KARTERS RACE TO GLORY
GO KARTS: With a passion for speed and determined to make their mark on the race track, the drivers in the Queensland Kart Championships did not disappoint.
More than 130 competitors from across the state converged on the Whitsundays circuit for round one of the two-part series.
The Whitsunday Moto Sport Club hosted the all-important event, providing the competition with an outstanding location for the racing.
Whitsunday Moto Sport Club karting race vice-president Tim O'Brien said local hopefuls saw both success and some complications but managed to rise above the setbacks regardless.
"We had good racing and some challenges - but those who did face the challenges still went in with a great attitude, raced their best and it was a learning experience for them," he said.
Junior Keelan O'Brien went into the championships with his sights set high but engine troubles on the first day proved a challenge.
Racing in the KA4 Junior Light, O'Brien managed to finish in the top 10 in the finals last Sunday, crossing the line in ninth position in a 19-strong field.
Further success was seen in the same event by the Whitsunday Club's junior Damian White, who overcame the drenched race track to secure second position in the final, won by Zane Rinaldi and with Kurtis Tennant finishing third to complete the podium finish.
In the seniors, previous state champion, Whitsunday's Bob Thorburn competed in the KA3 Senior Medium.
The experienced driver managed to cross the line in Sunday's final in third position, behind Wayne Ohl and Michael O'Connor in a field of 12 drivers.
Further success was seen in the TaG 125 Restricted Medium event with another top-three finish for the Whitsundays.
Local Leo Rodriguez crossed the line in third position behind Brett Wells in first and Paul Frank in second, with all 14 TaG 125 Restricted Medium finalists vying for a podium finish.
Tim O'Brien said the level of action out on the race track was exactly what the club expected for its hosting of the state championships.
"We had great conditions on the Saturday but Sunday we had it all - the track was very wet and we had water flying everywhere, there were plenty of spinouts. There was a lot of action," he said.
"The competition still remained very close - in the Cadet 9s there was under a tenth of a second separating the top finishers in the race."
The Whitsunday drivers have a busy schedule ahead, including their club championships and round two of the State titles in September and the Great Barrier Reef titles in October.