The Club commenced in the early nineties with about 80 members and this number grew to a high of 160 members at the height of the club with great interest throughout the town with the official opening and State and National championships being held. The membership levels have remained steady over the last few years at around 80 to 100 members.
Club Members compete not only at their home circuit but also at Zone, State and National levels with some success. Several members have gained podium places at National and State level including two State Champions, one National Champion and many Zone Champions.
Spectator levels vary from 7000 at the 1995 Nationals down to several hundred at Zone meetings. Club championship meetings attract about 100.
In the last 40 years, karting has evolved from a simple weekend pastime, to a nationally organised competitive form of motor sport.
A great deal of the original appeal of karting remains today. Karts are still the most inexpensive way to enjoy the thrills and excitement of motor racing. Whether you are seven or seventy, male or female, looking for family fun or downright serious competition, the versatility of karting provides it all.
From its inception in the fifties karting has always been part of motor racing. There was an explosion of interest as the world discovered the fun of karting. The number of weekend participants grew rapidly and soon a need developed to organise the sport and set rules for competition.
The Australian Karting Association was formed in 1963.
In just over forty years, karting has spread to most countries in the world and become a truly international sport. The popularity of karting stems from the fact that it offers so much, to so many different types of people. Karting can be an inexpensive hobby in which the whole family participates. Karting can be a sport in which the young learn the use of motor vehicles and rewards for competition. Karting can be the hidden desire in all of us who want to share the experience of a Michael Schumaker, Larry Perkins or Mark Skaife, without the costs. Karting can be for the mechanically minded who like the challenge of extracting every ounce of performance from a racing machine. Karting is fun, competitive and challenging.
Some two thirds of all the Formula One stars developed their skills and motor sport reputation in the world of kart racing. Drivers such as Michael and Ralph Schumacher, Jenson Button, Jarno Trulli and popular Australian Mark Webber. Mark from Queanbeyan raced at Dubbo in 1996. One famous former Formula One driver, Ayrton Senna was runner up in the World Kart Championship in 1979 and 1980. Australian James Courtney who is now racing Formula 3 in Europe as a part of the Jaguar F1 team has twice been a world karting champion. James also raced at Dubbo in 1996 at the National Championships.
Karting caters for age from seven years up and it is not uncommon for a number of people from the same family to compete.
Perhaps the greatest benefit that the entire community derives from karting is the involvement of the young in a healthy, competitive sport which invariably produces better drivers. What better grounding for a boy or girl than a sport where they can develop their confidence and driving skills. This means that these drivers may have years of supervised motoring experience well before they are old enough to qualify for a road drivers license.
Karting develops their sense of responsibility. Karting is not a free sport and damage to equipment is frowned upon by both officials and parents. They learn some basic mechanical understanding of their karts and develop and sympathetic approach to its use.
It can be a sport that will give them a good grounding for the future development within a motorsport or simply be a fun way to spend their weekends. They will soon be tomorrows road drivers and karting teaches them car control, defensive driving techniques and an appreciation of other vehicles in close proximity and the dangers of overdriving.
Southern Star Series - Final