WARRNAMBOOL-BASED driver Darren Mollenoyux is taking a different approach to his 14th season of racing sprintcars.
The 36-year-old, who will open his Victorian Sprintcar Series account at Avalon on Saturday night, said he was looking to keep things closer to home after a seventh-place finish on the World Sprintcar series in 2017-18.
“We are not running the whole Eureka Series but we plan on contesting all the events at the Avalon Track Championship,” Mollenoyux said. “We would like to try and get another Avalon Track Championship victory and contest the Warrnambool Track Championship and the (Grand Annual Sprintcar) Classic.”
Mollenoyux’s best finish at the Classic is a second in 2016 and in last year’s edition he finished eighth. His last track championship victories at Avalon were in 2012-13 and 2016-17 seasons.
The mechanical engineer, who owns and runs Swift Industries, said commitments in Warrnambool factored in his decision to commit to racing in Victoria.
“With family and business commitments I can’t travel away as much as we did last season,” Mollenoyux said.
“We just wanted to base ourselves locally and just try and race in all the local races. We have just over 20 races planned in the calendar.
“We are floating with the idea of possibly going to Brisbane for the Australian Titles but we will see how things go before Christmas and decide from there.”
Mollenoyux, who finished on the podium six times in season 2017-18 including two victories, will unveil a new-look pit crew in Saturday’s season opener.
Shane Finch, who previously worked with Krikke Motorsport and Shaun Dobson, joins as a crew chief. He will be assisted in the pits by Chris Heard and the returning Simon Van Ginneken.
The experienced driver, who will be back in his family chassis with a Steve Duggan engine package, said the fresh crew could take time to settle into a groove.
“These sort of things can work two different ways,” Mollenoyux said.
“They can either work really well from the start or it could take a while to figure things out. We will just have to wait and see. We have a reasonably good base line package for local racing around here and I don’t see it being too different. It’s just a matter of how well we work together and how quickly we figure it all out.”
Mollenoyux has decided against preparing for a bumper summer in his off season but feels he is fresh and eager for another season to begin.
“I have been enjoying my off-season and I have been busy with work and family commitments,” he said.
“So I probably should have been in the gym but I haven’t been so we will find out Saturday night whether that is right or wrong.”