Oddie sweeps floor with rivals
IN order to win the 2010 Super Cheap Auto Series, Gympie kart racer Harrison Oddie could have slept in during the sixth and final round at Rockhampton last weekend.
Oddie, 11, had the series stitched up before even taking to the track, thanks to a string of ace performances.
But instead of taking his foot off the accelerator and taking it easy, the young driver finished in a blaze of glory, taking out the sixth round in convincing fashion.
It was a mark of Oddie’s work ethic and determination to compete at his best every time he takes to the track.
“I was always going to race the final round,” he said. “I love to compete.”
Claiming the final round and the series was icing on the cake for Oddie, who won five of the six rounds overall.
“I finished second last year in the series and I wanted to go better this year,” he said.
“It’s a great result and I’ve improved a lot in just a year.”
Oddie’s domination of the final round of the Super Cheap Auto Series was not, however, without its fair share of drama.
Moments before qualifying, a horrified Oddie realised he didn’t have his neck guard.
Braving the hot weather, the Gympie competitor raced clear of the grid and ran almost a kilometre to retrieve it from his gear.
“I got back and I was so puffed because it was hot,” he said.
Battling to catch his breath, Oddie jumped into his kart just in time and prepared for battle.
Despite the added excitement before his qualifying run, the Gympie champion qualified with the top time and set the tone ahead of the three heats.
Oddie swept the floor with the competition in the three heats, winning each race and even getting the better of difficult conditions in the second heat.
“It was getting dark and there were bugs smacking up against my helmet,” he said.
The day after, Oddie returned to the Rockhampton track and posted his biggest win of the meet – streaking across the finish line with his opponents far back in the distance.
“That was a great win,” he said. “It was a really good race and I was in control once I gained the lead on the first lap.”
After all the excitement of outclassing his opposition and claiming the series, Oddie was in for more surprises during the official presentation. His trophy was a wheel nut from a V8 Super Car mounted on a wooden board, matched by a replica model of the car driven by V8 driver Russell Ingall.
But by far the biggest prize left Oddie speechless when he learnt he would receive the chance to ride with Ingall in January next year on the Gold Coast.
The Gympie competitor will be given two choices before being strapped in beside Ingall. He can take part in a drifting, or fast ride.
“I’m going to pick the drifting,” Oddie said.
One year is a long time in sport and Oddie’s recent success demonstrated incredible improvement.
The young star’s reputation is already beginning to precede him when he attends meets, while media outlets have been hunting him down for interviews on his immense success.