THERE’S a new national champion in town and he storms down streets at over 100 kilometres an hour, but he’s got no engine underneath him.
That man is Mark Anderson, the Australian street luge champion after a strong showing in October events.
His results in the final two rounds were good enough to see him hold on to his lead in the championship, with a first and fourth place
Anderson, along with Brendan Burke, led home a Bathurst one-two finish at the Peak Hill Gravity Gold Rush event at Parkes over the long weekend.
He then went on to Brisbane the following weekend where another strong showing handed him the championship.
After posting 36.05 and 36.12 seconds for his first two runs, Anderson found his rhythm with a 34.45.
Although the time was four seconds shy of the day’s winner, the effort shot him into fourth place. It was a result good enough to put him at the top of the national table.
It’s quite the achievement for Anderson, who has competed for less than two years in street luge and only introduced to the sport on a whim by Burke.
Anderson still can’t find the right way to express his love for his new passion.
“I don’t really know how to describe it,” he said.
“It certainly wakes you up by the time you get to the bottom and it always feels good to push yourself.”
Anderson said although nothing beats the difficulty and the rush of the Mount Panorama circuit, he found some testing moments when it came to the Parkes track.
“Peak Hill started steep. There’s a tough corner there, but if you get it sorted you’ll have a good run and I managed to get through it well in the final,” he said.
Burke was full of praise for the man he got into the sport, saying it was a wonderful achievement for Bathurst.
“We’ve been practicing together now for a couple of years, but he picked up his form very quickly,” he said.
“To get that one-two finish at Parkes was fantastic. Mark winning the championship was a huge effort and I’m very proud of him.”
The one remaining question was whether Anderson would be back next year to defend his title.
“I’ll definitely keep the options open for next year,” he said.
“There’s no financial incentive to compete, so you have to do it because you really enjoy it.”
ON TOP: Mark Anderson (right) achieved a Bathurst one-two in Parkes with Brendan Burke (left) on the way to his national championship. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA100213zluge5
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.