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Jun 29, 2015

GRICE: WE WILL KEEP ON PUSHING ‘BLOODY HARD’

“I WENT TO Winton with the expectation of getting plenty of laps at a track that’s like driving on the inside of your clothes dryer,” says Ben Grice of the most recent round of the Dial Before you Dig Australian Super Six Touring Car Series.

“But in the end there wasn’t any clothes drying.. unless you count for the fact I was completely strung out by the end of it!”

The laconic second-generation Queensland racer – the son of double Bathurst champion and hero to many, Allan - has endured a horrible start to his second season in the six-cylinder Holden versus Ford category this year, but is refusing to roll over in the face of unrelenting unreliability and plain old bad luck.

‘Gricey’ has finished three of the five races held so far this season, the pair of zero scores dropping arguably the fastest driver in the field to 14th in the series standings.

And yet he’s shown all of his famous father’s knack for one-liners and an ability to ‘keep on punching’ to ensure that he comes out on top in Sydney this weekend.

At Sandown’s season opener it was a range of gearbox issues that slowed his charge.

Thing got worse at Winton when he was denied a chance at pole - having finished second in the pre-shootout session – by an error that saw him return to the garage immediately following the session rather than stay in pit lane.

That relegated him to the back of the field for the first 30-lap race.

“I had the thing going alright and was up to fourth when I had a tyre go down straight after a pit stop,” Grice explained.

“It spat me into the sand trap and we were very lucky not to destroy the car. We got dragged out and finished five laps down. I’d say we were happy to get the points for finishing, but I’m not a liar…”

With motivation high for race two, Grice’s car broke a driveshaft on the start, ending his race literally as it began.

“The beer tasted pretty good after that weekend,” he admitted.

“But there’s nothing to do but put it behind you and make sure our prep is even better for the next round so we can get some scores on the board.”

With the two opening rounds behind him, the Queensland sign writer (now with his own business – BANG Signs) has set his sights on the third round this weekend for a shot at redemption.

The round will be held at the high-speed Sydney Motorsport Park circuit in the West of the New South Wales capital – a circuit that requires commitment in order to extract a lap time.

“I reckon the place will suit us,” Grice said.

“Last time we were there I got the round win racing in the Australian Suzuki Swift series, and it was bloody good fun.

“It’s a super-fast, sweeping circuit that requires and rewards big ‘commitment’, if you know what I mean.. It’s a proper track. It suits me.

“I can’t wait to get stuck in and have a proper crack. It’s been a rough start to the year but I know when it all comes together we’re more than good enough to win plenty of races.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching the old man take the fight up to the factory teams as a privateer over the years, is that you’ve just got to keep swinging..”

The racing on Sunday (5 July) will be streamed live via the Shannons Nationals website – www.thenationals.com.au

Check out Gricey’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bengricemotorracing

Ben thanks the ongoing support of his major sponsors:

Glenmore Park Plumbing & Drainage
Hinde Transport
Jan Jones Real Estate
Workhorse Collision Repairs
I&L Autos Coolangatta
Blade Haulage
Hester Haulage
DEAS Diesel Engine Services
Chemsave Pharmacy Mullum
Anna Karena Restaurant

(Team release)