21 fastlane of those ‘pinch me’ moments as I couldn’t’ believe I was back up on the podium 12 long months after all of the emotion of January 2018. “To me, it felt like I was putting a full stop on a year which we would all rather forget from a personal point of view.” Like in 2018, the trophy presentation was an emotional one for all involved with Team Baker. “It is funny how sometimes you see things in your head before they happen – in the days leading up to the event, I had dreamed of standing on the podium with that Silver Tree in my hand and I already knew what I was going to do with it before they even handed it to me; I was going to give it to this year’s true champion: my beautiful Audrey,” Baker smiles. “She well and truly deserved it, for everything she had been through over those last 12 months – even though I have only been along for the ride as a passenger, it is an experience I wouldn’t want wished upon my worst enemy. “When it came to the speech, dreaming of doing it and actually standing up there in front of all those people were two completely different things and once again, it was tough to get the words out. and from the track, the packing and the unpacking, the repairs during or between events, but none of that ever seems to matter when you are all set up and soaking in every racing weekend. “It would have been a whole lot tougher though without my friend and all-round good guy, Alan Ward, standing beside me for support. I really have to say a huge thanks to Alan: having lived through a similar experience of his own, he knows firsthand what our year has been like and has always been there for Audrey and myself whenever we needed it.” “We are always grateful to all of the hard working volunteers and officials at the tracks around the country and especially Portland who are amongst the best out there and it shows in the events they put on. In speaking to Baker, there is no doubt that the sport of drag racing and the people who play their parts within it are held close to the hearts of his entire family. “Like most other people involved in the sport of drag racing, we do it as much for the friends we make and the experiences we create along the way as we do for the trophies and the accolades,” he said. “It is always a hassle and hard work getting organised and also getting everything to “It is also important to never forget the people and businesses who have been there to support you through the good and the bad times. For us, that is Paul Rogers Jr from Paul Rogers Performance Transmissions, Wayne Cartledge from RaceComp Motorsports, and Paul Agazzi from VP Fuels Australia.” For more on the 2019 South Coast 660, click here. Photos: Outlaw Images Portland for the upcoming Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series round, the