Russell Whittaker leads the pack in the final of the Junior National Light ABC at the Harrington Doyle Racing – Race for Daniel.
Russell Whittaker leads the pack in the final of the Junior National Light ABC at the Harrington Doyle Racing – Race for Daniel. Craig Warhurst

Drivers race for Daniel

THE Gympie Gold racetrack, home of the Cooloola Coast Kart Club, came alive at the weekend with close to 100 junior kart racers converging on the circuit for the Harrington Doyle Racing - Race for Daniel event.

While racing was a major focus for the event, the main cause was to raise funds and awareness for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation with a clear focus on Harm Prevention, Child Safety Awareness and Fun in our communities.

Sunshine Coast boy Daniel Morcombe went missing eight years ago, when he was 13, and a recent arrest in his case led to a search for his remains in muddy bushland near Beerwah, on the Sunshine Coast.

Daniel was abducted while waiting for a bus on a busy highway in his local area just before Christmas in 2003.

In 2005, Daniel's parents together with local community leaders, collaborated to establish the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to promote Child Safety Awareness.

With seven categories being contested throughout the weekend drivers battled varying conditions - particularly when the rain fell throughout Sunday - but through it all the competitors raced in great spirits to highlight what kart racing is all about.

The race of the weekend was undoubtedly the Junior National Light final where the top five drivers swapped the front-running positions on a number of occasions before Maxim Erickson claimed the win.

Russell Whittaker finished second ahead of Jake Downs.

In the Cadets and Rookies categories, it was Harrison Hoey and Jack Bussey who showed superior speed to drive away with the wins while the experienced Lachlan McHugh and Brock Plumb proved too good in the Junior Max and Junior National Heavy categories.

Keeping with the spirit of the event, there were also three categories for the newcomers to the sport in the Cadets, Rookies and Junior National Light D-grade races.

Cooloola Coast Kart Club promotions officer Kym Coomber was delighted with the outcome of the weekend.

"There has been a lot of hard work by everyone in the club to make this event happen and we're all delighted the weekend has been a great success," Coomber said.

"While the final figure is still to be finalised for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, we are happy to announce at this point that it has well exceeded our first expectations of $3000.

"A huge thank-you must go to the team at Harrington Doyle and all of our other sponsors; also to Street Empire and Robbie Bolger for bringing their travelling roadshow and drift car respectively to the event and a huge thanks to the karting community and all of the competitors who travelled from far and wide to race."

Gympie Times


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