Mitchell Neilson will go into next week’s Shannons Nationals full of confidence after securing a hard fought outright round victory in the second round of the 2018 NSW SuperSports Series.
Neilson notched up two impressive podium finishes in the second and third race of the weekend, enough for the 2017 Radical Australia Cup ‘Rookie of the Year’ to win his class outright.
Starting well down the order after a wet qualifying session, Neilson had lots to do and with help from an early safety car, he managed to work his way up towards the front of the field and set up an intense battle with fellow class driver, Chris Perini.
The RAM/Neilson Race Team driver suffered a disappointing start to the final race when Rowan Ross overtook him on the inside on the first turn in the first lap, and Neilson later suffering a brake lock and falling further behind.
As the battle behind Neilson between title rival John Beck, Peter Clare and Stephen Champion heated up, Neilson was able to pull away and work his way back towards Ross, eventually passing him for third overall and securing his second class win for the weekend.
Despite a slow start, Neilson was proud that he was able to eventually gain ground and win the overall round.
“I was so pumped with how the weekend went,” Neilson said.
“Going to the first race, I knew if I wanted to make anything of it, I needed to jump a whole lot of positions early on in the race and fortunately I was lucky enough to finish fourth.
“My focus in the last race was to keep pushing while managing my tyres and eventually reduce that gap that Rowan had made on me after the lockup.
“I wasn’t sure whether I was going to have the pace to match Rowan and close that gap back up. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as what I thought and I was eventually able to overtake Rowan with a couple of laps to go.”
Currently occupying top spot in the 2018 NSW SuperSports Series and seventh in the overall standings for the Radical Australia Cup, Neilson is now focused on Sandown, where preparation will be key for a good result in both the Prototype Series and the Radical Australia Cup.
“I’m very excited as I’ve never raced at Sandown before so there is a lot to learn and I just have to take it step by step,” Neilson added.
“There’s a limit to the amount I can do before you actually go there and see it in real life and start making some judgements, but I’ll definitely be jumping on a simulator.
“The simulator helps a lot with learning a track. It’s amazing how accurate they are these days. So when I get there, I should be able to learn how the track flows.”
The Shannons Nationals second round takes place at Sandown Raceway on 11 – 13 May while the third round of the SuperSports championship will head to Wakefield Park on 26 May.