Karts. Logan Dixon is already off his P-plates and can finish a lap of Briant Park in less than 42 seconds: not bad for an 11-year-old.
The Circular Head Kart Club junior is enjoying his immersion into the world of go-kart racing after taking a position in the grid for the first time in Burnie last year, with a local round of the Statewide Series earlier this month taking his racing tally to five.
In those meets to date, he has earned an impressive haul of four trophies – first P-plater, second, third and Driver of the Day – but is trying not to let the success go to his head.
In response to the meaning behind the last award, Logan smiles sheepishly but replies with confidence: “I don’t know, I just drove well I guess!”
Completing grade six at Circular Head Christian School this year, Logan was inspired to pull on the gloves, helmet and racing suit through family involvement in the sport, travelling occasionally to race meets along the coast.
“We always went up there and helped out, and I always wanted to race,” he said in describing the lead-up to his first race.
“I just felt a bit sick because I was nervous – once the engine fired up I was fine.”
Because his kart has no starter motor or clutch his uncle, club president Stuart Wells, often helps in giving him a push-start to get moving, with Logan able to work the gearbox for speed and use the wheel to steer afterwards.
He generally completes 10 laps of a circuit in the first three heats before moving up to 12 in the finals, with variations depending on track length and events leading to 15 laps at Smithton’s complex.
With a cost of around $2500 overall including wheels and a 100cc restricted J Motor, Logan has now completed four regulatory meets with a ‘P’ next to his official times in the Cadet category, now advancing in grade since this month’s Smithton event.
He looks to earn his own income to help fund his racing passion, rearing calves from a young age with help from ‘pop’ Cyril Dixon along with selling freshly laid chicken eggs.
Logan’s mother, Kimbra Wells, said his extended family – including Stuart, Tim Hinds, Daniel Hinds and girlfriend Renee – were all quick to lend a hand from their own involvement in karts.
“[They] have spent a lot of their time helping him practice,” Kimbra said. “Without them he wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s been a family effort.”
With a race in Hobart on the radar over the March long weekend, Kimbra believes her son would like to eventually make racing his profession, hoping to follow in the footsteps of former karter-turned-Formula One drivers such as Lewis Hamilton.
“That’s his passion, so I just support him and help him as much as I can,” she said.