By Trevor Jackson
IT has been a wild ride for Mount Gambier Wingless Sprint driver Mitchell Broome in recent weeks.
Broome caused a fair amount of damage to his car at Murray Bridge just a couple of weeks ago and looked in doubt to start the Summer Slam series at the Borderline Speedway last Friday night.
However, an impressive effort from family and friends saw the young gun line up on the grid for the opening round of the series and finish sixth in the A Main feature race.
That set up the remaining two nights at Simpson Speedway and Warrnambool, where he put in consistent drives to finish the series in third place behind Luke Weel and Travis Millar.
“I am pretty pumped about that,” Broome said.
“I was just hoping the car was going to stay together to be honest.
“I just hoped we put it back together right.
“I always try to be consistent and just hope for good results night in, night out.
“We had that and it worked out all right.”
Broome said prior to the Murray Bridge crash he had planned to try for the overall win, but that all changed.
“You always want to win,” he said.
“After the crash I just hoped for good racing, try to keep it on the ground and just have a bit of fun, because the week before wasn’t a lot of fun.”
Broome’s accident happened in turn one at Murray Bridge, the same corner he had his only other roll over.
He had just taken the lead and was passing a slower car, which clipped his wheel and a spectacular accident followed.
“It was pretty decent,” Broome said.
“It is the biggest one I have had and it rattled me a bit.
“I was a bit dizzy after it because it spun around pretty quick, but after I settled down I was okay.”
While Broome was okay, the car certainly was not.
Most of the bolt-on parts were okay, but the chassis was bent and had to be repaired.
That is when the hard work began, with real doubts about the weekend ahead.
However, some help from family and friends saw the car fixed at the 11th hour and the rest is history.
“We had it stripped and dad drove it to Warrnambool the next day,” Broome said.
“We got it back Tuesday night and spent the next three nights trying to get it ready to go.
“We were just trying to get ready to go to the SA titles but we had a few friends say they would come and help to get it ready for Friday night, so we thought we should give it a crack.
“Every spare minute we had we were trying to get it fixed.
“I finished putting all the last bits on Friday morning.”
Broome said help – and spare parts – from Kirby and Steve Hillyer, along with his father and Dennis Crowe ensured he went racing.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.
“I wouldn’t have been racing on the weekend if they didn’t help out.”
Kirby Hillyer would go on to finish eighth in the series after an early incident at the Borderline Speedway put his weekend on the back foot, but a couple of heat wins over the course of the series helped put his weekend back on track.
In fact, an impressive drive on Sunday at Warrnambool saw the young driver win the B Main feature, transfer into the A Main where he started 19th, finished eighth and received the hard charger award.
While Broome’s car was back together, there was no time to test it, so he said he just hoped it all went well.
“I didn’t know if it hurt the steering box in the rollover, so I just hoped when I hit the track and turned into turn one it actually turned,” he said.
“But we had a pretty good run in Mount Gambier.
“I was comfortable in it and we were quick.”
Broome finished sixth in Mount Gambier, moved up from 13th to ninth on a “one-lane” track at Simpson Speedway the following night, but after breaking an engine plate had to remove the engine and fix it before Sunday at Warrnambool, where after sitting in third until the final corner of the feature he crossed the line in fourth.
However, by that stage he felt he had secured third place but that was not confirmed until Tuesday.
“I am pretty stoked with how the weekend went considering the damage we had to fix,” Broome said.
“It was good to get good results to reward the week we had.”