There is no question that Mark Heaton has certainly made an impact on the Compact Speedcar scene since arriving three seasons ago, and that impact reached a whole new level during last Saturday night’s Australian Compact Speedcar Title at Nowra Speedway when he claimed the winning honours.
After finishing second in last season’s Australian Title and fifth the season before, Heaton couldn’t have asked for a better run throughout this season’s Australian Title by qualifying on pole position for the Australian Title deciding feature race and then going to dominate the entire 25-lap journey and in the process become the first NSW-based winner in nearly 20 years.
Heaton, from Oakdale in the Wollondilly Shire of NSW, has been competing in speedway across a range of classes over two decades and last Saturday night’s Australian Title win was by far the biggest achievement of his career.
“It’s a dream come true to win an Australian Title and it was really the near perfect sort of night where everything worked in our favour,” expressed the NSW # 26 Jam Signs supported Kawasaki powered Stealth racer, who had earlier in the night won two out of his three heat races and ran second in the other and then in the feature race recorded the fastest lap in 24 of the 25 laps.
“In last season’s Australian Title, I had to do it the hard way and came up one spot short, but on this occasion, I proved my front-running form throughout the night by earning pole position and then backing that up with the win.”
As the saying goes, a driver is only as strong as the team he has around him, and Heaton credits his team to his Australian Title success.
“I can’t thank my team enough for all of their efforts, not only at the track but most importantly away from the track in the shed,” the 46-year-old praised.
“It’s a massive team effort that earned us the Australian Title, as every one of our team members is as important as the next one, and this victory is as much theirs as it is mine.”
Heading into the Australian Title, Heaton had successfully defended his NSW Title, picked up three feature-race wins amongst a lot of race meetings that had been cancelled due to the wet weather. During the running of the Victorian Title, he had qualified on pole position for the feature race but unfortunately recorded a DNF due to a mechanical issue. There is no question that Heaton was the form driver leading into the Australian Title.
After an encouraging debut season in Compact Speedcars during the 2017-18 season that saw him win the NSW Club Championship and place third in the NSW Title, Heaton went to a whole new level in the 2017-18 season by dominating the NSW Club Championship off the back of nine feature-race wins – including claiming his maiden NSW Title win. Due to putting in a late nomination for the rescheduled Australian Title that season and consequently had to start all his of heat races from the rear of the field, he managed to overcome adversity to finish one spot shy of winner Justin Paull in the Australian Title deciding feature race.
To say that Heaton was a deserving winner of this season’s Australian Title would be quite the understatement.
The final two race meetings on the 2018-19 season calendar for Heaton are going to be held at Cullen Bullen Raceway on May 4 and then the annual Memorial event at Bega’s Sapphire Speedway on the Saturday night of May 11.
Heaton is proudly supported by the 2018-19 season sponsors: Jam Signs, Custom Cars Built by Mark Heaton, Budget Battery Services, and Piperight Services. Special thanks go to his wife Joanne, Kevin, Morgan, his dad Pat, his three sons: Robert, Adam and Leo, and his fellow Compact Speedcar racers.
To find out more about Heaton and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Custom Cars Built by Mark Heaton.
Photo: Rob's Race Photos