DRIVER PROFILE – WHO’S WHO IN OUR CLUB
by Bailey & Julie Dixon
Here at AWKC we are blessed with a number of great female drivers across several classes, but compared with the boys, the number still remains small.
We are blessed too, to have a number of women supporting drivers and supporting the club… from Official roles to running the canteen. In fact, on any given club day, you will find we have a small number of our dedicated members – both women and men, putting in a special effort behind the scenes making the day happen for all members.
Thus, it was with a pleasant surprise that we arrived this month to find our long time member Christie Reynolds not in the Canteen organizing everything (though she still did that too), not in the office taking entries or in the Stewards office preparing all the necessary paperwork (although I think there was some of that as well) or around the track performing her long held role of Steward. No, this month we found her on the other side of the fence, in the driver’s role for her first race behind the wheel.
For many years Christie had supported husband James in his karting, until injury forced him out of the game. Since then they have both held a strong presence in helping run our club. But not this month.
This month, as well as helping official the day, James stood solidly beside Christie as it was her time to show us what she had. And show us she did, with some great pace on the track to achieve a personal best time of 45.008. An impressive effort given that Dayna Rice finished 3rd in their class, but held the fastest lap of the day with a 44.651, so she was only 4 tenths off the pace.
Originally, it was a deal made between her and James that brought karting into the picture for her, but once she overcame the nerves about being in a kart, it turns out it suits her competitive spirit.
Christie Reynolds and Ashleigh Brett bring some new girl power to our club this month.
Interestingly too, given the nature of her experience in the role of Official, Christie had some good insights about what it’s like from a driver’s perspective, and how varied it is from one side to the other.
All in all, a great first race for her, with only a few ups and downs along the way – a touch of nerves and the frustration of mechanical failure too in Heat 3. We look forward to more days with the number 7 Reynolds Kart.
And while Christie jumped over from steward/organizer to driver for her first race this month, at the other end of the spectrum, more girl power was doing the same, jumping from spectator to driver in the form of little Ashleigh Brett for her very first race too.
We’ve all seen Ashleigh running around the track chasing her brother James and the other kids, or cheering from the sidelines as James races in the Cadet 9. More often she’s been known for her success in competition for dancing.
But this club day saw her very first race at the tender age of 7, competing in the same category – Cadet 9s, with her big brother. We can all imagine the overwhelming experience the first race can be for any new driver, but Ashleigh did so well to make it through the day, beating her PB repeatedly.
When asked what it was that made her want to go-kart, and expecting an answer of rivaling her brother or getting in with the other kids, it made us smile to hear her honest answer “I like to just drive.” A fine karting spirit we say! Following her big first race, she was looking forward to a round of Ice-creams to celebrate – well done Ashleigh!
And so we look forward to following the progress both Christie and Ashleigh make as the year goes on.
And we hope, that with 1/7 of the race competitors this month being made up by the girls, that this number continues to rise and we see more great racing from them all.