Steve Caunt will rejoin the WSS ranks for the 2012/13 season, bringing with him a fierce competitive spirit and one of the most marketable and professional Sprintcar teams in Australia.
The New South Wales native is a veteran of several open-wheeled racing categories, displaying a fiercely competitive attitude both on and off-track that has brought himself and the team a string of victories that would be envied by most.
Caunt began his Speedway journey in the Microsprint category after making the decision to buy Mark Richards’ car and trailer. He had been in the stands at Nowra, and following a post-race conversation between the pair, the wheels were set in motion.
“I watched Mark Richards, who was Australia 1 at the time, and spoke to him that night about getting involved,” said Caunt. “I thought he was an awesome guy (and still is a great mate), and he said all of his gear was for sale.”
“I went into the stands and spoke to my wife, and we met Mark the next day to pick up the car, trailer and everything.”
“Mark helped me for the first few race meetings and I went from there – before that I had no experience with Speedway whatsoever.”
In 2005 Caunt graduated to the Formula 500 ranks, collecting multiple state titles in the division and finishing on the Australian Championship podium 3 times in 3 years.
Despite his early career assertions that he would never race something that fast, Caunt used his Formula 500 success as a platform to graduate to Sprintcars, a decision that has led to a successful run as a driver and team owner, including a near top-10 finish in the 2009/10 WSS Championship.
There will be many changes and upgrades for the team prior to World Series Sprintcars, with Caunt taking delivery of brand new, painted and fully assembled KPC Outlaw cars thanks to American superstar, Jason Meyers.
“I am lucky enough to be able to run with the gear Jason [Meyers] didn’t use this season,” beamed Caunt. “We also liked his motor package, so I am running some new Garrett’s too. We still like KRE products, but I was offered a package deal I couldn’t refuse.”
Much like many of the drivers preparing for the 2012/13 campaign, Caunt is looking forward to the condensed WSS schedule.
“The schedule is OK to deal with. The fact is it’s only 8 weeks; we have bought the entire Elite Racing USA operation and parts are aplenty (though we also know if you’re using parts you aren’t in the points).”
“We’ll be travelling with our regular crew, headed by Gary Laneyrie who is keen to get on the road again and learnt a lot from Jason [Meyers] in the USA last year,” continued Caunt. “No doubt Matt Brown will be there to help us out in WA, too.”
In one departure from regular operations, the familiar ACT9 car will undergo a number change to N9 prior to the beginning of the season.
“We’ve always had the ACT9 because N9 was already taken,” explained the Albion Park native. “I received a call telling me it was available and I took it; it’s always better to have the car registered in your home state so people know where you’re from.”
The team is familiar with the WSS format and Caunt is no stranger to Speedweek or the western swing of the series, meaning the team boss has high expectations for himself ahead of the series.
“We’re aiming to get through the series without missing any rounds and to be top 5 in the standings at the end of the season”
Stay tuned to worldseriessprintcars.com.au for all of the latest news regarding the series, including the full roster of contracted drivers as they are announced.