Following an encouraging introduction to the class last season, Robert Heard is looking forward to his first full Speedcar schedule in the 2018-19 season.
Purchasing his Fontana powered Breka from Stephen Dillon midway through last season, the ex-Wingless Sprint racer contested a total of eight race meetings, many at his home track Murray Bridge Speedway, while also venturing into Victoria to compete at Warrnambool’s Premier Speedway and Portland’s Southern 500 Speedway.
Having had no experience in Speedcars prior to purchasing his car, the 30-year-old Murray Bridge, South Australia resident used the latter part of last season to familiarise himself with one of the sport’s most competitive classes.
Experiencing positive signs for the future, the pilot of the SA # 57 Moore Plant Hire supported Breka car put in an impressive display during the Australian Championship at Murray Bridge Speedway, where he managed to qualify directly into the feature race and went on to finish just outside of the top 10. At the completion of the season, he was also awarded Rookie of the Year honours for the South Australian club.
“Speedcars are completely different to Wingless Sprints, so I’ve basically had to throw out everything I learned in Wingless and start from scratch,” admitted Heard, who earlier this month claimed his maiden feature-race win during a club show at Murray Bridge Speedway.
“Stepping into Speedcars has been a massive challenge so far, but it’s one that I’m thoroughly enjoying and I’m excited to continue gaining more by running the full season and getting on the road a bit more.”
Not commencing his competitive racing career until the age of 24, Heard’s only speedway experience prior to stepping into the Wingless Sprints class was as a spectator, but it didn’t take long for him to prove his worth as a driver.
Running a car for the Dalitz family during his debut season, Heard then purchased his own car the following season, which he ran up until the end of the 2016-17 season, prior to his venture into Speedcars.
Heard’s five seasons in the class were highlighted by his performance in the 2016 Australian Championship at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Queensland, where he impressively came from position 13 in the B main to secure a transfer spot into the feature race, later racing to a remarkable third-place finish from the rear of the field. Other notable achievements in Wingless Sprints from Heard included multiple minor podium results in South Australian and Victorian Titles, winning a 50 Lapper at Mildura’s Timmis Speedway, winning a South Australian Club Championship and receiving the Bill Wigzell Best and Fairest award for Murray Bridge Speedway on two occasions.
Photo: Picko's Photos
Planning to do as many local race meetings as possible this season, Heard will also be participating in the Ultimate Speedway Challenge in an effort to go up against some unfamiliar competitors, along with both the South Australian and Victorian Titles.
It will be a busy three weeks ahead for Heard, whose next appearance will be this Saturday night’s opening Ultimate Speedway Challenge round at Hi-Tec Oils Speedway, followed by the second round at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway on November 10 and round three at Murray Bridge Speedway on November 17.
Heard would like to thank the following 2018-19 season sponsors: Moore Plant Hire, Auto Pro - Murray Bridge, Fuchs Lubricants, RAA Shop - Murray Bridge, Smartway Driver Education, Burgess Paint ‘N’ Panel Crash Repairs, Wittwer Motors, Cockerill Engineering, Brutforce Powder Coating, Lower Murray Grit Blasting, and Kwik Cote Painters & Decorators. Special thanks must go to Brett (crew chief), Stewart (Dad), along with the rest of his family and friends.
To find out more about Heard and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Heard Performance Racing or FOLLOW them on Instagram by searching Heard Performance.