The Queensland Off Road Future Champions Championship fourth round took place on the weekend at the McCosker Contracting 100.
The Future Champions program began its first-ever season earlier this year, with feedback from competitors and industry personnel proving positive.
The all-new initiative is aimed at getting the future stars of the sport behind the wheel as soon as possible, thanks to careful considerations of many race aspects.
Iain Robertson, who has spent three years as a AASA steward, travelled to Darts Creek to officiate at the McCosker Contracting 100, hosted by the Gympie Auto Sport Club. Robertson is very passionate about the junior development program.
“This category was created for 10-14 year olds to compete off road on a highly modified course,” Robertson explained.
“It’s much shorter and safer than the courses we use for adult competitors and faster class buggies.
“The innovation from AASA has been really well received, we’re in the pilot year for the category and the McCosker 100 has been the fourth of six events we have planned for 2021.”
Robertson said the junior competitors are racing standard Polaris machines, which maximises safety while minimising costs.
“What they’re competing in are almost stock Polaris Side by Side’s; the only modifications are the installation of safety features such as roll cages,” he said.
“Effectively the power output is the same as what it is when the buggy leaves the dealership.
“For those with good knowledge of our off road classes, it’s best described as Class 66 without the performance enhancements.
“It’s fantastic to give these juniors a taste of what off road racing is about and get them ready for competition with the adults in four to five years’ time, depending on their age.
Robertson highlighted the AASA involvement as one of the main factors behind the immediate success of the Future Champions series.
“Previously, kids of that age had pathways in other motorsport disciplines, but until AASA set up this series, there was no clear junior progression pathway in off-road racing,” Robertson said.
“It’s great that now they can be involved and start learning the craft a bit earlier and who knows, some of these young drivers might just be the next big stars of our sport.”
The next round of the Future Champions Championship will be held at the Mackay Moranbah Short Course, 17-18 July.