Talented Tyson on track for success
KARTING: Yeppoon's Tyson Jennings is a young driver going places fast in the world of karting.
His most recent success came in the opening round of the Rockhampton club championship, where he won the closely contested Cadet 12 class.
He timed his run perfectly. After a second and a third placing in the opening two rounds, he raced into first in the third round and maintained the lead spot in the pre-final and final.
That win came just a fortnight after Tyson made his debut on the Rotax Pro Tour in Melbourne.
"I just practised and practised and I came 18th down there,” the 11-year-old said.
"I was overly happy with that. It was the first time I've raced in Melbourne and it was my first time in a national series and a Rotax car.”
And there was more good news to come at the event, with Tyson winning a family pass to the 2017 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in March.
He is thrilled at the prospect of seeing his race hero, James Courtney, in action in the V8 supercars.
Tyson's dad Karl explains that the Rotax is the most powerful car that Cadets can drive.
"They've got about 3hp more than the Cadet karts. It is certainly more demanding on the little fellas,” he said. "They need a different mindset and it's definitely a different kind of racing.”
Tyson has been doing plenty of work with driving coach Warren Baker and is aiming for a top 15 finish in Round 2 of the six-round tour in Bolivar, South Australia, next month.
Karl said the tour was helping Tyson develop all aspects of racing.
"It's all about taking that step up to the next level and learning what you need to do to be competitive there,” he said.
"Before we started the tour, Tyson was fast and he could catch other karts but he didn't have the confidence with passing.
"When he took the win at the weekend (in the club championship), he showed he was able to pass confidently on the straight and around the corners.”
Karl said it was great to see a number of local drivers looking to get broader experience in karting.
Motor sport runs in the Jennings family. Tyson's older brother Kory is a former Queensland buggy champion and also raced onto the podium at the Rocky kart meet, finishing second in the TAG 125 Heavy class.
The siblings will both compete at the Queensland kart titles this year, with the opening round in Mackay in April.
Tyson said he enjoyed everything about karting.
"It's all good. I love making new friends and I just love driving,” he said.
"It's really good fun and the whole family enjoys it.”
Results from Round 1 of the Rockhampton Formula 'K' Kart Club's club championship.
TAG 125 Restricted Heavy: Richard Gordon 1, Barry Kirkpatrick 2, Jamey Gill 3
TAG 125 Restricted Light: Peter Coburn 1
Cadet 12: Tyson Jennings 1, Tahnee Blair 2. Stevie Chant 3
Cadet 9: Zac Bell 1, Toby Goodman 2, Maggie Chant 3
KA3 Senior Light: Shane Rumpf 1
KA3 Senior Medium: Adam Horvath , Olivia Bell 2, Stephen Clark 3
KA4 Junior Light: Kyron Kirkpatrick 1, Jack Roberts 2
TAG 125 Light: Graham Prajbisz 1, Keegan Baker 2, Blayke Wagner 3
TAG 125 Heavy: Olivia Bell 1, Kory Jennings 2