Karting Australia events across the Country continue to thrive as the karting community tackles the ‘Road out of Lockdown’. For those States that have been consistently able to hold events in a COVIDSafe Environment throughout July and August, participation numbers have increased 23% on the corresponding period in 2019.
This equates to more than 650 additional entries across the Country during this time. Club Level racing in South Australia has thrived over the past two months with a 62% increase of participation against 2019. In conjunction with the July and August entry levels in other States, the participation rate in June for Victorian Club Level events was extremely strong experiencing a 20% increase on the corresponding events in 2019.
The Participation rates at local events follows on from the successful implementation of structured Social Karting Days across the Country ensuring a safe and controlled environment for all Karting Australia Licence Holders. These Social Karting Days continue to provide the opportunity for Members to further engage with their fellow Members and assist to build a strong foundation for the Club into the future.
“While it has been a significantly challenging time for everyone, the ability to have our Club continue to operate Social Karting Days in an organised and COVIDSafe manner has been a huge bonus for our Club and its Members,” said Wimmera Kart Racing Club President Shane Soutar.
“The Social Karting Days have really provided positivity for everyone involved in our Club and their families. They have also assisted in us increasing our membership significantly and provided us with the opportunity to gain more publicity for the sport in the region. Over the past six months our Club Members have all worked together and become more of a Community than just a ‘place to race’. I’m confident that we will emerge stronger than before the pandemic hit.”
For Karting Australia Chief Executive Officer Kelvin O’Reilly, the participation in both Social Karting and local events is very encouraging.
“All throughout this Pandemic our focus has been on emerging with caution but strongly in accordance with the Government Orders and Directions. We were one of the first sports to start up again in full compliance with Government requirements after the first restrictions started to come off. The safety of the Karting Australia family was and always will be first and foremost in our considerations in these COVID-19 times,” said O’Reilly.
“Our strategy has been to get straight into safe, organised Social karting days at Club level before the commencement of competition at Local Events before then expanding into larger events as we accelerate out of Lockdown. "Some of the entry numbers that we have seen recently are very rewarding. One of the most pleasing aspects that has come out of the pandemic is the ability for our Clubs to consider what shape their Calendar of Events should take along with the considering different racing formats for their Club Events.
“South Australia has benefited from a well thought out calendar as they have emerged from lockdown, as have several other States. Numerous Clubs across the Country have looked at their formats of racing – including the introduction of ‘Rapid Racing’ – and they are reaping the rewards by increased participation. We encourage more Clubs to continually think outside the square at these opportunities.
“While our thoughts are with everyone in Victoria, particularly Melbourne, at the moment with the limited movement and activities that they are permitted to engage in, I’m encouraged by the positivity from the Clubs throughout the State. They are all working together and in conjunction with Karting Victoria to ensure that, as they are allowed, the last few months of the year will see a forward-thinking Club Calendar introduced to enhance competition at that level.
“We’ve said it from the outset of this Pandemic that we will come through this battle as a stronger sport and I’m confident that this will ring true as we continue to drive along the ‘Road out of Lockdown’.”
Later this month the first State Championships of the year will be contested in New South Wales and Western Australia ahead of the Queensland Kart Championship on the first weekend in October. The SA and Tasmanian Kart Championships will be held in late November.
It remains the intention for the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship presented by Castrol EDGE to conclude with two rounds in November and December, pending the reduction of restrictions and Karting Australia is working to that end.