Midget champ a giant on the rise
SEBASTIAN Vettel and Jamie Whincup may be top dogs in their own motor racing classes but Ipswich karter Harrison Hoey has them firmly in his sights.
The reigning Ipswich Kart Club midget class champion is set to successfully defend his title after again dominating the November meeting.
It may be a little hard to believe but this junior karting prodigy has amassed a record the envy of many senior athletes and he is only nine-years-old.
"I was counting them the other night and I couldn't believe it but I have 46 trophies in my room," Harrison said.
According to his dad Troy, there was a better than average chance his son would grow up with a motor sport passion.
A veteran of 15 years in the sport himself, Troy said from the very beginning he and his son shared a love of this petrol-powered pastime.
"He wasn't a very good sleeping baby so we used to sit up at night time with him on my lap watching the MotoGP or Formula One," he said
"I think he could say 'Valentino Rossi' before he could say anything else."
Talent though can only take you so far and when it comes to motor sport, time on the track and money are also critical to success.
For these, Harrison also turns to his father who is only too willing to lend a hand to his talented son.
Troy has now turned his attention to his son's karting dreams and he couldn't be happier spending his weekends at the track with his family.
"People whinge about spending five hours on a weekend taking their kids to football, we spend 20 hours every weekend at the track letting him go round and round and round," Troy said.
"If it eventuates to something one day that's great, but if it doesn't, we're just happy doing what we're doing as a family."
Karting isn't just a hobby, it's a passion for this dedicated family.
So far this year Harrison's schedule has seen the Hoeys attend 30 race meetings from Tasmania to Darwin at a cost of around $30,000.
But for this kart-loving family, Harrison's schedule is just a good excuse to do what they love anyway.
"When I was diving, we used to tow the race car with my four-wheel-drive to various tracks around the country," Troy said.
"There were a lot of families involved and a lot of good people we met along the way so you basically live from race meeting to race meeting."
Now though, it's all about Harrison.
The nine-year-old already knows the top step of the victory dais as well as his classroom and shows no sign of slowing down.
After getting his first kart for his seventh birthday, Harrison wasted no time getting a feel for the track.
He won his first race after graduating from his racing "P plates" and took out the Ipswich midget class title for seven to 11-year-olds in his first season.
"In his first year of full karting, he won the Ipswich club championship against kids much older than him," Troy said.
"He's also leading this year again. He has won every round of the club championship at Ipswich this year except one."
So with his junior credentials already well established, it seems only a matter of time before Harrison Hoey becomes a household name.
With the confident young driver nominating a Singapore night race as one of his ultimate goals, it looks like Vettel should keep his eye on his rear vision mirror in years to come.