It was all good experience
Ashleigh Stewart may not have had a stellar weekend results-wise at Kaitoke, but you can bet she’ll be back out there soon.
The 12-year-old go-karter from Tawa finished at the back of the pack in the junior restricted class of the CIK Trophy event the weekend before last. A hectic schedule involving pre-qualifying, heats and finals saw her compete in eight races over the two-day meet.
Mum Andrea says while Ashleigh is ‘‘mid-field’’ in her local club in Wellington, the Kaitoke event showcased some of the best riders her age in New Zealand, and was a great learning experience.
‘‘She finished last but there were kids racing out there that would have been among the fastest in the country. This is probably one level below nationals. There were just four [in Ashleigh’s class] from this region. It gives us a benchmark to aim for.’’
Ashleigh’s 10-year-old sister Maddy also finished at the rear of the field, in the cadets class, but both girls loved tearing around the track in competition, Andrea says.
Ashleigh is the only girl in her class, while there is just one other in Maddy’s.
‘‘They had a fantastic time, pitching themselves against the best on one of the best facilities in New Zealand. Their faces when they come in after finishing, you just can’t buy that.’’
Dad Tony is a well-known driver, racing an RX-7 in the national GT1 series. At the weekend the family supported him at Manfeild, while this coming weekend the girls will be racing at a night event in Palmerston North.
Girl racer: Tawa’s Ashleigh Stewart gives it her all on the Kaitoke track during the Kartsport New Zealand CIK Trophy on January 30.