[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Mark Larkham is
cashed-up and ready to roll, with a steel-y resolve to avenge a seemingly cursed
induction to the sport and perform to potential.
Steel tube manufacturer Orccon has come to the knockabout Queenslander's rescue,
throwing their support behind his 2002 campaign. It is Larkham's third major
sponsor in the last 12 months, the previous two collapsing within a few months
of each other, starving Larkham of the necessary funds to make a serious
impression on the V8 Supercar circuit.
It's the story of Larkham's hapless career, for years Australian motorsport's
perennial Mr Unlucky.
He's won races, stood on the podium, been on pole,
and even been in a position to win the sport's holy grail, the Bathurst 1000, on a
number of occasions. Testament to his determination, his first championship series race win, at Calder
Park Raceway in 2000, came weeks after one of the most spectacular crashes in the
sport's history, when he careered into Paul Morris' stricken Commodore at more
than 170km/hr, sustaining serious back injuries.
But since joining the Supercar circus from the open-wheeler ranks in 1995, boldly
going it alone with a radically engineered Falcon - a move that wasn't a raging
success - the gods have conspired against him.
His unspectacular V8 Supercar career to date is certainly no indication of his will to
succeed and the professional manner he goes about it.
He's a talented administrator, fearsome racer, and his Gold Coast-based garage
is more than capable of producing race-winning machinery. The stability of a multi-year
sponsorship deal should breed success, sooner rather than later. He certainly deserves it.