kartsportnews.com kart racing website

Karters To Race From Darwin To Melbourne

During late November and early December, Eastern Lions (Vic) Kart Club members Morgan, Clancy and Rory Purdie will be part of a team that will ride a Solar Assisted Trike along the highways from Darwin to Melbourne.

The trip will take 10 days, cover over 3700km and include stops at Uluru, Coober Pedy, Port Augusta and Ballarat.

Based largely on his karting experience, Clancy has been selected as one of the lead riders and will probably ride over 500 km during the trip back to Melbourne.

The bike has been built by teachers, students and families at Damascus College in Ballarat during the last 12 months and is made from a mixture of carbon fibre and Kevlar and weighs only 36 kilograms.

It is slightly longer than the average kart but a similar overall height. It runs a 14-speed hub which combines both the gears and electric/solar motor to drive the rear wheel. The riders can also pedal to save the charge in the batteries.

Usually the riders will pulse the electric motor until the bike reaches 50km/h, and then pedal to gain maximum speed. On a recent highway test Clancy reached 115km/h - before the school teachers ordered him to slow down! “That was disappointing because it felt good and I still had 2 more gears to use" he said. "I can’t wait to give it a crack along the Territory highways”

Clancy had been involved in the design and testing. “The original design was great, however the steering sensitivity lead to over steer and instability at high speeds” he explained. The steering was modified to solve the problem. The seating position is a little bit like sitting in a Banana lounge and there are huge air ducts to try and keep the rider cool while in the Northern Territory heat. “We have trained in heat chambers at the Ballarat University to try and understand the conditions that we might have to cope with.”

Rory has a variety of roles in the team, including helping with the live Internet streaming each day of the ride. There will be cameras in the bike and on the support buses which will be available to watch at www.roderage.com.au

“There is the chance for our friends and families to facebook, blog and twitter with the team too. We hope that all our Eastern Lions mates will join in the fun” said Rory.

Morgan is Media Person for the team, probably because she has the gift of the gab.“We expect to meet the Mayor of Darwin, who will give us a letter to present to the Mayor of Melbourne when we arrive. The Premier John Brumby may also meet the team too.”

The ride starts from Darwin at dawn on Thursday November 26th. So while most of the Pucka members will be celebrating Club Championships, there will be 3 members battling the Northern Territory Heat along the Stuart Highway.


© kartsportnews.com