Good oil on Kellie gang
WHEN she first started to get dragged along to the go kart track with her father and older sister, 17-year-old Nichola Kellie 'wasn't that into it' as it involved noisy motors and 'getting your hands dirty'.
But once she got behind the wheel of a kart and felt the adrenalin rush of racing around a circuit at 140km/h she was hooked.
The bubbly teenager and her older sibling, Abbey, are now making plenty of headway in the sport, which has typically launched the racing careers of drivers ranging from the V8 Supercars right up to Formula One.
“My Dad loved that kind of racing, and so did my sister, and I started watching it, but I wasn't that interested,” Nichola said. “But when I started doing it, I just loved it to death.
“It's definitely an adrenalin rush. I just love the speed and you meet so many new people - the people are the best.”
One of the highlights is beating the boys.
“They are pretty good to us, but they don't like us beating them,” Nichola said.
“They like having us around, but when we beat them, they always make excuses.”
The two sisters competed at an 'all girl' racing event in Lithgow recently which was held as a fundraiser for breast cancer research. Abbey was first in the ladies clubman light (100cc) with Nichola right behind in second.
Abbey then backed it up with a third-placing in the ladies national. The event raised just over $20,000 for breast cancer research which was an increase of about $4000 from the previous year.
It's just one of the many races the sisters have competed in and most weekends finds them travelling to events throughout NSW and southern Queensland.
One of the reasons the girls have oil in their veins is their father owned a car yard and auto wreckers.
“I was riding around on a motorbike when I was 10 or 12, and doing little tricks on them,” Abbey said. “It was then my parents decided that four wheels would be better than two.
“I guess I have just got the passion for it, and the right mechanism to get into racing. I have got it in my genes.”
Abbey said there was a common misconception that go karting was just a fun pastime and not a professional sport.
“It is definitely a stepping stone to getting somewhere in the sport, but because of the costs that hasn't really happened for me,” she said.
“Finding a sponsor is pretty hard. Go karting is an early form of motorsport and a lot of drivers have gone on from there. It's a very professional sport, but a lot of people don't see that.”