QUEENSLANDER James McFadden says a slow start to the World Series Sprintcars (WSS) season won’t hinder his chances of snaring a third straight championship.
McFadden, 24, earned his first podium finish of the series at Avalon Speedway on Monday night, finishing round four behind Mount Gambier’s Steven Lines and West Australian-based Robbie Farr.
The reigning Australian champion said he would take confidence from that result into round five at Allansford’s Premier Speedway tonight.
McFadden, driving for Warrnambool-based Team 25, sits fifth on the WSS leaderboard.
His best qualifying result so far this season was fourth in Mount Gambier in round three but a crash ended his chances in the A main final.
“Result-wise it hasn’t shown how good the car is,” he said.
“It hasn’t been a great start, but solid. Hopefully we’ll turn it around.
“We haven’t started close enough to the front to make any kind of challenge to the front positions.
“We have to pick up our time trials a bit and hopefully start closer to the front.”
McFadden said he felt comfortable racing at Premier Speedway, having won the corresponding round last year.
“It is my favourite track on the calendar. I’ve always gone well there,” he said.
“Most of the field is fast. There is not one person who is a standout and is tougher than anyone else.”
Farr, who will miss tonight’s round with commitments interstate, heads the WSS leaderboard.
Lines, Brooke Tatnell and Luke Dillon sit ahead of McFadden.
McFadden said with little separating the main contenders, he didn’t feel his lacklustre start would haunt him at the end of the 11-round series.
“I don’t think you can count anyone out,” he said.
McFadden is among 56 nominations for tonight’s round.
South-west drivers include Carl Ludeman, Quentin Tanner, Jack Lee, Will Carroll, Jamie Veal, Darren Mollenoyux, John Vogels and Stephen Bell.
WSS culminates with its grand final on February 21 and 22 in Perth.
McFadden will compete in Warrnambool’s esteemed Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic before that.
He said the decision to extend the January competition to three nights was sensible.
“It needed to (be extended). There was too much racing on the track for one night,” he said of the former two-night concept.
“It should make it fairer for everyone.”