Tyagarah lass Abbey Kellie last weekend won first place in the ladies’ special go kart event at the Combined Districts Kart Club in Lithgow, as well as the overall trophy for ‘Princess of Speed’, and while that was a ladies-only event, Abbey frequently competes against men and often beats them.
The ladies special is now in its third year, and not only is it a great place for women to show what they can do on the race track, it is also a highly successful fundraiser for breast cancer.
“When the idea first came up about holding an event to support breast cancer,” said Abbey, “people in the karting community thought it would be too hard, but it’s just got bigger, and this year we raised over $20,000.”
Racing with Abbey is her younger sister Nichola, who took out second place in club sport, right behind her sister in the big race.
“I looked behind, thinking it was someone else,” said Abbey, “but relaxed when I realised it was Nicky.”
Abbey and Nichola have been supported right from the beginning by their proud dad Mark.
“Speed freaks they are, both of them,” said Mark fondly.
Abbey began early, settling down to watch the Formula One with dad from an early age, then starting on a little motor bike when she was 10 and clearing big jumps at just 13.
“Eight years ago I was riding a motor bike,” said Abbey, “but dad didn’t like that, so on my birthday he bought the kart, because he thought four wheels were better than two. The next weekend I went racing, and two years later my sister joined me.”
The girls go racing most weekends, and since there are not many women in the sport, they are frequently competing against men.
“They used to treat me badly, slamming and block ing, even tampering with the car,” said Abbey, “but now I’ve earned their respect and they don’t do it any more.
“There’s no respect until you beat them, though they hate being beaten by us.”
Both girls would love to be in car racing, and dad reckons if Abbey could get sponsors she would go a long way, but the huge financial commitment puts it out of their league.
“You’d have to be a billionaire for that,” said Nichola.
But for now Abbey and Nichola are happy to be in the sport that is their passion, that gives them the thrill of speed, and one that sees them having a great social life, meeting people from all over.
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