MODIFIED SEDANS
 
Winning one Australian Title in one of the most competitive classes, such as Modified Sedans, is a massive achievement in itself, but to win three is something truly remarkable. 
 
Mark Carlin 2 thumbEarlier this month at Carrick Speedway in Tasmania, Victorian Mark Carlin achieved back-to-back Australian Title wins and moved another win closer to being the winningest driver in Australian Modified Sedan Title history (the record is currently four and is held by Queenslander Arthur Wiedon).
 
We recently caught up with Carlin, to get his thoughts on yet another Australian Title success and what the future holds.
 
Totally Speedway: Firstly, congratulations on your third Australian Title win. What does this one mean to you?
 
Mark Carlin: Just like my other previous two wins, it’s very special, especially since I was able to successfully defend this one. The Modified Sedan class isn’t getting any easier, as heading into this season’s Australian Title, there were at least 10 potential winners, and that was even without a number of the heavy hitters, such as Aidan Raymont and Gavin Fletcher, travelling over to contest this season’s event. It’s a massive achievement to win one Australian Title, but to be able to win three is something truly remarkable. 
 
TS: You haven’t raced a lot this season, why was that?
 
MC: I haven’t done a whole lot of racing because I was focusing on my trip to Tasmania. The plan was to travel over for the Tasmanian Title and then the Australian Title a fortnight later. With both events being held at Carrick Speedway, it helped me dial the car in at the Tasmanian Title for the Australian Title. I was lucky enough to come away with both wins. 
 
TS: After winning the Tasmanian Title, how were you feeling heading into the Australian Title a fortnight later?
 
MC: Winning the Tasmanian Title gave me added confidence. It was great to get a run on the track prior to the Australian Title. To be honest, I hadn’t been running too well this season in the limited race meetings I had contested prior to heading over to Tasmania, so running the Tasmanian Title done me the world of good. 
 
Mark Carlin 2 full
 
TS: You finished the opening night of the Australian Title equal highest point scorer with Queenslander Rodney Pammenter, how were you feeling?
 
MC: I felt really good, because I had survived all of my heat races and achieved strong results. The first night was pretty slick and dusty and passing was, at times, difficult, but I had banked enough points to head into the final night as joint leader.  
 
TS: In your final heat race on the second and final night, you had done enough to snare the right to start the Australian Title deciding feature race from pole position, your confidence must have been pretty high?
 
MC: Yeah, it was. However, I had been racing long enough and contested a lot of Australian Titles, to know that qualifying on pole position for the feature race is the start of another battle. 
 
TS: With the Australian Title feature race being 40 laps, did you have a plan of attack?
 
MC: 40 laps is a long way, so the plan was to stay at the pointy end for the entire distance. Kye Blight, who started alongside me on the front row, got the jump and I was more than happy to sit behind him. 
 
TS: What were you thinking as you were following Kye?
 
MC: I was keeping a cool head and just staying with him. I knew if I was able to stay with him and put some pressure on him, then I was a good chance of taking over the lead. After about 25 laps of following him, I was able to benefit from a slight mistake from Kye and moved into the lead. 
 
TS: Once you hit the lead, how were you feeling?
 
MC: I knew once I hit the front, I could stay there, as I felt confident I had a good enough car under me and had looked after my tyres early on, and that’s how it worked out. 
 
TS: When you greeted the chequered flag, what were your emotions?
 
MC: They were emotions of both relief and satisfaction. I say relief, because so much work goes into making an Australian Title win happen, there’s your family, pit crew and sponsors, and when you achieve success, there’s a massive weight lifted from your shoulders, because you want to do well for them. There aren’t many drivers who have managed back-to-back Australian Titles, so to be able to do that brings a lot of satisfaction. 
 
TS: What are your plans for the rest of this season?
 
MC: I’m looking forward to running this weekend’s Victorian Title and also, depending on budget, I’d like to contest the Queensland Title in June.
 
TS: Looking into the future, do you have any plans for next season and beyond?
 
MC: I just tackle every season as it comes, and try not to get too far ahead of myself. Next season, I’ll be focusing on the Australian Title at Lismore Speedway (NSW). It’d be great to be able to win three Australian Titles in a row (Editor’s note: a feat only achieve by Carlin’s good friend Peter Lack in 2003, 2004 and 2005). 
carlin