A Darwin sprintcar series against high-quality opponents is considered the ideal way for Australian number one Jamie Veal to get much needed laps under his belt.
The Warrnambool-based driver plans to leave for the Northern Territory in three weeks' time, pending coronavirus border restrictions, for the Chariots of Thunder series.
Veal, 32, said he wanted to get "race-fit" after a shorter-than-usual 2020-21 campaign.
He has spent time competing in America in the past during the Australian off-season.
The pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions, including quarantine protocols, means Veal has spent more time on home soil.
"That's where Darwin comes in quite nicely, you can go up there for three weekends, get five or six nights (of racing in) and it fills the void quite nicely," Veal told The Standard.
"It pays decent money, you've got 'Farry' (Robbie Farr) and 'Linesy' (Steven Lines), they are the ones you want to race against.
"And spectator-wise, there's heaps coming from around this area.
"A lot of people used to travel to America but with that being a little bit harder now everyone is looking forward to Darwin. Let's hope it all goes to plan."
The SWI Racing driver said Chariots of Thunder was a fun series to be part of.
"I think there was nearly 60 cars originally nominated so it is just good to go up there," Veal said.
"Most of the heavy-hitters are going to be up there so it's good to get a shakedown before the season down here."
Veal, whose most recent meeting was the Easter Sprintcar Trail at Premier Speedway, is pleased with his team's preparation and he is excited to unveil new black and orange livery.
"We do it up to how we think is going to be OK for Darwin and we just have to get up there and get some laps under our belts to see what I need," he said.
"Not racing for a while I am going to be fairly rusty.
"I have to work on what I am doing. I am not race-fit at all but everyone is in the same boat.
"Normally it's a bit different, I am back and forwards to America."
Veal said competing in the USA and the famed World of Outlaws was difficult in the current world environment.
"At the moment I don't see it being feasible to go over and spend a fortune and quarantine (when you get back)," he said.
"I don't see myself quarantining for two weeks to get over there. Other people are in different situations but for me I happy staying here."
Veal said the pandemic had impacted the sprintcar industry like it had many others.
"It is a big effort to get there and travel will never be the same," he said.
"I don't think it's going to be as easy as it used to be. We used to be able to fly motors back and forwards, ship cars, fly crew from here really easily.
"Now airfares (are expensive) and even freight is hard to get in and out. Now to get motors back is taking four to six weeks and to get parts, the world's gone crazy."
Veal is hopeful he can race more in Australia during the 2021-22 season.
He said the last campaign was "hard".
"I did 10 to 12 nights last year and normally I do that in two months," he said.
"I probably wasn't race-fit and we weren't racing as much so there was two or three-week gaps sometimes.
"It just wasn't normal, that was probably the biggest thing. We weren't in a routine.
"With some racing there was 'umming and ahhing' and a lockdown here or there. It was hard to 100 per cent concentrate and work hard at it when you don't know when you're racing."
"We weren't bad but we weren't good. We just went out and had some fun."
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