Weedsport, NY — April 29, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
Last season Australian V8 Dirt Modified Champion Peter Britten made history when he was the first from his country to compete aboard a mighty Big-Block Modified on the DIRTcar Racing Northeast circuit.
In 2010, the talented young driver from Brisbane, Queensland has returned to the United States and has taken his program one step further. Along with racing in Central New York on weekends, Britten is serving as crew chief for ’09 Motorsports Safety Systems/ButlerBuilt DIRTcar NE Big-Block Modified Rookie of the Year Rich Scagliotta as he travels both the Super DIRTcar Series and Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship trail.
“I’ll be running as many shows as possible at Cayuga County and Rolling Wheels, the actual number depends on how well Rich does,” said Britten, 22, who ran five races at Empire State ovals Brewerton Speedway, Can-Am Motorsports Park, Cayuga County Fair Speedway and Fulton Speedway last June. Currently in charge of maintaining a pair of no. 8 Central Jersey Trailer & Hitch Depot-Adamsville Maintenance entries at Troyer Race Cars, he remains hopeful of signing up for his first Super DIRTcar Series event although his only priority right now is centered on Scagliotta’s success.
“My major focus is learning how the series works and helping Rich improve along the way. It would be great to run a tour race but I know it’s very hectic with everything that goes into proper preparation. Working with Rich will allow me to gain more experience in just about every facet of the team operation and hopefully that will carry over to when I do hit the track,” remarked Britten, who will be stationed alongside the Bound Brook, N.J. racer at the next Super DIRTcar Series stop — 19th Annual Hall of Fame Classic at Cayuga County on May 30 of Memorial Day Weekend.
Coming back to the states in mid-March, Britten finished 20th in Cayuga County’s season-opener (April 18) and recently logged more valuable seat time in preparation for Rolling Wheels’ May 2 lid-lifter by attending a special ‘test & tune’ practice session at the same Elbridge oval.
“Last year we came here not knowing what to expect, nor to what extent we would learn, so this time we just feel much more prepared,” said Britten, after stockpiling nearly 100 laps at Rolling Wheels on Wednesday aboard the Finger Lakes-powered no. 21A Troyer machine. First entering the Modified ranks at age 19, after turning 21, the Australian Championship that he won on Feb. 21, 2009 was the 21st overall victory of his career and it came in his 21st V8 Modified start, thus the number. “I still have a fair way to go.”
“Can’t say if Rolling Wheels is the biggest track I’ve been on, but I do know it took a long time to get down the straightaways. The most important part was being able to get more and more comfortable every time around. We made a few set-up changes and seemed to get better each time we went back out,” Britten figured.
The feeling was mutual coming from his father, Paul Britten, who accompanied Peter on last year’s trip overseas and has so far spent more than a month working alongside his son at the Troyer shop located in the southwest sector of Rochester, N.Y.
“The biggest obstacle for Peter has been understanding how the car works with a smaller right-rear tire,” noted Paul, alluding to the fact that 104” (circumference) sprint car tires are allowed at Australian tracks while 92” Hoosiers are the standard for DIRTcar NE events. “There’s been no trouble handling the bigger engines, just getting that power to the track. At Rolling Wheels he could feel the difference right after every change was made and we could even see them take effect watching him go by.”
Paul won’t get to watch his son compete again until July when he returns to New York with his wife, JBR Motorsports partner Jane Britten, and younger son Kevin. Peter, however, plans to remain in the northern hemisphere throughout the DIRTcar NE season that culminates with a trip to the World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in November, when the newest Mr. DIRTcar Champion is crowned.
“Staying with Billy (Colton, Troyer President) will be a great way to gather information and exchange some new set-up ideas,” said Britten, whose 16 year-old brother Kevin has already driven his ’09 championship Troyer car —one that Peter constructed by himself and also built the engine— to a pair of feature wins back home, and the V8 Modified rookie has climbed the podium (Top-3) in five straight races.
“Troyer is a very professional operation, it has a great system in place to help racers get through the week quickly. Over the past year and a half we’ve played around with shocks and springs and right now hit on a pretty good package. Hopefully, we’ll continue to get better along with the entire Troyer team. Right now we’ve got 85 races on our schedule, definitely enough to find out how much we’ve really learned,” added Britten, who completed all 35 laps in his initial effort at Cayuga County and is banking on qualifying for Rolling Wheels’ 60-lapper on Sunday that would be his best Big-Block effort yet.
For more Modified tour information, contact DIRTcar Racing Northeast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning Joe Skotnicki (704/796-4566) or log into www.superdirtcarseries.com. For additional news & notes, check out www.dirtcar.com and be sure to sign up on http://www.twitter.com/SuperDIRTcar and receive updates anywhere at anytime.
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse runs annually in October featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.allstar100weekend.com and www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.
The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.