NW drivers get into gear at State Championships

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Exmouth’s Riley Watkins (No.63) competes in a KA3 Junior race.
Camera IconExmouth’s Riley Watkins (No.63) competes in a KA3 Junior race. Credit: Leah Watkins

Kart drivers from Exmouth and Karratha did their home clubs proud at the sport’s State championship competition late last month.

Aiden Passmore, Riley Watkins and Graham Westling of Exmouth, and Karratha’s Greg Campbell and Brandon Duncombe each placed in the top 10 of their respective categories at the WA State Sprint Kart Championships in Esperance, a four-day event that attracted 140 competitors from across the State.

Passmore finished overall third in the TaG 125 Light and KA3 Senior Light categories while Campbell claimed fifth place in the TaG125 Light.

Westling also had a podium finish, coming third in the TaG125 Restricted Masters division.

Karratha’s Greg Campbell (#99) on the grid waiting to start a race.
Camera IconKarratha’s Greg Campbell (#99) on the grid waiting to start a race. Credit: Leah Watkins

Duncombe placed fifth in the KA3 Senior Medium class and Watkins, in his first State Championships, finished seventh in the KA3 Juniors.

North West kart clubs spokeswoman Leah Watkins said their drivers had performed well against tough competition, especially as 80 per cent of racers at the event had hailed from the metropolitan area.

“For a small group of racers up here that generally don’t get that opportunity it’s a great outcome and it highlights that our drivers can be in the mix with other drivers that get to race against a lot more people,” she said.

Karratha’s Brandon Duncombe (#29) with competitors hot on his heels in a KA3 Senior Medium race.
Camera IconKarratha’s Brandon Duncombe (#29) with competitors hot on his heels in a KA3 Senior Medium race. Credit: Leah Watkins

Watkins said taking part in the State Kart Championships gave North West racers the opportunity to test their skills against a much larger and more diverse group of competitors than they were used to back home.

“The championships were definitely a lot more challenging than our usual meets — the races were nearly double the distance they would race up here, and our racing is usually done and dusted in one day, whereas the State Champs is a four-day event,” she said.

“It was much more competitive than what we have with our friendly rivalry in the North West.”

Exmouth’s Aiden Passmore in the lead in a KA3 Senior Light race.
Camera IconExmouth’s Aiden Passmore in the lead in a KA3 Senior Light race. Credit: Leah Watkins

She said the drivers and officials would pass what they had learnt at the event on to their local clubs back home.

Having to transport their karts via road, the five North West competitors and two officials with them drove about 2000km to attend the Esperance event.

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