Round 5 Preview: O'Toole focuses on Championship
All that stands between Victorian Laurence O'Toole and a maiden STIHL Timbersports Australian Championship is a top-two finish in Bathurst.
With back-to-back wins in Ipswich and Sandown the ladder leader is favourite to lift the trophy.
Still, O'Toole refuses to rest on his laurels.
"Continuing my Timbersports success will definitely be a challenge. The more you win, the closer you are to losing," O'Toole said.
"It is a worrying thought that everything has gone so well in the past two rounds with no dramas. The law of averages is that something will arise.
"If something does come up in Bathurst, I think I am in consistent enough form to overcome it and still take out the Championship."
Brad Delosa (NSW), Jamie Head (QLD) and fellow Victorian Brayden Meyer are breathing down O'Toole's neck, with all a mathematical chance of snatching the outright lead and the Championship.
In fourth and trailing O'Toole by just three points, 2015 Champion Meyer rates his own chances.
"I need Laurence to get fifth in Bathurst for me to be able to win the Australian Championship for the second year," Meyer said.
"It would be pretty big to do it two years in a row. It is what I have been aiming for all year and it is no secret it is what I am trying to do in Bathurst.
"It is an even race between the top four and hopefully Laurence will get a bit tired right when we need him to."
The competition between O'Toole and Meyer heated up in Round 4 in Sandown, but it spans a lifetime.
"Our rivalry isn't just a rivalry, we have been good mates since he was born," O'Toole said.
"If I can't win, I hope he does."
Regardless of the results in Bathurst, the top four has qualified for the Australian team for the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS World Championship in Stuttgart, Germany in November to chase a third-straight title.
Whoever wins the Australian Championship will be selected as the individual competitor.
The fifth and final spot on the Australian team is still up for grabs, with just three points separating fifth and eighth place on the Championship ladder.
It will all be decided in the fifth and final round of STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Australia, in Bathurst, NSW on October 7-9.