It was all good ex­pe­ri­ence

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

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.

Photo: PETE MCDON­ALD

Girl racer: Tawa’s Ash­leigh Ste­wart gives it her all on the Kaitoke track dur­ing the Kart­sport New Zealand CIK Tro­phy on Jan­uary 30.

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