What a Champ! At round one of the 2022 Karting WA South Eastern Zone series in Albany, 84-year-old Alan Griffith set the fastest lap of the race in heat four of the TaG 125 Restricted Light Class.
Alan has provided some memories of his and his family’s involvement in karting (with assistance from Michelle Bentley).
1989 Family Holiday to Kalgoorlie
We found the old Kalgoorlie go-kart track in the industrial area after talking to a go-karter. He suggested we see a local man who produced two old go-karts with worn out tyres. With our two youngest sons 13 and 15 year-old, we had a ball and wore out the already worn out tyres. This was a great time for father-son relationship and is always remembered. Through our mutual interest in go-karts, we three joined Nyabing Go Kart club 1989-90-91.
I remember Albany guys coming up to Nyabing racing because they didn’t have a track. Then early 90s they built the Albany concrete short track.
Wool price collapsed so karting stopped for the boys and I. We retired from farming 1992 and spent time caravanning various parts of Australia.
Approximately 1993, I joined the Albany Kart club around the time they did the extensions in bitumen to the concrete short track. While racing anti-clockwise (on the old bitumen track) in the last race, on the last corner (sweeper), while attempting to win the SEZ, put a hole in the piston… I didn’t even roll over the finish line!
The end-of-year trophy presented to me was a very worn piston with a wooden con-rod. I treasure this trophy and laugh each time I see it.
Over the following years I’ve raced 100cc Js on all WA bitumen tracks from Carnarvon and south of Carnarvon.
Carnarvon I had the misfortune of experiencing a broken king pin which ended that race.
Wundowie Night Racing
Being on my own, I experienced great support and help from a fellow karter. I was setting up while trying to cope in the dark with just a portable light. I heard “Hey, come join us we’ve got lights we’ve got facilities.” It was an example of the true comradeship within the Karting fraternity.
Esperance – Lake King
Lake King SEZ was a very memorable weekend for me. While racing in the south-east zone against an Esperance Karter (we had each won two races), each of us come second twice so whoever got the start would most likely get the win in the final race. I got the start, on the third last corner of the final race I made a mistake and expected to lose the last race but I surprised myself and went over the line!
I felt a tap tap from the Esperance kart behind me (is just to say “I’m here boy”). We had a very fair competitive relationship, two karts into a corner, two karts out, true example of our non contact sport.
At the moment I am currently racing in 125 Restricted Light. After much adjustment to the kart and educating myself on how to race with much help from Albany kart friends, I have had my best lap times ever.
My wife says “persistance pays off”!
Wanaroo – Coburn – Bunbury
After I joined Albany Kart Club racing for say18 months without a win or anything in Albany, I went to Bunbury where I got battered badly eg: out of position and start flag drops – too slow and squeezed out. The next Albany run I won my first Club day.