Formula Holden star Tim Leahey has finally broken through for his first victories after a season of heartbreak throughout 2000. Leahey started from pole position and led every lap of both races to lead the way ahead of reigning champion Simon...
Formula Holden star Tim Leahey has finally broken through for his first victories after a season of heartbreak throughout 2000.
Leahey started from pole position and led every lap of both races to lead the way ahead of reigning champion Simon Wills.
The Orange-born star must have thought his horrendous run of bad luck was set to continue on Friday after suffering another engine failure.
Rivals NRC Racing lent Leahey's team their spare engine to complete the weekend - a gesture Leahey made the most of to climb the top step of the podium.
"At times this year, I really wondered whether we would ever win one of these races, but I am delighted to finally break through," Leahey said.
"I must really thank my sponsors, my supporters and my team who have stood by me through all the hard times this year.
"Our car has been really fast all season, but reliability has been our weak point. Once we have that solved, I was always confident we were fast enough to win."
Leahey's victories over Simon Wills are even more impressive when you consider Wills holds the record for the most wins ever in Formula Holden, and the fact he is the category's reigning champion.
"I made good starts both times but Simon wasn't about to let me have an easy day," Leahey said.
"My car was fast through the quick left hand sweeper, but Simon really made ground on me under brakes.
"In the last few laps I was listening to every little noise the car would make - just hoping everything would hold together.
"Canberra was looking good for us before the car broke down, but I am just so relieved to finally get a win."
Having enjoyed his first taste of victory, Leahey is keen for more.
"This win has given the whole team a real boost," Leahey said.
"I was pleased to win the first race, but delighted to do it again in the second event. I was keen to prove to myself that the first race was no fluke.
"The target now is to repeat the dose at Oran Park in two weeks, but we are still trying to finalise a budget to complete the championship.
"I am really thrilled to finally win to repay the faith that my sponsors have shown in me so far this year."