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Family club encouraging newcomers to track

The Bermuda Karting Club are encouraging aspiring drivers to join their tight-knit group at the Southside Rubis Raceway in St David’s.

Several cost-efficient avenues have been created by the family oriented club to attract novices, as they look to expand on their present pool of 32 drivers in six classes.

The club are running an “Arrive and Drive” programme, where new drivers can rent karts in the L206 class — which includes fuel and mechanical assistance for the entire race day.

There is also a similar programme aimed at youngsters from 7 to 12 in the Cadet class.

For those keen to fully commit to the sport, Scott Barnes, the leading driver on the island, said there were several race ready second-hand karts available.

“The ‘Arrive and Drives” are a great way to get into the sport,” said Barnes, the former BKC president. “It’s a great way to test the water out on a cheap scale and see if you like karting.”

He added: “We always get two or three people a season, but we will lose a few as well. Corey Lewis and AJ Durham both went away to school, so we’ve had people come and go. We’ve not been able to grow and not lose people.”

Barnes, who races in the Shifters, L20 Shifters and Tag Seniors, said the club prides itself on friendliness and that any new driver would get immediately “adopted” by one of the races teams.

“People sometimes get intimated because they not know much at all about karting or they might not be mechanically minded,” he said.

“But the atmosphere at the track is very welcoming and it’s very much a family club. Any new person who comes in gets ‘adopted’ by a team. They won’t be jumping into a new sport and not having anyone to help them.

“There’s always someone down there willing to show you the ropes. We’re not racing for a million dollars; it’s just a fun release for the drivers on a Sunday.”

Barnes, who has raced extensively overseas, said he, too, got taken under the wing of an experienced driver when he first started racing at the age of 12.

“I didn’t know anything about racing or working on karts,” he remembers. “Luckily I had an uncle who knew some stuff.

“Jason “Skuzzie” North [now the race director] took me under his wing and taught me everything I needed to know. I’ve been best friends with him ever since.”

The BKC season runs from September to May and included 15 race days.

For more information on how to get involved and what the club offers, call Bilal Binns on 704-2184, Barnes on 505-1611 or e-mail bermudakartingclub@yahoo.com.