SXS star Jeff McNiven is in a race against time in order to get ready for this year’s Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399.
The Queenslander is currently on the mend after having shoulder reconstruction surgery recently and his recovery will take him all the way up to the days before the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) and KINCROME SXS Championship season opener.
While he is doing everything he can to get his shoulder right for St George, his team have been hard at work developing a new transporter – however this too won’t be finished until the week of the round.
Both issues leave McNiven unsure as to whether he will be lining up at St George in March and although he is entered in the event, the 48-year-old admits it’s uncertain.
“We have an entry and we’re really keen to get there, but at this point I have my arm in a sling,” McNiven said.
“It’s not coming out for another week and then I have just two weeks to recover, which isn’t much time.
“We’ve also bought a new truck which we plan to use to transport more spare parts for all the teams we help build cars for, but that is still being worked on and I am not sure it will be ready in time.
“So, with both of those things playing a part in our preparation, we’re a bit touch and go about whether we can make it, but the car is ready and looking good and it should be quick this year.
“So right now, I am just focused on getting my shoulder right and then our transporter ready. I am really hoping it all comes together, but it’s going to be a last-minute sort of thing – we will know just days before.”
Should McNiven make it in time for the round, he will be up against a number of new faces in the SXS class following the addition of the KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship to the AORC.
And although it will make the class harder, he remains upbeat about the arrival of the new crews and welcomes the challenge as he plans to stay in the class for a long time.
“We want to stay in SXS for a long time because I really like the direction that the class is heading in,” McNiven said.
“The class is getting faster and better so I am looking forward to racing for more years to come, in fact my daughter will also race in SXS when she is old enough.
“As for all the newcomers, I think it will be fun having them. The class is already fierce with many great drivers and although, we have lost some of them as they upgrade to bigger classes, we’ll be staying and there are plenty of talented steerers coming in.
“So, at the moment it’s a case of the more the merrier and I think having lots of crews in the class is good for the sport.”
Entries for the Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 close on Friday 4 March, while the event takes place on 18-20 March.