Heath’s on track

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Shane Ni­chols

THE Dou­glas Mo­tor­sports As­so­ci­a­tion cel­e­brated its 20th an­niver­sary last month but it’s youth which the club likes to fo­cus on when it can.

The club has long pro­moted its ju­nior ranks as a vi­tal part of the club and an im­por­tant com­mu­nity as­set in the train­ing of young driv­ers.

The cur­rent club cham­pion, Heath Barry of Moss­man, is just 15, hav­ing started at the club when he was 12.

DMSA is af­fil­i­ated with the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Aus­tralian Mo­tor­sports (CAMS) which of­fers spe­cial ad­vanced train­ing for ris­ing young driv­ers.

“We are look­ing to get him into driver pro­grams in Bris­bane where he can fur­ther his ex­pe­ri­ence,” said club pres­i­dent Bob Er­rey.

“Ob­vi­ously he’s very tal­ented.”

The club caters for driv­ers of all ages, down to the age of 12. “We have kids who turn up who’ve never driven in their life be­fore and are ner­vous as hell, but we have spe­cial tracks for the ju­niors and an in­struc­tor in with them, teach­ing them how to drive,” Er­rey said.

“We cater for any level of ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The ju­niors have their own mo­torkhana (12 and 13 year olds) and when they have more ex­pe­ri­ence they can go in the open events (though in that there are ju­nior classes as well).

As well as more young peo­ple, the club is look­ing to boost its mem­ber­ship over­all.

Mem­ber­ship can come from quite far afield. One fa­mous ex­am­ple is Ross Dunker­ton, a five times na­tional rally cham­pion, who lives in Cairns.

“Quite a few peo­ple come up from Cairns but we’re al­ways look­ing for more lo­cal peo­ple,” said Er­rey.

“But we don’t seem to get many Port Dou­glas peo­ple for some rea­son.”

The club is quiet for the mo­ment as it pre­pares for its next sea­son. It’s track near Moss­man is eas­ily af­fected by heavy rain, and so it’s a wait­ing game to what the Wet Sea­son will al­low.

“Some years we’ve raced in Jan­uary-Fe­bru­ary, some years we don’t race un­til May-June,” said Er­rey philo­soph­i­cally.

Club cham­pion Heath Barry gets air in a round last year

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