Young go-kart driver Coby Dunlop plans to follow the racing road as far as it will take him.
The 13-year-old finished second in his KA4 Junior Heavy category at the Victorian Kart Championships earlier this year and his hoping to match that effort in the current season of the Golden Power Series.
Dunlop has been racing for almost two years after first getting behind the wheel of a go-kart at age 11.
“My step-dad races cars, that’s how I got into it,” he said. “After I started practicing, I got my licence and could start doing races.
“It took about a year to get used to driving and about two years ago I started getting better and better.”
For most teenagers, preparing for their weekend sport might involve throwing their footy boots, shorts and socks into a sports bag and heading to the oval.
For Dunlop, it is hours of meticulous engine preparation.
“It takes between two and three hours to prepare the go-kart. That includes cleaning it, changing the gearing and changing the setup for it,” he said.
“Then you pack it away and clean your helmet and gear before getting to the track and getting ready to go. It does take a lot of discipline.
“You have to consider a lot. The setup for the dry is completely opposite to the wet. You have to look at things like different tyres and gearing.
“My dad and step dad also come to help, but on the track it is me and the kart.”
With a shelf full of trophies and plenty of kilometres under his belt, Dunlop is determined to continue to rise through the racing ranks.
“I want to take this as far as I possibly can,” he said. “I have a lot of friends who are at different stages but it is more about making your own path.
“The aim is to go up in classes and I am in the highest class for go-karts.
“I’m trying to get into car racing. It would be good to do something like a Formula Ford type of thing. To do that I would have to get another licence and buy or hire a racing car as well.”
But for the moment, Dunlop is happy on the track competing against other juniors.
“The adrenaline of going fast and racing against other people is what I love,” he said.
I want to take this as far as I possibly can... The adrenaline of going fast and racing against other people is what I love.Coby Dunlop
Dunlop’s next Golden Power Series race is in September at Swan Hill.