Ahead of this weekend’s Shannons Nationals, Kim Burke has found himself in an unusual position of being the hunted instead of the hunter.
In a positive contrast to last year’s start to the Radical Australia Cup, Burke now leads the competition after two rounds – despite not winning a round.
For Burke, the key factor to his brilliant start has been credited to the preparation and execution for each race weekend so far.
“We are trying to be a little bit more organised and disciplined around how we approach every weekend,” Burke said.
“This includes how we prepare the car, how we look after the car on a race weekend and also how I drive the car. I try not to drive into walls and stuff like that.
“The past few years, we’ve had a few mechanical issues as well as a few accidents and it never helps but this year so far it’s been good on both fronts.
“We’re making sure that we go through everything and just do a professional job in terms of preparing the car to eliminate as many possibilities as we can for things to go wrong.”
Burke will go to Sandown full of confidence with the iconic track his favourite on the calendar, but with his new found attitude this year, the main focus will continue to be not making any crucial mistakes.
“Sandown is a pretty good track for us,” Burke added.
“I think I’ve had a couple of pole positions there over the last few years so for whatever reason we’re usually pretty quick there.
“It’s not really about speed. It’s going to be about putting a solid weekend together and not making any mistakes really.”
In previous campaigns, Burke has always had slow starts but improved as the races went on. After two solid starts this year, it’s the first time in Burke’s career that he finds himself leading a series.
Despite being in unfamiliar territory and the pressure building for him to stay at the top, Burke remains upbeat and welcoming of the challenges up ahead.
“While there is definitely pressure on me, I’m just trying to like channel that in a good way, but there is also pressure on the workshop to make sure the car is 100 percent,” Burke said.
“There’s couple of young blokes in the championship now Chris Perini and Mitch Neilson who are actually probably quicker than I am, but they may also be a little bit more prone to making mistakes so there’s definitely pressure for those guys.
“I think there’s a little bit of pressure on all of us but equally it’s not too bad.”
Burke leads the competition on 124 points with a healthy buffer between himself and second placed Chris Medland on 87 points. Chris Perini (86) sits just one point below Medland, with Tom Haggerty (78) and 2017 champion Peter Paddon (74) rounding out the top five.
The Radical Australia Cup will have three races over the course of the Shannons Nationals at Sandown Raceway on 11 – 13 May.
Catch the action from the Shannons Nationals live stream at thenationals.com.au.