Veal embarks on heavy schedule

WARRNAMBOOL driver Jamie Veal is set to embark on a hectic schedule along the eastern seaboard after completing his maiden World Series Sprintcars mission.

Veal ended the gruelling WSS championship in fifth overall last weekend and returned from Perth with the series’ rookie of the year and driver’s driver awards.

The driver’s award was based on 3-2-1 voting by his peers and recognised his mature performances in the 12-round series that included a victory at Adelaide.

“I said I wanted to win a round and get a couple of podiums,” he said.

“Top-five was what I wanted to achieve. I did exactly what I wanted to do.”

The success has whet Veal’s desire for more consistent racing against the country’s best and vindicated his decision to accept a contract with WSS for the first time.

The 25-year-old is considering employing a full-time crew chief in a bid to ramp up his career, including another shot at WSS next season.

“I think I can aim for the top-three next year but it’s a hard deal,’’ he said.

“Some nights you go to Brisbane and you have the locals turn up and that adds to the competition, then you go to Perth and suddenly Tim Kaeding and Kerry Madsen who are based over there are waiting for you. 

‘‘It’s hard especially because we’ve been racing and travelling.”

He said he and crew member Jeff Judd did all the work on his cars outside of racing meetings sandwiched in between their own work commitments. 

With the series leading drivers through South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, the effort needed to run at the top was considerable.

Veal said he would look at the full-time crew chief option in the next few weeks as he reviewed the series.

He has a break from racing this weekend but will then hit the road again, contesting races at Simpson and Avalon next weekend, Premier Speedway on March 22 followed by weekends in Brisbane then Sydney and then back home for the three-night Easter Sprintcar Trail.

Veal said the trip north to Queensland was part of a plan to do better in next season’s WSS.

“We struggled a bit at Brisbane so I will go up there and run more shows there and learn a bit more,” he said.

The successful WSS campaign rounded out a memorable five weeks for Veal, who claimed the biggest win of his burgeoning career on the opening night of the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic before finishing third overall. 

He backed that form up with a strong showing at the national title in Tasmania and then the following weekend claimed the George Tatnell Cup — the WSS round in Adelaide.

grbest@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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