TODD KELLY COACHES LOCAL KARTING KIDS AFTER FIRST TOWNSVILLE V8 EVENT Kelly Racing V8 Supercar driver Todd Kelly has taken time out in the wake of the inaugural Dunlop Townsville 400 to help coach a group of young North Queensland karters ...
TODD KELLY COACHES LOCAL KARTING KIDS AFTER FIRST TOWNSVILLE V8 EVENT
Kelly Racing V8 Supercar driver Todd Kelly has taken time out in the wake of the inaugural Dunlop Townsville 400 to help coach a group of young North Queensland karters today.
Who knows? Among their number could be Townsville's first V8 Supercar driver. Of the 30 V8 Supercar stars at Townsville over the weekend, 29 got their start in karting.
Kelly, who finished 10th in Saturday's race and retired with engine issues on Sunday, spent time at the Townsville Kart Club's Sun City Raceway with nine local young guns.
The Townsville kart venue is regarded as one of the premier karting venues in Australia and hosted this year's Australian Karting Championships.
"Karting back home in Mildura is where is all started for me and Rick," said Todd Kelly.
"The Townsville Kart Club has a great facility here. The entire city was buzzing all weekend and everyone clearly embraced the new V8 event.
"Hopefully we've helped create plenty of new race fans in Townsville and if there are any guys or girls out there that aspire to racing with us in V8 Supercars, karting is definitely the place to start.
"It was great seeing the young kids here today buzzing around and having a crack. I must say that I tried my best to show them a few pointers here and there but they're already quite good.
"The best tip I could give any young karter is just to have fun. If you're enjoying yourself and your relaxed and smiling in under the helmet, your more likely to be faster out on the track."
Kelly, the 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner, was full of praise for the Townsville V8 event.
"It's a great little track," said Todd Kelly.
"It's a pretty demanding race to do 72 laps around this place. So fitness comes into it and it's almost comparable to Adelaide. It's a hard place but quite an enjoyable circuit to drive around.
"The support from all the fans here has been absolutely outstanding so this event has really blown everyone away."
Kelly also conducted a one-on-one coaching session with Moranbah resident Robert Arnold this morning in Townsville.
Arnold won the Kelly Racing -- Red Rooster karting competition in the lead-up to the Dunlop Townsville 400, with his mother Patricia lodging the winner entry form from the Townsville Bulletin at a Red Rooster store and forwarding the prize to her son.
Mr Arnold, an avid motorsport fan, had already arranged to attend the inaugural Dunlop Townsville 400 over the weekend, so extended his stay by one day to get some hands on tips from Kelly.
For Arnold, the package gives him everything he needs to restart his passion for karting, having raced in his younger years.
The prize, valued at around $25,000, included a brand new Arrow racing kart, Yamaha engine, kart trailer, Australian Karting Association licence, local AKA kart club membership, helmet, race suit, boots, gloves as well as a $2000 racing budget.
The competition reaped over 5000 entries, with Patricia lodging just one entry form, at a Red Rooster store owned by Red Rooster franchise Christine Allen, who was also present to lend her support at the Townsville Kart Club today.