ASHLEY Cook is treating his first season as a sprintcar driver as a major learning curve.
The Laang-based dairy farmer, who has previously raced wingless sprintcars, always dreamt of revving up a 410cc engine.
Approaching the 2021-22 campaign, he finally took the plunge.
"This is my first year. It was challenging at the start, but I'm starting to get my head around it all now," he told The Standard.
"We're just trying to improve each night. Building consistency is the main thing. The guys constantly at the top, that's who you aspire to be like.
"I raced wingless sprints for a while, last year was my first full-time season in that. Before that I'd done two seasons sharing the car with Dad (David)."
Cook is tapping into his father David's knowledge - he's a seasoned dirt racer - as well as Simpson-based veteran John Vogels' as he learns the ropes of the new class.
"Dad's done a lot of racing and he was pretty handy so I'm trying to learn as much from him as possible," he said.
"Johnny Vogels as well, he's given us the opportunity to go 410 sprintcars. With his knowledge, and Dad's, and everyone who chips in that little bit... Trying to learn as much as we can as quick as we can.
"With the wingless, you've only V6, 200 horsepower and in a V8 with 900 horsepower so things happen a lot quicker."
With the wingless, you've only V6, 200 horsepower and in a V8 with 900 horsepower so things happen a lot quicker.- Ashley Cook
The 21-year-old said adapting and getting used to the "speed difference" had been the biggest curveball in his climb up to sprintcars.
"How these drive to a wingless and how we set them up is completely different, it hasn't been too bad," he said.
"We're getting there now. It's been helpful having those guys in the corner. Coming in after hot laps or time trials and having them to chat to about how the car is handling.
"I'm loving working with them so I know what I should be looking for and having a wing, with that horsepower and how they drive differently."
Cook said he entered the season with no expectations but simply want to be a sponge.
"It's been 'right, let's learn the craft. There are no expectations. It's about figuring out car control, which is basically our main goal," he said.
"I just want to finish as many races as possible and take as much out of it as I can."
Cook said his work as a farmer was flexible around racing.
"For us summertime is sort of quiet time on the farm, we're drying cows off so we're not milking as many," he said.
"It's good because there's not as much to do on the farm so we can sneak away racing.
"It's good having that flexibility. If it's raining outside, we can inside and work on the car and stuff. It's a really good setup."
The final night of the Easter Sprintcar Trail was washed out on Sunday night as an estimated five to 10 millimetres lashed the south-west.
Premier Speedway managed to squeeze some super rod and late model racing in before it was forced to make the decision after a long rain layoff.
Warrnambool driver Jamie Veal scored victory on night one and two of the Easter Trail at Avalon Speedway and Mount Gambier's Borderline Speedway respectively.
It capped a solid season for Veal, who was again highly competitive in the A1 car.
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