Bektash hotting up Pro Stock.
Lee Bektash predicts the heat will be the deciding factor as the Pro Stock drivers of the ANDRA Pro Series head into their second event of the season at the Westernationals on March 3 and 4.
The factory-backed Mopar driver said potentially warm weather conditions would separate those with good engine packages from those with mediocre ones.
“The best engines really come alive in bad weather. We can all go to the Winternationals and run fast but in the heat there are only so many engines that can recover well and I believe I have got one of them,” he said.
Valve train issues have hampered the team in five of the last six events, leading Bektash to adopt a different strategy as he endeavours to return to championship contention. This time consistency will be the order of the day.
“We are hoping we are on top of it, we are testing for two days prior to the event and we do believe we are on top of the maintenance program again and will eliminate the issues,” he said.
“We can run fast in qualifying and we own the records but you are no good if you can’t fight it out and win a couple of rounds. We are looking to pull some power out of the car and concentrate on being in the top six or so.
“We need to really do good for the sponsors by going rounds rather than being the fastest.”
Championship wise it will be crucial to do well in Perth with the bonus points on offer. Bektash is confident that could give the team the boost it needs to come alive again.
“We didn’t score well in Sydney so if we can go to the semi finals and get time and speed points it would be a good boost for us,” he said. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, just go a couple of rounds and make a final.”
But, as the saying goes, to be the best you must beat the best. And the best in this case is national champion Aaron Tremayne.
“He is the man, you have to aim at beating him first before you worry about the rest,” Bektash said. “He is the best driver we have ever seen in Pro Stock. They have won four championships in a row. You need to strive to beat those guys.
“In October 2010 in Perth we came runner up to Aaron, which is like winning when you race him in a final, as long as you go down with a fight.”
Perth race fans will be the first to see a new livery on the Dodge, marking the 75th anniversary for Mopar, and Bektash recognised the relationship between his team and its major sponsor.
“We have a long future together. This year for Mopar it is huge. There is new livery on the car, new uniforms, a new look and new engines. We have two of everything now in the inventory,” he said.
“The only thing we don’t have two of is the driver, but there’s only one Lee Bektash.”
The ANDRA Pro Series Westernationals will be held at Perth Motorplex on March 3 and 4. General admission tickets start at $31 and are available from www.motorplex.com.au.