South Australian motor racing young guns today met with local champion, Nick Percat, on the opening day of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide and experienced what it takes to become a supercar driver.
Primary school students, Jessica Fortanier and Christian Cowie discussed with the 2016 race winner how their driving careers all began – racing in a 12cc go-cart, at SA Karting club meets.
Through the Clipsal 500 Adelaide Tri Series, the State Government is providing 10-12 year old go-kart participants free entry and a set of tyres – as part of a three year initiative to help develop the sport at a grassroots level.
Minister for Tourism and Motorsport, Leon Bignell, was also joined by Supercars drivers Simona De Silvestro and Renee Gracie, SuperEnduro-X rider Laia Sanz and Aussie Racing Cars drivers Emma Clark, Ruth Bowler, Madison Dunston and Charlotte Poynting.
For the 10 young girls competing in the Clipsal 500 Adelaide Tri Series, these female athletes are an inspiration and strong role models to look up to.
The State Government’s investment in promoting women in sport has seen record rates of female participation - across various categories – at this year’s Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
The four day race is Australia’s largest domestic ticketed motorsport event – kicking off the racing season today and finishing on Sunday.
Last year the Clipsal 500 Adelaide generated $65.6 million in expenditure and attracted a huge crowd of 263,500 people with more than 13,500 fans travelling from interstate for the event.
Tickets are still available to attend any day of the event and can be purchased via Ticketmaster. For more information visit www.clipsal500.com.au
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell
This year’s Clipsal 500 Adelaide is breaking new ground, with Simona De Silvestro debuting as the Supercars’ first full-time female driver and the event as a whole recording its highest ever number of female drivers.
Go-kart racing is the breeding ground for future supercar drivers. We have seen this with Nick Percat, who is a great local athlete and positive role model for young racing enthusiasts.
Perhaps we’ll have another Nick Percat or Tim Slade joining the Supercars series in a few years’ time, or even our very own Simona De Silvestro.
The State Government wants to promote the development of all sports and I hope our involvement will help encourage the next generation into a career in motorsport.
We have invested an extra $70 million to market South Australia nationally and internationally and to attract major events. This funding is in addition to a mega sport budget, which has pumped an extra $40 million pumped into grassroots sports and facility upgrades across the State – including $10 million for female change rooms.
Adelaide is absolutely buzzing on the first day of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide - which will help us further build SA's record $6.2 billion visitor economy.
Quotes attributable to Craig Denton, President of Karting South Australia
Karting is considered the first step in any serious racer’s career. It can prepare the driver for high-speed wheel-to-wheel racing by developing quick reflexes, precision, car control, set-up, mechanical and decision-making skills.
Karting South Australia is excited to form this association with the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, which will support the young competitors who have dreams of being like Nick Percat or Tim Slade.
Through their generous support, the Clipsal 500 have taken the naming rights to the 2017 South Australian State Championships and just as importantly are assisting the Cadet 12 (10 to 12 year olds) to compete at the State Championships.