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REVOLVING RACER – DREW SELLS | Columns | Gassit Garage

“I only finished off the podium in three races this year”

I’ve dreamed of becoming an Australian Champion since I first started riding. This year I competed in the highly competitive ASBK 300cc Production class, and it has been amazing but also very tough. The racing has been so close – you have to be switched on every second you are out there! Keeping my head this year was a massive part of the success. I knew I had to finish every race and lined up on the grid week in, week out with the championship in mind. I only finished off the podium in three races this year and managed to notch up two round wins, two second places and a third. I also competed in the Victoria Road Race Championships (VRRC), where I won 11out of 12 races and broke lap records at 3 out of the 4 rounds to win the title.

The journey to this stage of my racing has been an enjoyable experience. My brother (Luke) started racing in 2009 on a Honda CBR150 in the juniors, as soon as he started, I was hooked. When I got home after his first race I asked dad if I could try riding a road bike and that led to my first junior development day at Broadford on a NSR50 hire bike. I absolutely loved it! Then I got onto one of my brothers CBR150’s before Dad finally gave in and bought me one of my own.

I began road racing in 2012 in juniors and slowly got up to speed to the point where I was running up the front in MRRDA and in the local Pirelli Road Race series.  It got to the point in juniors where I was too big for the trusty old CBR150 so we decided to try a Kawasaki Ninja 300 and start the journey of turning this road bike into a race bike. Several nights in the shed with Dad were spent getting the bike race ready. We then took the bike to Race Center in Brunswick so they could modify the suspension and give the ECU a tune. I got some laps at Broadford under my belt before heading to the Vic Titles in late 2014. I cleaned up the round and bagged my first lap record on this bike, winning my first Victorian Title in the process.

We then began considering what path to take in 2015. We decided to do the Pirelli RR Series and the ASBK. My brother joined in on the fun in the Pirelli series but unfortunately hit the deck during a close tough race and broke his back (he’s now got a couple of Titanium rods in his back and is fully recovered). I went on to win both the Sprint and TT Series of the PRRS.

ASBK was a different story, too many little mistakes cost me the 2015 championship and I came second. We had the speed at every track but couldn’t put a race together without making mistakes. Fitness wasn’t the problem – I play Aussie Rules Football during the winter so we start training in November to prepare for the next season each year.

We re-grouped, did a lot of testing during the last bit of 2015 and early 2016 and came out bigger better and stronger.

My success this year has also been massively helped by my long term supporters Race Center, particularly Darren Sciberras. When we first got the Ninja 300 we helped Darren and his team develop winning suspension packages and the championship winning Megacycle exhaust system used by many 300 production competitors.

Throughout 2016 Darren helped me with suspension set up at each circuit and provided some great mentoring along the way. So it’s nice to have been able to give them their first Aussie Championship.

Peter Stevens Motorcycles also came on board for the 2016 season and have provided invaluable support in keeping me safe and making me look the part; their spares back up has also been amazing.

My other long term supporter is Oilee Racing. Lee has kept our bikes well-oiled all year.

What does 2017 hold for me? Well, it’s going to be busy as I begin year 12 but I plan on defending my Aussie Championship in the newly named Supersport 300 class. It should be a fun year with 7 rounds around the country, and I will also compete in the VRRC and maybe even try to get a few rounds of Dirt Track racing in with the Harley Club of Vic.