Preview: Dave Hamnett Memorial

by Greg Moores 23 November 2016

The Manning Valley Kart Club (MVKC) will be ending its competition year with the now traditional Dave Hamnett Memorial Race Meeting this Saturday.

Dave was a dedicated member of the Manning Valley Kart Club, who contributed most of his time to helping others. David was an excellent racer, establishing himself as a world class speedway rider before an injury forced him to stop competing.

Dave joined the Manning Valley Kart Club in 2002 with his family and quickly began supporting the club in any way possible.  Sadly, Dave passed away following a motorcycle racing accident in 2006.

 I did not know Dave but, I am sure as a club man, he would be happy that the same volunteers are not running the club ten years later! 

Our small club maintains a vibrant karting facility in a shady, grassy area leased from the council.  It is not easy to keep up maintenance and work against track wear and tear but, thanks to dedicated club members like Dave, we run around ten events per year with visiting clubs also hiring the track for their particular discipline.

The Hamnett celebrates club level kart racing.  It is held at the end of the competition year with an end-of-year atmosphere promoting close competition in a friendly rural atmosphere at the MVKC’s track at the back of the Wingham Sporting Complex.  

The MVKC is expecting a good turn out that may exceed the record number of 106 entries that we received for The Hamnett in 2015.  The track is one of the few remaining kart tracks that can run under lights into the evening.

This is the MVKC’s usual Saturday format with practice in the morning, qualifying starting after lunch and four races for each class running in to the evening. Entry is free for spectators and the MVKC will run a canteen.  More entries will come from outside of the Manning Valley than from the local area with competitors coming from neighbouring clubs in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Tamworth, Newcastle and further afield.

Local stars will keep the visitors honest with ‘local’ lads like Kody Garland, Todd Stocks and Royce Sutherland racing in one of the fastest classes TAG 125 Light.  Karting does have a positive impact on economic and social activity in the Manning Valley.  The club would like to acknowledge the support from Steve Bromhead MP for Myall Lakes and Mid Coast Council for support in running the State Championship round

The club is also happy to note that the number of female competitors appears to be increasing, particularly among teenage girls.  

Hopefully they were inspired by Beck Connell from Queanbeyan winning the NSW State Title for KA3 Light by dominating the final round at Wingham in September.  Sheep stations will not be on offer on Saturday like they were in September but the large fields, for a little country club, will see some close racing.  

Karting welcomes competitors from age 7 up.  I still race, it keeps me fit and sharp and out of the pub.  It is not getting any easier though and I have stepped down a class to make it a bit easier on the body.  Karting also features minimum weight classes - combined kart and driver - so I have an added incentive to watch my weight.

The MVKC also encourages participation by people with a disability.  There are fitness requirements to race but we have filled important positions like corner marshals with assistance from people in chairs, for example.  A fuller description of karting is at this link.

On Sunday, we will stick to our end of year format with presentations followed by a lunch and also with some karts available to come-and-try.

Looking forward to talking to you tomorrow at 5 pm.




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