Tasmanian teenager Tate Frost will have the perfect birthday present – a Grand Annual Sprintcat Classic debut.
The apprentice mechanic will turn 17 on Sunday.
“I always wanted to have a go at it (sprintcars) and dad stepped out of the car and put Jamie (Bricknell) in the car and I was getting keener and keener,” Frost said.
“As soon as I turned 16, they put a car together for me and I’ve been sprintcaring ever since.
“It’s unreal. They’re one-of-a-kind (to race).”
Frost had an up and down start to his first Classic run on Saturday night.
He posted the second fastest time in his qualifying flight but had trouble on weigh-in.
“I was feeling pretty good confidence-wise with the track,” Frost said.
“Running up the top I was like ‘oh, I am running not too bad here’ and obviously smacked the wall pretty bad and knocked the rear end out.”
Another teenager had a special touch to his Classic debut too.
Darwin-based racer Ben Atkinson Jr raced with his father Ben at the famous race for the first time.
Ben Sr said it was “inevitable he (Ben Jr) was going to hop into one at some stage”.
“He reminds me a lot of me when I was younger, he stands on the gas hard normally,” he said.
Ben Jr, who at 16 is among a new generation of drivers filtering through, said he wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
“It’s my first time in Warrnambool (racing) and it’s a pretty cool track and I have watched the Classic since I can remember so it’s great to be here,” he said.
“Dad started when he was my age and worked his way up and he’s been racing for 20-odd years. I guess I turned 16 and it was my turn to get in the car.
“We are just doing as much racing as possible right now.”
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