Stars show love of karting

LAST Saturday, the Gladstone Kart Club held the four-hour TAG 125 Kart Enduro race.

V8 Supercar drivers Tony D’Alberto, Tim Slade, Jack Perkins and V8 Utes driver Ryal Harris showed their support for the event by competing against Gladstone and Central Queensland karters.

Earlier in the day the V8 drivers arrived to help their teams with their karts.

I was lucky enough to meet the four of them, get autographs signed and take photos. The first driver I was introduced to was Centaur Racing’s D’Alberto, making him the first V8 Supercar driver I have ever met. Tony took the time to talk about his disappointing round in Townsville the previous weekend. He explained that Saturday’s DNF was due to a mechanical problem and Sunday’s DNF was driver error.

Slade was next and he spoke about his switch from Holden to Ford. Last year he made his debut with Paul Morris Motorsport and teamed up with Russell Ingall for the endurance races.

Then Jack Perkins shared his involvement with the Fujitsu Series.

He will team up with Tim Slade for the V8 Supercar endurance races starting with the L&H 500 at Phillip Island.

Lastly I spoke to Ryal Harris about his time in the V8 Utes. Harris, who took out many karting titles in the late 1990s and in 2000, was eager to participate in the upcoming karting enduro.

All of the V8 drivers were extremely friendly and easy to approach and keen to race against the other karters in the endurance race being held that night.

I was very impressed with how the V8 drivers interacted with kids throughout the day, signing autographs and walking a lap of the track before the kids raced.

I received the privilege of going in a two-seater kart around the track with experienced local karter, 16-year-old, Norton Rogers who took me out for six laps.

The endurance race started around 5pm and finished just after 9pm. The winners were Gladstone’s well respected John Grother and Matty Rayment.

The V8 drivers put up a good fight but couldn’t get there in the end. Perkins finished the best in seventh with his team-mate Scott Dagan. D’Alberto finished ninth with Matthew Dicinoski. Slade and local Sea FM announcer Mark Edwards finished 13th and Harris and team-mate Gavin Whitmore finished 14th after blowing an engine.



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