If you were talking to Belmont (Geelong) kart racer Dominic Albanese on the phone about the sport of karting you could easily be mistaken to think that you were speaking with a spritely 21-year-old.
Despite the fact that he is only a handful of years away from 40, Albanese is one of the most passionate and excitable characters in the sport.
After having a passion for motorsport for many years Albanese first got behind the wheel of a go-kart just over ten years ago and since then the sport has provided him with a new lease on life.
Next week (February 8-10) Albanese will take on drivers up to half his age when he competes in the Victorian State Championships sponsored by Pettaras Press at the Beckley Park Raceway.
As a part of his preparation for the championships, and in his quest to claim his sixth state title, Albanese has endured an intense training program over the past two months. In addition to this he has also been a driving force behind the organisation of the event.
“To say it has been an extremely busy few months for me is an understatement. I’m determined to succeed on two fronts at the championships - to win on the race track and also ensure the meeting is remembered as the biggest and the best in the country,” said Albanese, who’s regular job is in the police force.
“On the racing front I am the fittest I have been in almost 20 years. As I’m racing in the extremely fast and gruelling Formula 100 class it is very tough on the body so I need to be in top condition to keep up with the ‘whipper snappers’.
“Behind the scenes I’ve been a part of the organisational team from the Geelong Kart Club, all of whom have spent hundreds of hours preparing the venue for the championships. There have been a number of us who haven’t spent much time at home over the summer but a successful championships will make all our work worthwhile.”
Albanese will be joined by 463 fellow competitors across a total of 16 categories at the championships. Qualifying begins next Friday morning (Feb 8) followed by heat races on Saturday and the Championship Finals on Sunday.
Competing will be children, both boys and girls, from seven years old in the Midgets category, teenagers in the junior classes, adults in the senior categories and there is even a class for those more experienced in life – the over 40 year olds.
For the youngsters, who race at speeds of up to 80km/h, karting is a sport that teaches these kids basic driving skills well before they are able to obtain their road licence.
The Beckley Park International Raceway is located on Geelong Road, Corio - adjacent to trotting track/north of Geelong. Admission is free for spectators.