Rising star Olivia Bell gets the feel of Fitzroy Park track before the Junior National Light division race.
Rising star Olivia Bell gets the feel of Fitzroy Park track before the Junior National Light division race. Allan Reinikka

Storm a challenge for karters

NOT even a passing storm disrupted racing much on Saturday evening as the Formula K Kart club held their first meeting of the year at Fitzroy Park Raceway.

While most of the scheduled races were completed, the storm did provide an extra challenge for karters - two very different types of surface to race on during the meeting.

Club spokesman Peter Buchanan said there was a marked difference between the lap times recorded when the track was dry compared to after it had taken a drenching.

"All up there was some good racing while the track was dry and some interesting racing when it was wet," Buchanan said.

"The rain dropped lap times by about 15 seconds."

Some competitors just keep going no matter what the track was like and on Saturday it was Mick Kennedy that impressed.

Racing in the Clubman Heavy section, Kennedy had a good night, winning three rounds and finishing third in the other.

He is not a regular winner in a division where Darren Usher and Harley Baker are usually fighting it out for the main honours.

But Buchanan said there was a good reason why he did not feature as often as those other karters.

"Mick's a shift worker, he'd like to race more often," he said.

"However, on Saturday he was a standout."

It wasn't a meeting well regarded karter Elle Brydon will remember with any fondness after she lost a wheel in one of her races. Fortunately she was not injured in the mishap.

Another to go well on the night was Michael Doherty in the Open Performance class, a section that attracted two female karters in an 11-strong field.

Unfortunately, the division did not complete its program as the track was too wet by the time it came around to the section's fourth round.

Not only have some of the karters moved up in the divisions, one of the favourite race sections has had a change of name.

No longer will the youngsters starting out be racing in the Midgets but instead the division is known as "Cadets".

The meeting attracted a reasonable field in Cadets and Buchanan said it also brought out a bit of family rivalry with Noel and Ella Jamieson racing against each other.

Buchanan said his own racing was interesting as he was trying out his new TAG 125 kart.

"It has about twice the horsepower of my last kart," he said.

Unfortunately, Buchanan was the only entry with that specification and so he raced in the Open Performance group. TAG Restricted racing attracted six "out-of-towners" in the seven competitor field and produced some good displays.

The number of female competitors is growing at local karting meetings with a strong line-up taking part on Saturday.

A report on the women in the sport will appear in The Morning Bulletin tomorrow.

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