NEED FOR SPEED: Wondai driver Gaven Whitmore, who won the State Karting Championships for his class, drives at an average speed of 80km/h around the track.
NEED FOR SPEED: Wondai driver Gaven Whitmore, who won the State Karting Championships for his class, drives at an average speed of 80km/h around the track. Contributed

Kart master ticks off bucket list by claiming titles

RACING around the track side by side, reaching top speeds of 105km/h while only 20mm off the ground is not just a young person's sport.

Queensland karting champion Gaven Whitmore, 49, said he had seen many female drivers and a few older gentlemen rising through the ranks.

The Wondai driver said the majority of competitors in the sport were in their mid-20s.

"I'm definitely enthused with doing it and it gives me another a sort of rush and adrenalin to stay with the young guys,” he said.

Whitmore has taken out the overall title at the Queensland State Karting Championships in the Restricted Medium class.

This was after he won the second round of the competition on September 28-29 in Gympie and won the first round earlier in the year at Proserpine.

"It's lots of hard work, dedication, practising and it's been a bucket list to get a state title,” he said.

This year has been the pinnacle of his 13-year racing career as Whitmore also won the Tag 125 Heavy Class at the Australian Masters Kart Championships in June.

"It's great - I can still live my dream of racing with the very best,” he said.

The competition at Coffs Harbour was open to racers over 40 years of age.

"It was pretty tough, it was three hard days of racing down there,” he said.

Whitmore was also runner-up in the Tag Restricted Heavy Class at the masters competition.

In these competitions, karts will travel at an average speed of 80km/h for more than 20km.

"I love the closeness of the racing, not too many classes of motor sports are so close for 10 to 20 laps,” he said.

"It's good, hard, close racing and mateship.

"It's a great family sport, that's what keeps me coming back every time.”

Whitmore has many weekends of training, smaller competitions and working on his karts ahead of him as he works toward his next goal.

"The next step will be to go back-to-back and retain the titles next year,” he said.

According to Whitmore's motto, racing is not always about winning.

"A bad day at the race track still beats a day at work,” he said.