Champions Chat: Declan Cummins

It’s always great to see competitors going at it in the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship, and the natural ambition for any serious competitor is to come out on top.

Fortunately for Declan Cummins, he was able to secure a Super 1650 victory by a small margin after an entertaining battle with Hans Werner Zettle. The class winner spoke to about his year.

Declan, how did it feel when you were crowned champion of your class?
It was a good feeling, we were over the moon. We weren’t sure if we had won initially, but when we did find out it was a great feeling. It had been quite a big year but we go there in the end, especially after St George took its toll on us. We were neck and neck with Hans throughout the year, so it was a fantastic result.

Any great moments?
I really love Finke. I always do. I really enjoy it. St George is the local event for us as it’s close so we like that, but both events are great. For me, Rainbow is tough because the weather is always wet when we are there. Maybe one day we will have a dry race which will be great. It has its own challenges.

Would it be safe to say Rainbow was your toughest?
It was because we didn’t finish. We pulled in during the service break and noticed some water leaking. We decided to pull out so we didn’t wreck the engine. I suppose we wouldn’t have gone further anyway, even if we decided to keep going. It would have been nice to finish because the track was drying out towards the end, but we didn’t unfortunately.

You mentioned it was neck and neck with Hans, it must have been nice to have touch competition?
It was close all year between Hans Werner Zettle and I. I was lucky enough to get the win over him in Finke after he got the edge over me in St George. Unfortunately he couldn’t get to Rainbow so I couldn’t win fair and square, but at the end of the day, you need to be there every round to take out the title, and that’s what I did.

Who would you like to thanks?
All my pit crew and the people who helped me get to the events. It’s not just me involved, we have a good team. Also a big thanks to my navigator Karin Ann Barker who jumped in the car at beginning of the year because my usual guy in Patrick Philp couldn’t do it. She was pretty happy to jump in and she did a really good job. I enjoyed having a few less kilos as well.

What about your plans for 2020?
I believe we are going to do AORC events, but we are going to step up into Superlites. I am currently getting an engine built so I will install that when it’s ready. We may not have it ready in time for St George, but we will try. Looking forward to getting to WA and doing Kalgoorlie.