A-grade kart kid is off to Ipswich
LACHLAN O’Reilly isn’t old enough to drink the champagne but he is slowly learning how to spray it after a win.
“Hopefully I get a bit of practice at it,” he laughed.
The 15-year-old’s practice could prove handy when he meets some of the nation’s best young daredevils at today’s Confederation of International Motorsport Stars of Karting National Series in Ipswich.
The McAuley Catholic College student will head down the same track that began the careers of many of today’s V8 Supercar drivers.
This series, open to A-grade licence holders, will be held over five rounds in four states, with the overall winner to represent Australia at the World Championships later in the year.
There are 22 entries, aged between 13 and 16, registered for the series in the Pro-Junior (KF3) category with youngsters Pierce Lehane, Joseph Mawson and Brock Plumb the names to beat.
O’Reilly has been selected as a sponsored driver for the Intrepid Karts Australia team and will have a pit crew under the guidance of multiple national kart champion Troy Hunt.
Drivers will compete in time trials and heats before 26 laps of the 1km circuit across two finals ‘which are very demanding on your body’.
“It’s really stiff competition,” said O’Reilly, who has set his sights on a top-five finish.
“Everyone thinks with karting you sit on your bum and turn the wheel.
“You really have to muscle your way around the track.”
With sticky compound tyres and more horsepower than any other junior class O’Reilly has been training hard in readiness for his debut in the elite kart series.
His program includes many 5.30am mornings on his bike with the Grafton Cycle Club, regular gym sessions and jogging, clocking up 200km cycling and 40km running per week.
This training has had other benefits, with O’Reilly claiming the 15 years category at the Trial Bay Junior Triathlon at South West Rocks last Saturday.
“Usually with the karting Dad and I get a bit more stressed out,” he said.
“It (triathlon) is a bit more relaxed and not as serious.”
With the financial commitment to compete in this series stretching the household budget, O’Reilly has saved $2000 from his part time job at Grafton’s Farmer Lou’s to put towards the series.
Mountainview, where O’Reilly debuted in karts six years ago, will hold the Grafton Kart Club’s first round of the year today.
“I was a bit too young when I started and had to go around in the slow karts,” O’Reilly said of his first stint in a kart.
“So I wanted my own kart.”
Contact the Grafton Kart Club on 6644 7998.