Geelong Kart Club (GKC)

Submitted by Geelong Kart Club on Sun, 16/06/2019 - 13:33

The Geelong Karting Club was formed in 1960 when a large group of enthusiasts met in a small hall behind the Geelong Motorcycle premises owned by Alan Hinchcliffe in Moorabool St.  The first president of the club was Lyall OBrien a well known motorcycle dealer.   The youngest person present Max Findlay was 11 years old. 

In the early Seventies the club almost folded with a lack of senior members during which time the club had almost become a Mini Bike club.   In 1979 we approached the Corio Shire to see if any land was available in their district as we felt a track on the Melbourne side of Geelong was more desirable, closer for Melbourne karters. We gained the area now occupied and the Geelong club combined with the Victorian Road Race club to build the first 750 metre sprint and 1km road race circuit on the Fast Coast of Australia.

The 1979 Victorian Championships were run at Geelong and proved a great success. Incidentally we raced in the clockwise direction on the track and the shape of the track went through the 'S' bends in the pit area today. The club decided it was time to tackle a new project,the 1986 Nationals and this proved a huge success with over 400 entries. In 1988 Geelong hosted the 1988 Bicentennial Kart Prix with current McLaren Mercedes Formula I driver David Coulthard competing in the Junior International class. Geelong is almost home to the Nationals in Victoria.

It seems like only yesterday that the 1992 event was held with 530 entries. At the 1992 event the stars included Adam Clarke, N.S.W., Garth Tander,W.A., Jason Bright, Mark Webber and Darren Hossack and six years earlier Drew Price, John Faulkner and Russell Ingals, who won the Reed Light event. There is no doubt that Australia’s future racing car talent will be here again.

Major improvements to the track and facilities occurred in 1997 including total track resurfacing and widening to 8 metres and the installation of a transponder system.  In 1998 the Geelong Kart Club hosted the largest ever National Championships in Australian Karting history with around 650 entries.  Geelong Kart Club continued to grow in reputation and simply organised and successfully ran more major karting events than any other club in Australia.

Year after year Geelong Kart Club would host the Victorian round of the Australian CIK series which saw the true international classes compete with the best drivers this country had to offer.  It was a fabulous spectacul to see the screaming Formula A , Intercontinental A and gearbox class karts lapping around our track.  These events were very difficult to run for the club with many regulations having to be adhered to .  Nonetheless the Geelong Kart Club never failed to put on a great show and most of the young motorsport identities in Australia today such as Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom were perenial visitors to our circuit. 

Many other major events have been staged at the Geelong Kart Circuit in recent years including the fabulous Ford Kartstars Series over several years, the Victorian Closed Titles in 2002 and the Victorian Open Championships in 2003 and 2008.  A massive 464 entries were recieved for the 2008 event making it the biggest karting event in Australia last year.  The club also host two regular open meetings each year known as the Winter Cup and the Val & Joyce Findlay Memorial.  There two meetings remain amongst the premier events on the Australian Karting calendar each year with the best drivers from around Australia competing for victory.  There is no doubt in anyone's mind that to win a Geelong Open meeting is at the pinnacle of the sport. 

The Geelong Kart Club in 2007 and 2008 had also hosted the Formula 100 National Championships.  This is the fastest direct drive class in the karting world and the premier catergory in Australian Karting.  Geelong is the spiritual home of this great category. 

Geelong Kart Club has simply been Australia's number one trend setting club when it comes to innovation in the sport of karting.  The list of achievments is endless, whether it be introducing a timing system with transponders that rival Formula 1 standards with its accuracy, creating a service lane for karts to make running repairs, having fully qualified medical staff on standby at the track known as "Track Life", massive outgrid cover, shopping centre quality toilets, concrete roadways through the main pit area and even an electronic light flag system, Geelong Kart Club is simply in a league of its own when it comes to moving forwards with new ideas to improve karters facilities.

Whatever the future holds, one thing is for sure, the club has many more improvements listed for completion in the next couple of years.  We look forward to seeing all of you at our facility, enjoying the best sport in the world - Karting!   

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Beckley Park
40 Broderick Road
Corio VIC 3214

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Geelong Kart Club (GKC)

Beckley Park 40 Broderick Road
Corio VIC 3214