Lights on, karters racing

KARTING: The work is done and now Formula Kart Club publicity officer Kevin Doherty reckons it is time for club members to reap the rewards – starting this weekend.

While there have been a multitude of upgrades to Fitzroy Park Raceway, the installation of floodlighting has been one of the most eagerly awaited.

After evening practice sessions, the main action comes on Saturday.

Doherty said karters would be out on the track tomorrow to test conditions before competition starts.

“We’ll hold an evening session as a lot of our members have not driven under lights,” Doherty said.

“It’s a club meeting (Saturday) and we are making it a day/night one.”

Recently club officials have been testing the quality of the lighting and it has been agreed that they are fine for racing.

“It will be the first day/nighter we’ve held using our own lights,” Doherty added.

The club has, in the past, hired lighting and still uses a generator that is loaned to them, but, for the membership, having the use of their own lights is a significant advance.

With the hot summer months ahead, holding a meeting in the cool of the evening comes as a great relief to competitors.

Also it gives home-track karters an opportunity to race under conditions they are likely to encounter when competing at other tracks around the State.

Saturday evening’s racing also has a little bit of spice to it as it’s the last chance to gain points towards the 2009 club championship.

“For the first time the club has over 100 members (109),” Doherty said. “We expect a good turn-out.”

One karter Doherty is looking forward to seeing race this weekend is Brett Elfe.

While racing at the track earlier this year, Elfe suffered brake problems with his kart which resulted in him careering through the hay bales and earning himself the nickname of “Crash Bandicoot”.

Not that the racing ends this weekend.

Next weekend the competition heats up once more with the racing of the C and D grade championships.

“It’s a day/ night on the Saturday and then race again on Sunday,” Doherty said.

Already the club has received over 70 nominations and Doherty predicts that will rise to between 100-150 before the event.

With the lights in place, the club has been able to place another event on its racing calendar and in July, 2010, will host a 12-hour enduro as a part of the CQ Motor Sports Expo.

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