Kensington Grove Driver is on the right track
SPEEDWAY: Finishing in the top 10 in his first time competing at the Australian Speedway Kart Titles over the Australia Day long weekend would have been a big achievement for Kensington Grove driver Shane Manning.
So it's fair to say a place on the podium after coming third in the standard class left him over the moon, while he also picked up sixth place in the modified class.
"Standards is the hardest because everything has got to be basically stock standard, you can't do any modifications,” Manning said.
"It all comes down to how you drive it. I build all my own motors... that was another big thing - I'm going up against all the best engine builders in Australia as well and I'm just working out of my garage, building all my own engines.
"It was a double pat on the back for me in that respect. One of my own motors that I built myself is the third quickest in Australia.”
He has had success at the Maryborough Speedway track in the past, coming in third at the Queensland titles in 2016.
But it was a much different challenge at the biggest event of the year, with competitors coming from as far as Darwin and Tasmania to try and come out on top of the country's top drivers.
"At club events you're pretty much racing against the same people, so you kind of get to know how they're going to go on the track,” he said.
"When you're up against these drivers, especially the blokes from Victoria who are the best of the best, the amount that you learn coming out of that is just unbelievable, it completely changes the way that you drive.
"You definitely come out of it learning so much.”
Having that accolade under his belt was a big confidence boost as he aims to take out the points at Gatton for the fourth year in a row in 2018.
"You started doubting yourself after a while, you know, like 'what chance have you got?',” he said.
"You don't know until you give it a crack. Then you go, well, I'm not too bad. The way the motors are getting built, the way we're setting the karts up... obviously doing something right.”