ANDRA Fastlane ANDRA_FASTLANEED26 - Page 20

final where we were paired with the points leader and soon to be National Champion, Matt Czerny. Just like the four rounds before that, we were able to take the win and secure the Silver ANDRA Christmas Tree in a moment which I will never forget. With Audrey’s blessing, Baker and his boys Josh and Tim headed to Mildura in September for round three of the 18/19 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, yet he explains it just wasn’t the same. “I can tell you that Christmas of 2018 was certainly a lot more jolly than the year before and come New Year’s Eve, we all agreed that 2018 could go and get stuffed – except for the 2018 South Coast 660 weekend of course!” “At the presentation, I was overcome with emotion as I dedicated the win to my mum, Robyn. I tried to take a moment to compose myself but it really must have been all too much and before I knew it, Matt Czerny was there by my side with a hug and much needed support – he is truly a great guy that I have a lot of respect for as a racer and as a friend.” “Audrey was still trying to get back to herself and so she didn’t come with us and all weekend something was missing, it just wasn’t quite the same,” he says. Soon the decision was made to get back to Portland for another go at the South Coast 660. With the 2018 South Coast 660 now complete in the most successful way possible for Team Baker, it was time for a priority shift for the next few months. “We knew after that round that racing would have to take a back seat for a little while – it was now my time to support the person who was always there for me but who now was going through her own battle,” Baker said. “Even though Audrey’s tumour had been removed, there was still chemo and radiotherapy to follow over the next six months and although she made it look easy and was always there with a smile, I can assure you it was far from a walk in the park.” “It is funny how you get used to the routines and the quirky little things that people do. We still managed to get to the final, but unfortunately came up short by virtue of a 0.002 red light – in our book that was still a pretty good reason to smile.” Soon after, the news everyone had been waiting for arrived. “In the lead up to the 2019 South Coast 660, it was just all about getting back to the place that was so special to us in January of 2018 and to be surrounded once again by all of the love and support that was shown to us the year before,” Baker explains “This time around it was almost like deja- vu, with us somehow managing to get the win light round after round. It really was one “In early December we went back to the surgeon for Audrey’s 12 month check-up since her initial diagnosis and it was great news for everyone – she was given the all clear and the green light to try and get things back to normal,” Baker remembers.