Kiwi racing driver Dominic Storey will head into next week's Hampton Downs 101 as the leading local hope in the Australian GT Endurance Championship.
Storey is in a share of fourth in the standings with the Hampton Downs event the penultimate round before a finale at Highlands Motorsport Park near Cromwell next month.
The Aucklander was part of the incredibly talented wave of young drivers from New Zealand in the early to mid-2000s that also featured the likes of Shane van Gisbergen, Earl Bamber and Mitch Evans and was tipped for big things. But his big break never came and, after a stint driving V8 SuperTourers domestically, Storey made the call to move on from his motorsport dream two years ago.
"I never gave up but I thought to myself I would take a couple of years out," the 27-year-old said. "I ended up moving to Melbourne for work - I work for Mercedes Benz - and I ended up working for Peter Hackett, who I now drive with.
"One thing led to another. It was a natural progression - I never forced it to happen. He offered me the opportunity in the middle of last year and I said I would look for some sponsorship and it literally all fell together in a month.
"I committed to this year and now I have committed again for next year.
"I hadn't given racing away but it was too hard to find money and it was becoming more difficult and so I put it on the backburner."
Storey has been a standout driver in a series that is growing rapidly and is daring to dream about other professional driving opportunities again.
"I have already committed myself to doing the 12 Hour at Bathurst in January - I haven't confirmed a team or anything yet but I will definitely be in a car somewhere.
"Bathurst is something I have always wanted to do.
"I'd love to do some big races overseas - the Spa 24 Hour race and some of the GT races."
For the moment though the rejuvenated Storey is focused on succeeding back home in New Zealand in his Mercedes AGM GT.
"The aim from the beginning of the championship was to try and get a top three finish," he says. "I'm definitely thinking about the championship heading to New Zealand.
"Hampton Downs is a circuit I have driven many times even though I haven't driven the new part of it.
"The goal is to try and get back in the top three of the championship."