Over the last few years the Kiwi Kidz have been growing from strength to strength in numbers, in fact they are almost bulging at the seams.
There have been quite a few new initiatives over the last year or so, one of them being the safety day. This has been such a huge success that it is now an annual event. During the off-season Springs Promotions arrange for the drivers and their families to come along for a sausage sizzle and receive safety advise from director of Chicane Racewear, Shane Drake.
Shane checks the driver’s race gear including helmet, race suit, balaclava, gloves, boots, neck restraints and arm restraints. They are checked for compliance, fit, wear and tear, we all want these young up and coming stars super safe! Shane also talks to the drivers about the importance of wearing the correct safety gear while competing.
Infield Rescue Chief, Brian Guptill came to our last one along with some of his infield team and they gave a demonstration on how a driver is taken out of the car in the event of an accident. He also talked to the drivers about safety on the track. This was very informative especially given the number of rookies we have!
Speaking of rookies, there was a new initiative with the mentor programme which is held at Rosebank Road. Once the cadets have completed it they can then race at the Springs. The programme has been amped up given we now have the fastest quarter midget drivers reaching speeds in excess of 100 km/h at Western Springs. One of the consequences of the class growing with younger, less experienced drivers can be a significant speed differential between senior drivers and cadets. We can’t have a situation develop where this becomes dangerous, so the new mentor programme hopefully alleviates any problems on track.
The cadets are tested on many different aspects of racing including the ability to hold a safe racing line, progression of speed that would stop them from being lapped by senior drivers, the ability to react to the flag/lights and marshals’ instructions and to pass without incident on the outside of a fellow competitor at race pace.
Another initiative which was established a few years ago is the Buddy Day also held at Rosebank Road Speedway. This is a day where ex quarter midget drivers who now race in one of the adult classes is buddied up with a current quarter midget driver for a day of mentoring and tutoring. Each kiwi kid draws a name out of a hat of the driver who will be their mentor for the day. The mentor then watches them race and gives their advice on how they can improve. This is a great way to form friendships between the younger drivers and their mentors which hopefully continues throughout the season. This was held last Sunday and was a great success once again.
All these initiatives are important steps to ensure that everyone enjoys their time in this class. We look forward to watching these young stars come through the ranks, just like so many of our past Kiwi Kidz have who are now the current stars of the Springs.