Shelburne Free Press
http://shelburnefreepress.ca/?p=3441
Export date: Tue Sep 25 11:54:43 2018 / +0000 GMT

Kart racer claims championship




After three years on the go-kart circuit, 12 year-old Tanner Hamilton is an experienced driver.

He may not yet be able to drive on a city street, but on a closed circuit track, he tears it up reaching speeds of 60 mph.

Tanner recently won the Junior Light class championship in the Karting Championship series in Shannonville, Ontario, as well as the Brian Stewart championship.

His start in racing came from his love of anything with wheels, said Tanner's dad Mike Hamilton, who is also the kart mechanic on race day.

“He loves anything with wheels. We looked for a place to drive the kart to test it, just as a fun thing,” he said. “The track owner thought he had a knack for it.”

Tanner took an interest in go-karts after seeing a movie called ‘Kart Racer.'

A visit to the Barrie Flea Market where a kart was on display for sale, convinced him he wanted to give it a try.

“They have a novice division where you can start at seven years-old,” Tanner explained of his first time out. “I got to move up to Junior Light where you have a bigger hole in your restrictor plate to allow it to go faster.”

Just like NASCAR, go-karts have a strict set of guidelines regarding what can, and what can not be done to a motor.

“If you get in the top three you have to go to tech to have your engine inspected,” Tanner said.

The rules are strict and motors fully inspected to ensure they meet the required guidelines. They're so strict in fact sometimes you get your motor back in a box – in pieces.

Tanner races mostly at his home course – the Simcoe Cart Club in Sutton, but he is now branching out and racing at different circuits around Ontario.

It's a big endeavour to get not only yourself, but your team, kart, and tools to a race course. Most of the events are a full weekend.

Tanner now has sponsors to help with the cost of racing.

“My Dad's the mechanic,” he explained. “He fixes things to make it bite in the corner or make it looser.”

Dad Mike watches a couple of laps before making tweaking the machine so it handles properly.

“I watch him go through the corners then we talk about it and make the adjustments,” he said.

Home base for the team is just outside of Dundalk where Tanner attends Highpoint Community Elementary School and will be going into grade eight when school is back in session.

As for racing, Tanner is planning on a career in the sport.

“I'd like to do Formula 1, or Nascar,” he said of future plans. “Also rally racing, I like going off road as well.”

By Brian Lockhart

Photos Submitted
Go-Kart racer Tanner Hamilton, centre won the Brian Stewart Championship series at Shannonville Motorsport Park. The 12 year-old go-kart racer is excelling in the sport and has his eye on a career in the future.



 
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