Since Jarod Waters unveiled his new Mercedes C350 on track earlier this season it’s been the talk of the speedway world.
“I wanted to build something totally different,” Waters, older brother of Supercars driver Cam Waters said.
Waters’ car, a 2014 model with a Mercedes 3.5L direct injected V6 engine, is a Modified Sedan, a class that is thriving in Mildura currently.
In a category that is mostly dominated by Fords and Holdens, Waters said the fact different cars can compete makes the category interesting and unique.
“There have been BMWs, RX7s and a Nissan 300ZX,” he said.
“I was keen to build a Mercedes so I went through the models to see which would be the best fit for the category.”
The Modified Sedan has been an ongoing project for Waters over the past two years.
“I really enjoyed the engineering challenge, which is partly why I chose something so different,” Waters said.
“It was a lot harder process than building a Ford or Holden as there are so many performance speedway parts available for those makes.
“So I had to manufacture a lot of the components myself.
“We used a Ford nine inch diff IRS centre and used Ford drive shafts which was a challenge fitting into the Mercedes rear sub frame.
“I made the entire exhaust system and headers myself as there are no performance extractors available for this engine yet.
“Dad (Chris) and Cameron have been quite a help throughout the process.
“Adam DeBorre (engineer at Walkinshaw Andretti Racing) has done my shock absorbers.
“I have had some engineering assistance from some of the Tickford Engineers and MoTeC were quite involved as it was the first direct injected Mercedes engine they had ever fitted with a Motec ECU.”
Because of the uniqueness of the car, there has been a lot of interest generated, with Waters noting everyone is sitting back to see just how competitive it will be.
“There has also been quite a lot of interest from speedway fans in America,” he added.
“It is so different to the cars they race over there so they think it’s pretty cool.”
Waters had his first hit out in the car this season and said the car has been good “straight out the box” with a race win in its first meeting.
“Although the engine in the car is pretty much a standard road car engine, it has quite good horsepower,” he said.
“We are still working on the suspension setup as there is room for development.
“Last race meeting identified a few handling issues that we are on top of now and looking forward to the next race meeting.”
Getting back on track has reignited Waters’ love of competing himself, something he first did as a child.
“I have been racing karts since I was seven years old,” Waters said.
“I started racing my Dad’s car at the age of 12 in the inaugural junior sedan category at Timmis Speedway back in 1996.”
Waters a bit later in life spent a lot of time assisting his younger brother in his racing endeavours before most recently building and racing a sports car at the likes of Mallala, Sandown, Phillip Island and Winton.
Waters thought about venturing into Modified Sedans after seeing his younger brother compete in the category.
“I had the idea of building a Mercedes in the back of my mind but after watching the quality of the racing at the 2018/2019 Australian Title at Kingaroy, Queensland I was sold.
“I got the bug again and started looking for donor cars to get started.”
Waters juggles racing with his commitment to Timmis Speedway as the treasurer, and has been heavily involved with the recent facility and track upgrades which has been time consuming.
He plans to compete in all he local meetings this year, including the Murray Magic Modified Feature which is expected to draw a large amount of cars and drivers to the district.