by Russell Innes, Junior Development Officer, IKC
Ipswich Kart Club embarked on an ambitious program of Junior Development in 2018 with the aims of providing a comfortable pathway for Cadet and Junior drivers to enter the sport of go karting, develop their skills and understanding of the sport in an environment where they are encouraged and comfortable to transition from social practising to competition and then provide a less intimidating first experience when they do start racing.
To provide this pathway, IKC offered four Come and Try Days throughout the year and close to 200 drivers participated across those Come and Try Days and this generated many new members, a lot of whom are now racing competitively or practising towards racing next year.
With many new Cadet and Juniors coming in to the club and social practising, IKC then offered an opportunity for these drivers to attend our first Driver Development Day.
Held on the 22nd of September, this day provided a great opportunity for participants to accelerate their learning curves and improve their lap times considerably. Our Driving Coaches and Club Instructors provided wonderful support and guidance to the participants and education for their parents.
The Cadets participating also had the benefit of experienced Cadet Drivers demonstrating race start procedures, etc.
As a further initiative of the Junior Development Program, IKC offered a Cadet Beginners Class at several Club Rounds throughout the year, to provide a less intimidating first experience for new Cadet drivers.
This was highlighted by a total of 9 Cadet Beginners all competing in their very first race meeting in the 20th October Club Round, most of whom had graduated through the Driver Development Day several weeks earlier.
The tremendous success of the Junior Development Program in 2018 and the associated IKC Clubday Challenge Program, has contributed strongly to Ipswich Kart Club being able to increase race meeting participation figures by 12% in 2018.
The success of the IKC Junior Development Program could not have been achieved without some tremendous support from many club members and our industry partners who provided karts, racing apparel, driver coaching and mechanical assistance.