Hot competition on Griffith's go-kart track

Go-kart racing

THE unrelenting summer heat in Griffith is one thing - but try dealing with it under a full go-kart racing suit.

That's what more than 120 racers had to deal with on Saturday and Sunday as the Griffith Kart Club hosted round one of the new Southern Star series at the White Road track.

Competitors traveled from all parts of the eastern seaboard to race on one of country NSW's best tracks, and for the opportunity to win some valuable competition points early in the new season.

But Griffith's superior facilities came in handy as temperatures soared over the weekend.

The White Road track's covered outgrid kept drivers cool in the shade as they waited for their races to begin - elsewhere in the bush, they would have had to have done so directly in the sun.

"Everyone had a good time, except for the heat - that was the killer for us," Griffith Kart Club president Ashley Woolner said.

"That covered-in outgrid, it saved everyone's life. It was a big bonus. 

"We had everyone in the karts, in their big heavy suits and they got to sit there in the shade.

"If it wasn't for that facility, which nobody else has really got, I'm not sure how it would have been.

"The temperature played a big part in everything, it threw everyone around.

"But we all kept hydrated so it wasn't too much for anyone. Everyone lasted all the way through."

There were 126 karts entered on the weekend with a sizeable contingent of those local racers, keen to profit from their intimate knowledge of the track.

Three of them did by taking out their respective divisions, with Jarrod Whitty winning the TaG Light, Greg Woolner taking the Restricted 125 class and Graham Winnel the Clubman Superheavy.

Griffith Kart Club members Jarrod Prendergast, Byron Woolner, James Croxson and Adam Smith also earned podium finishes.

"It was a really good effort from all the locals," said Woolner.

The only downer from the weekend was the fact the club didn't get the opportunity to use their much-vaunted floodlights, which make Griffith a unique stop on the Southern Star series.

"We had all the pre-finals finished by 8.30pm, 9pm on Saturday so we didn't actually have to turn the lights on at all, because the sun was still out," Woolner said.

"That sort of stuffed us up a bit but at least it was a bit cooler at that time."

Competitors will now turn their focus to the second round of the Southern Star series, set to take place in Canberra on March 22 and 23.

Woolner said all the Griffith races that took part on the weekend will head to the nation's capital.

"We take a good 20 to 25 people along whenever we go away to anything in this competition," he said.

He also said the dozens of visitors to Griffith this weekend all enjoyed the city's sights and sounds.

"Everyone loved the track, coming to town and all the pizza places and that sort of stuff," Woolner said.

"Griffith's really got it all for weekends like this."

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