Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – WEEDSPORT, NY – Could 2023 have been the season Peter Britten dethroned Matt Sheppard as champion of the Super DIRTcar Series?
Up until early August, it looked like the Australian-born driver was making a serious case for that possibility as he was sitting third in Series points just over 100 markers behind “SuperMatt” in what was looking like his best ever season on tour.
Unfortunately, we’ll never know what could have been.
An accident in the race shop caused Britten to take some time off from the driver’s seat. The veteran injured his finger and that ultimately forced him to undergo surgery and take nearly a month away from weekly competition as well as miss four big Series races.
However, the performance of the 21A sure left his fans, his team, and Britten himself, wondering what could have been in 2023.
“It was another one of those years that could have been good but ended up not so great,” Britten said. “It was a little bit of a self-inflicted injury in the shop but we had a great year nonetheless.”
Britten really did have a stellar 2023 season. Even with only running 16 points-paying tour events, “Batman” was still able to finish in the top five in nearly half those starts. In total, he had seven top 5’s and eight top 10’s and finished ninth in Super DIRTcar Series points.
“I honestly feel like it was going to be on of our better years on the Series,” he said. “It just didn’t end up that way but our cars were good and our team is strong. We know we can do it.”
After stepping out of the cockpit of his 21A for the surgery on August 8th to repair the tendon in his finger, Britten was able to return to the Series for the Malta Massive Weekend at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Showing he hadn’t missed a single step, Britten advanced 12 positions in the 115-lap feature event and came home with a fifth place finish.
Outside of a 27th place run at Super DIRT Week, Britten finished the year with decent runs at the World Finals in Charlotte and is hoping his strong performance on tour this past season will lead to a continuation of that in 2024.
“Hopefully, we can keep this whole thing rolling,” he said. “We’re going to work hard this off-season to prepare our equipment. I truly believe we can come back next year and pick up right where we left off.”
Britten also enjoyed success at his local tracks this season. Even with that month off to recuperate, he was able to capture a victory at his Friday night home, Albany-Saratoga, and finished 11th in points.
He was in the hunt for the Land of Legends Raceway track title this season until his time off. Even with that, he was still able to score three big wins and finish second to Justin Haers for the crown.
Could 2024 be the year of Batman? It all starts in Florida in February for the DIRTcar Nationals.