About Me

My photo
Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
Hi, my name is Naomi and I am a racing driver from South Australia. Trophy Class winner in the 2012 Australian Saloon Car Series. I have been racing Holden Commodore Saloon Cars/Super Six Touring Cars since 2006. Thanks to Frank Walsh Drilling for their ongoing support. I hope you enjoy reading my race reports and updates.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

2013, and the championship that wasn't.

It’s been rather an eventful end to the 2013 season. I thought I would try to do the right thing and get out to a couple of practice days before round 4 on Saturday 2 November. We took the car out to Mallala on Saturday 26 October and broke the gearbox, diff housing, and blew a head gasket.

Tried again on Friday 1 November and the car started running like a hairy goat. Craig was tearing his hair out and replaced all the usual culprits like coil pack, crank angle sensor, and throttle position sensor... then on race morning discovered a loose earth wire under the dash. Problem solved. 

With these problems behind us, the car didn’t miss a beat all day. I qualified 3rd outright, which was 1st in class, and finished in the same position in all 3 races - 4th outright, 2nd in the early model cars. That was enough to clinch the 2013 state championship. Or so we thought, according to the points that were published online all year during the series.

A rule change this year meant the final results were recounted and reallocated after the racing was over, and I finished 2nd in the SA Championship instead of 1st. I didn't find out about this until a week after round 4. To say it's been a depressing experience is an understatement - I think this is how it would feel to marry Patrick Dempsey and then have him run off with his blonde secretary a week later. I still finished with the highest points overall out of the 15 competitors who took part, so I think that's an achievement to feel proud of. Congratulations to Mark Bryan for taking out the championship & Peter Holmes for finishing 3rd overall.

On the up side, this is my equal best result in the South Australian Saloon Car Championship. In any other circumstances I would have been very happy with it. We will put this behind us and move on to better things in 2014. The new VT is slowly starting to take shape and both Craig & I are keen to get it happening.

The Australian Saloon Car Series 2013 points have also been finalised. I finished in 35th place out of 47 cars. As I only competed in one round, I’m quite happy with that result.

Here's a short video from race 2, round 4:
As always, stay up to date on the Naomi Maltby - Saloon Car SA 91 Facebook page. See you again in 2014!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Facebook page

I have joined the 21st century, and have my own Facebook page! Please check out Naomi Maltby - Saloon Car SA 91.

I am also on Twitter as Shazza91 and Instagram here.

Stay tuned for SA Round 4 coming up on Saturday 2nd November at Mallala!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

South Australian State Motor Racing Championship - Round 3, 17-18 August 2013

This round we welcomed 6 visitors from Western Australia for our 2nd annual "Interstate Challenge" at Mallala. This made for some great racing with a total of 15 Saloon Cars, including 13 early model Trophy Class cars.

I qualified 10th on a slippery damp track. Race 1 was a 6-lap sprint and I finished 8th.

Race 2 was 8 laps, and I started 8th and finished in the same spot. There was some good racing going on and I lost a few spots early on, making them back up as the race went on. The track was dry but still quite cold and slippery. A car in front was also leaking oil from the gearbox, and this got worse as the race went on. Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought I had a flat tyre on the closing lap - a few other drivers said the same thing! Here is my in-car video:

Race 3 on Sunday morning was another 8-lap race, and I had a good run, finishing 5th. Once again we had some close racing, luckily most of it was going on behind me instead on in front so the video wasn't as interesting.

Race 4 was the highlight of the weekend with 10 laps of action. I finished 4th, which was 3rd out of the early model cars. I got lucky on the last lap with Andrew Martin and Vince Ciallella coming together right in front of me in the middle of the esses, both of them going off as a result.

Race 5 was another short sprint of 5 laps. It had rained quote a lot after the previous race and the track was quite slippery again, as I proved by looping the car at the start of my warm-up lap.

I finished 5th again in this final race and came out of the round as points leader in the South Australian championship. We have one round to go on 2nd November so I will be trying hard to hang on to this position. Mark Bryan is not far behind in 2nd and Pete Holmes is 3rd. Wish me luck, I will need it! :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

2013 SA State Motor Racing Championships - Round 2, 18 May 2013

On May 18th we headed back out to Mallala for Round 2of the SA state series. I was back in the VN after my run in Josh Kean's VT at the Shannons Nationals, and I had a few new things to try. A couple of the things I had learnt also worked in the VN, and a couple didn't. The two cars have some fundamental handling differences so they require a different driving style to get the most out of them.

In qualifying I was 6th out of 9, which was 4th out of 6 early model cars. My lap times weren't too bad but the competition was strong and Mark Bryan in particular had picked up a bit of extra speed. In race 1 I finished 7th, again 4th out of the Trophy class cars.

Race 2 was slightly better with a 6th place finish overall. I got the same result in race 3 but managed to improve my best lap time to 1:22.7534 and achieved a string of consistent 1m 22s laps which is normally pretty good, however I couldn't quite catch the cars in front and the ones behind were nipping at my heels. I will need to try to lift my game before round 3 when we are again playing host to a number of WA Saloon Cars and maybe a few Victorians too! See you there for some great racing!

Thanks to Chooks Custom Graffix for jazzing up the VN with some great new stickers :)

Photos by Rosalie and Darren Siddell

Speedweek Interview - Mallala Nationals 2013

I was interviewed during Round 2 of the Shannons Nationals at Mallala, and the interview was shown on Speedweek on SBS and the Shannons Nationals highlights show on Speed TV. Enjoy :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 Shannons Nationals Round 2 - Mallala, 19-21 April

Last weekend the Nationals came back to my home track Mallala, and what a great weekend it was.

My VN Commodore had the weekend off as I was given the opportunity to race Josh Kean's VT. This was my first shot at the 'outright' class for the late model Saloon Cars.

We started with Friday practice so I could get used to the unfamiliar car. VTs have independent rear suspension so they handle quite differently to VNs. The power & torque curve is also different, and they rev to a higher limit so shift points are different. In the first practice session I was 8th out of 17 with a 1:21.7391 - already about one second faster than my personal best time in the VN.

In the second and third practice sessions I improved the lap times a bit more, ending up with a 1:21.3101 as my best lap for the day.

Saturday was fine and sunny with perfect conditions apart from a slightly dusty track. I was 12th out of 24 cars in first qualifying, and 8th in the second session. This put me 12th overall and that is where I started in race 1.

As I got more familiar with the VT, I got more confident and was able to keep chipping away at the lap times. Race 1 was a good close race with plenty of dicing for position. The group I was racing with all had very similar lap times with only a few tenths separating us. I ended up finishing 10th with a best lap time of 1:21.0227.

Unfortunately Sunday was very wet and windy and races 2 & 3 were cut back from 14 laps to 10 each for safety reasons. I didn't really agree with this decision as we are meant to race in all weather and conditions - it's not Nascar! I believe racing is supposed to be a test of car and driver, it's not meant to be easy... While the track was definitely wet, we have raced in far worse conditions at Bathurst and Phillip Island in the past. 

The conditions weren't too bad for race 2. The track was damp but there was a bit of a dry line starting to show. The rain started again about 2/3 of the way through, however with some heat already in the tyres it didn't change things too much. I still had some fun and finished 9th out of 24.

Before race 3, the sun came out and we were looking forward to a better race. We put the car back to a dry setup and headed out to the form up area. The heavens then opened and some very heavy rain set in. Some parts of the track were completely underwater and I have never seen Mallala that bad. I could not get any traction off the start line and lost about 10 places straight away. I managed to stay on the track for most of the race and eventually finished 17th.

Huge thanks to Craig Walkom for arranging the drive in the VT, and of course to Chris and Josh Kean of Adelaide Motors BMW for trusting me with their pride & joy. 

Thanks also to my regular sponsors Frank Walsh Drilling, and the car sponsors Australian Crash.

  Photos by Rosalie and Darren Siddell

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2013 SA State Motor Racing Championship Round 1

This was a one-day twilight meeting on 16th February 2012. It was a hot day so I was glad to be racing late in the day under lights.

Qualifying went well and I was 3rd, 1st of the early model cars. Race 1 wasn't quite so good with Mark Bryan getting his EA sorted and I found it difficult to keep pace, although I finished fairly close behind in 4th - 2nd out of the old cars. This result was repeated in races 2 and 3 with Mark keeping slightly ahead . My engine is really showing its age after 7 years of racing, although we have found a brake combo that was better than usual so most of the ground I was able to gain was under brakes.

This year we are running a very limited National schedule whilst doing all of the state rounds as usual. We are going to focus on car & driver development and then hopefully get busy next year with a brand new VT Commodore which is currently being built in-house by my awesome husband & mechanic Craig Walkom. I have never driven a late model Saloon Car so it should be fun. After building 2 VNs we are confident we can develop a great VT.

Our next round is the Shannons Nationals at Mallala on 19-21 April 2012. See you there!

Front page news

At the end of 2012, Josh Kean and I were featured in the Mt Barker Courier newspaper. Click the picture to see more!

On a related note, congratulations to Josh on his success in his debut year of motor racing, coming 2nd outright in the Australian Saloon Car Series at his first attempt. Josh will be driving the ex-Jason Richards Team Dynamik Commodore in the 2013 Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car Series. Josh is one to watch and will no doubt go on to bigger things. He will be kicking off his campaign at Eastern Creek this weekend 22-24 March.

Saloon car star Josh Kean signs deal with THR Developments for 2013