Episode 29 - Karting



In this episode Damo heads back out the the Willowbank Kart Track to take a closer look at Karting.

Last series we attended a charity race event and when we were invited back to have a closer look at a club meeting and CIK we jumped at the chance.

In the wake of go-kart racing becoming established in the southern States and at various venues in the Brisbane area, a public meeting was called in 1959 by the President of the local Ipswich West Moreton Auto Club with a view to establishing the sport on an organised basis in the Ipswich district. This meeting attracted over sixty enthusiasts who were able to inspect the first two locally owned karts, a factory built 100cc Uscinski/Villiers 7F purchased by Ken Duce and the entirely “home built” 125cc BSA powered kart of Ray Follett.  

Decision of the meeting was to form the Ipswich Go-Kart Club, operating initially under affiliation to the IWMAC to take advantage of that Club’s considerable motor sporting expertise. Elected to head a committee to begin internal administration were the late Stan Brown (President), Keith Wood (Secretary) and Lew Griffiths (Treasurer).  

First sanctioned Ipswich race meeting was held at the Starline Drive-in towards the end of ’59 on a hay-bale delineated circuit with some sixty-five entries present. Top driver of the meeting (which attracted enormous spectator interest) was Brisbane’s Uscinski with one of his own “works” karts.  

The first injured driver was Gold Coast’s Keith Williams, now very well known in the tourist trade who cracked a few ribs.  

1960 saw further Drive-in meetings in February, March and April while members investigated proposed sites for a permanent Club track, finally settling on the Mount Crosby site offered by property owner Sid Burrows.  

As the Club flourished, so did track improvements take place with re-surfacing with “deco” and concrete to virtual speedway standards. Mount Crosby was a well established, well organised and very popular venue, and in ’63 was granted its first Title meeting, the South East Queensland Titles of that season.  

Despite it’s overall success with numerous major meetings, the end was clearly in sight for Mount Crosby’s dirt track era. Following prolonged discussion and negotiation, it was decided to “go tar” and with the support of the members.  

The seventies began to be a whole new ball-game with new karts, motors and drivers in profusion and karts very similar to contemporary machines replacing the previous McCulloch motors and “rail” frames.  

Mount Crosby’s enhanced status led to our first hosting of the Queensland Open Sprint Championships in 1973 which firmly re-established the IKC as a major karting force in the State.  

The Club has since had the original track extended in 1995 to a length of 1080 metres as well as the erection of floodlights for night racing – the first Club in Queensland to do so.  

The Club offers drivers many facilities with a canteen, medical centre, stewards room and entry office, covered pits area, and an all-weather covered grid with a 40 kart capacity.  

The Club has been host to 2 State Championships – 1990 and 1994 and 1 National Championship in 1991, and 5 rounds of the FMK/CIK Australian Championships.  

And thus we have the Ipswich Kart Club today – born in 1959 and still going even stronger at Willowbank in the year 2011 

Website http://ipswichkartclub.org.au

Our shows opening tile features the awesome artwork of 3Deuce Speedshop. Please check out their fantastic website and support them as have been kind enough to allow us to use their artwork in our show.

These wonderful images were brought to life by the animation talents of Mike Wright.

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