After spending a year away from the track, Chris Campbell is relishing being back in his V78 sprintcar.
The Sunbury-based driver said uncertainty around Covid-19 and racing in 2021 meant he turned his focus back onto his business, Dirtworx, and a new house extension.
But closing in on the turn of another year, Campbell admits "itchy feet" got him to return to the fold.
"I went and watched a couple nights at Avalon and it's just good to be back around people and race cars again," he said.
"You work all winter to save up and get your cars ready, it's what we love."
Campbell is one of 42 drivers to light up Premier Speedway on the second night of the South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic.
He said he had experienced "not so great" results at past Classics, but loved returning to Warrnambool when he could.
"It's a premier class and an premier event; everyone wants to go to the classic and compete," he said.
Following time trials, Campbell said he was slowly acclimatising to the new track.
"First time on this new surface, and it's a bit different to what it used to be," he said.
"It wasn't as quick as we'd possibly like, we were in the last group which made it a bit more difficult.
"We've probably got a little work to do."
Campbell expects the night to be competitive, especially form the likes drivers such as James McFadden.
"Those guys have the elbows out and are on a mission," Campbell said. "Everyone wants to win, but those guys are probably at that next level of experience and equipment.
"We do our best and have a red hot crack."
The 43-year-old has been racing since he was 18-years-old, first in the AMCA Nationals, before taking up sprintcars in his mid-20s.
"(My step-dad Les) got me involved, and from the first night I just loved everything about, the social and competitive sides," Campbell said.
Campbell now shares that same love of the sport with his two sons, Louis and Chaz.
"My boys love it; Louis (8) is up on the hill (tonight), he's come every time with me since he was about 18 months," he said.
"He generally sits with the (Jordyn) Charge's (family), but they raced last night. He's with the Kelly crew tonight."
"There is usually someone he can sit with - you hope you just don't bang wheels with them."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.