Joel Kelso 7, and Max Whale, 9, are off to the Australian Long Track titles in New Wales next week.
Joel Kelso 7, and Max Whale, 9, are off to the Australian Long Track titles in New Wales next week. Renee Pilcher

Young riders set to take on nation

TWO of the Gympie Region’s youngest dirt demons will each be carrying well wishes on two wheels when they compete in a major national motorcycle racing event next week.

Joel Kelso, 7, has been riding bikes since he was two years old. “But you’re not allowed to race until you’re four,” he explained yesterday.

His mate, Max Whale from Kin Kin, will join him in competing in two events at the Australian Long Track titles at Somersby, in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales on October 8, 9 and 10.

Joel will be riding his KTM 50cc beast in the seven-to-nine-year-old class, in which the winner is selected by a points system over seven races.

He will be leaving on Wednesday, having by then pulled his bike down and made final repairs and adjustments prior to the big event.

Max, 9, will race his Kawasaki KX 65 and a Honda CRF 80 in two races – the seven-to-nine-year-olds 65cc event and the seven-to-10-year-olds 80cc event.

In those events, the winner is chosen over four lap events with four heats and three finals.

Their tiny but powerful two-stroke machines get maximum power from their small engines and scoot along the track at speeds which would terrify most parents. But when a love of powerful machinery runs in the family, it is only to be expected.

Both lads have been racing intensely for some time and competed in the North Brisbane Cup only last week. Max scored a second placing, and Joel came first in his event.

Earlier, back in July, they both competed in an Australian Titles on a different style of track at Kurri Kurri, near Gosford and inland from The Entrance.

Both Joel and Max have put in plenty of training time and their parents have backed them to the hilt – with motorcycles and safety gear that do not come cheap.

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