Pre-world championship nerves do not appear to be getting the better of Shane Graham.
Queensland’s leading driver has hit top-gear ahead of his trip to Canada for the World Driving Championships next month, steering home four winners at Wednesday’s Redcliffe meeting.
Graham started the night with a bang – steering Karloo Ten Seventy to win the first race. He then came home with a wet sail to win the final three events with Took Your Time, All After Me and Sculptured.
With a little more than two weeks until the WDC gets under way at Century Downs (August 12), Graham’s excitement is growing with each moment.
“Every now and then I have to pinch myself,” he said.
“It will be a huge honour to pull on the green and gold and represent Australia. I just want to do myself, and our industry proud.”
The bi-annual event will take place at five different racecourses across four provinces from August 12-18, with 11 of the world’s best drivers set to compete.
“It’s an incredible honour and something every driver hopes to go on and do,” Graham said.
“Australian drivers only get one chance every two years to do something like this, and some wait until they’re in their 50s to have the opportunity. I feel incredibly lucky to do it at my age.”
It will be Graham’s first visit to Canada, and he is excited to check out the scenery and experience the North American style of racing for the first time.
“I think we are moving a little more toward their style of racing and driving,” he said.
“I think it will be a good challenge to see where we’re at.
“I do watch plenty of North American racing and I have spoken to people who have driven there before. But I think it’s going to take the whole week to get used to it. It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.”
Among the drivers on show will be reigning champion, New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn and Canadian representative Brandon Campbell.
European Driving Champion Mika Forss (Finland) will be joined by Bjorn Goop (Sweden), Rick Ebbinge (Netherlands), Eirik Hoitomt (Norway), Gerhard Mayr (Austria) and Michael Nimczyk (Germany).
The United States will be represented by 27-year-old Marcus Miller, who has amassed more than 2600 career wins to-date.
“Every driver is at the top of their game and have had successful seasons,” Graham said.
“The standard of driving should be very even, so I think it could come down to who is driving the best horses. But I will be giving everything I have to try and bring the trophy home to my home state (Queensland) and Australia.”