CLOCKS TICKING: Maryborough's Joel Berkley in the Annual Kurt Murdoch Classic's Junior Sedans heat.
CLOCKS TICKING: Maryborough's Joel Berkley in the Annual Kurt Murdoch Classic's Junior Sedans heat. Valerie Horton

Berkley eyes junior crown in last races in format

THIS will be the second-last event at which the black-and-blue M9-emblazoned Datsun of Joel Berkley competes in the junior division.

Berkley is one of 35 junior sedans who will compete for the Silver Crown at Maryborough Speedway tonight and tomorrow.

While the 17-year-old is yet to grace the top of the podium this season, he said he was keen to turn that around.

"I think it's just getting through the heats clean and going from there,” he said.

Berkley has competed since he was 10-years-old, and in the seven years since driven four Datsuns.

"I don't know, I started with (a Datsun) and just stayed with it throughout,” he said.

Berkley has regularly raced at Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gatton and Kingaroy, and included trips to Cairns last year and Victoria in January.

His parents never raced but worked as part of a pit crew, but when they asked if a young Berkley wanted to give speedway a spin he enthusiastically took the chance.

"I might've been lapped a few times but I think I finished the race,” he said.

Berkley, along with the rest of the juniors, will use tonight's Silver Crown as a hit-out for May 20's state titles.

Maryborough Speedway will host the junior sedans Queensland titles, which president Wayne Moller said could attract up to 50 drivers.

The state title will be Berkley's last race in the junior division, but he is yet to commit to senior competition in the second half of 2017.

"We'll get through the state titles first,” he said.



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