In just his second full season in the Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Super Series, 20-year-old Kody Garland finds himself on top of the standings after three rounds.
It’s been a promising start to his motorsport career thus far with Garland having only graduated from karting back in 2018 and Aussie Racing Cars being his first proper racing experience.
Although he never raced in a car prior to his maiden season in 2019, Garland still managed to take out some silverware during that initial year – an outright eighth place earning him Rookie of the Year accolades.
With no season taking place in 2020, Garland has taken a massive step in his development during his second year, winning his first career round at Sydney Motorsport Park as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.
Now in what is shaping up to be an exciting second half to the season, just half a point separates Garland and the next two drivers on the standings in Nick Simmons and Craig Woods – highlighting the closeness of the competition.
“I’m loving the fight,” Garland said.
“It’s such a great category and the cars are fun to drive because they are unique, but also that battle for the lead is really close and it’s good to be part of.
“It’s fun to have such good close racing, especially at Eastern Creek when myself and Nick were really tight all weekend. It’s a good rivalry and there isn’t much between us.
“It was great to get the monkey off my back and win my first round, so it’s about consistency from here on out. I don’t have to win every race, I just need to be in the top three – that has been a focus for the whole year and it’s been an approach that has worked.
“This is my second year and I think it’s unusual for someone like me, who is a privateer and does most things myself, to be leading the series. I am happy with our progress and all my crew who are helping.”
Although he has surprised many with his ability to improve so quickly, Garland still hasn’t had the smoothest of seasons, with a 10th place in Bathurst having prevented him from being even further ahead.
However, two race wins and a number of top fives since has helped the New South Welshman elevate himself to the top of the standings.
And while few would have predicted Garland to be in this position almost halfway through the season, the Mustang driver admits he had high expectations of how the year would go.
“I am not too surprised with my development because I have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes and essentially doing all the set up myself to make the car better,” Garland explained.
“A lot of hard work has gone into this and I am heavily involved with everything around the car. I know what’s involved in getting it to every round and I think that is the difference between some of the others and myself.
“I feel like doing it myself makes me more in tune in the car, I have a team and a good one, but I call the shots in what we’re going to do and it pays dividends because there is no second-hand information getting through.
“Honestly, I knew I was going to be faster this year because in 2019, I was running a slow car and still going okay, but the good results are coming now that I have the Mustang.
“So while it’s been good having the new car, it’s still been tough trying to establish myself as a proper contender, but I feel like I have cemented my spot and earned the respect of the top drivers.”
The Battery World Aussie Racing Cars Super Series has four rounds remaining in the 2021 season.