Marsh friend Colin Barker who is too busy to race.

The Warrnambool driver is excited about the double act, especially after recording some strong performances in both classes in revent weeks in just his second season of sprintcar racing.

He drove Barker’s 360 at Simpson last month when he stunned a star-studded field of Americans by winning a heat, the top-six dash and starting the A main from pole. He led for 21 of the 30 laps and looked comfortable until the front axle inexplicably snapped and sent him crashing out.

“We had it shot to pieces,” Van Ginneken said.

A couple of weeks ago he was running third in the Tyson Perez Memorial at Mount Gambier before the drive line broke.

“We’ve got the speed right and the set up right, but I haven’t got the luck,” he said.

Van Ginneken had toyed with running just his 410 at Avalon, but Barker was keen for him to keep going in search of success.

“The 410, it’s my own car. I would like to win that one because it’s the harder one to win with more cars,” he said.

“With how many meetings we’ve done in the 360, I would still like to win that one. I would like to get a win for how much bad luck we’ve had and for Colin.”

Van Ginneken revealed he had said he would never drive someone else’s car because of the pressure associated with potentially damaging it.

But the move with Barker had been refreshing.

“I feel that relaxed. It makes a huge difference,” he said.

“There was no way in the world I thought I could start off the front and lead a $5000-to-win show against those Americans.

“I don’t feel I’ve got any pressure on me. When I get to the front in the 410 I get all nervous.”

He said the 360 ranks were more low-key than the elite 410.

“It seems you don’t have the stress of putting the new tyres on and watching what everyone else does. To me it’s more get in and drive away,” he said. “I guess I feel more relaxed because I don’t have to pay the bills.”

Van Ginneken said he felt he was going forward in 2013, despite the lack of luck.

“Last year our aim (in the 410) was to make A mains. This year it is about finishing as high in the A mains as we can. We’ve finished fifth and sixth, so we’ve improved.”

The titles at Avalon tomorrow night have attracted good fields, with 38 in the 410s and 25 in the 360s. 

Allansford’s Stephen Bell, who sensationally dead-heated with Western Australian-based Robbie Farr last year at the same track, is back to defend his title, while Simpson’s John Vogels, a former winner, will also make the trip.

grbest@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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