Hancock eyes a big year - and titles - in karts
BLAKE Hancock's short but successful kart career could see him land a major title within two years of his first official race.
A former junior sedans, super sedans and four cylinder driver, Hancock made a jump to the much smaller karts last year.
The process was simple.
"One of my mates had a go kart he lent to my son. We went and watched him and thought he wanted a go, my son had a run and then we were into it,” Hancock said.
That is all it took for the man who could be Maryborough Speedway's next major titleholder to be discovered.
That could happen within two months if Hancock's second season is as good as his first.
"We had a pretty good first year,” he said.
"(I was) third in the Queensland title and won the club championship for the standard class I run in, and won the overall champion of champions for Maryborough Speedway.”
While describing Hancock's season in karts as a successful endeavour may be a major understatement, it is clear the diesel mechanic has discovered another passion.
"It's the thrill of it really,” he said when asked what he loved about karting.
"You're sitting an inch off the ground, no suspension, no seatbelts, going 120-130 kilometres per hour, it's a pretty good buzz.
"It's definitely a lot more challenging (than driving in other vehicles). There's no suspension of anything in them so it comes down to driver technique, and relying on the car.”
It means drivers have to maintain a good standard of fitness if they are to succeed.
Drivers also have to keep a close eye on their seats: it can determine success and failure.
"It's a lot more physical on your body,” he said.
"There's no seatbelts holding you in so you have to hold your body in as you run. It definitely sorts your core strength out, and you need a really good fitting seat; You get a good fitting seat, you don't move.”
Hancock won the standards class when Maryborough Speedway held the SKAA Karts Winter Nationals Round 2 on July 29, in fields he said were among the biggest the club has hosted.
The best part for Hancock is that competition could increase with every meet as Maryborough prepares to host the SKAA Australian Championship next year.
"Twelve months ago we had three karts in the club, now we have 22,” he said.
"With the national titles I'd be surprised if we didn't double that number. It's the perfect form of motorsport if you don't have a big budget. For $1500 you can get a race suit, helmet, and a kart and you're out running.”