A Taylors Lakes teenager mirrored his beloved Richmond’s rags to riches story at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit stage of the Victorian State Title of Superkarts earlier this month.
Decked out in a yellow and black kart in celebration of the Tigers’ AFL success, Nicholas Schembri, 15, arrived at the track not knowing what to expect.
“I was confident that I could do well, but it was only the fourth time I’d raced superkarts, so I was a little unsure of what to expect,” he said.
With everything in place, Nicholas took to the track for qualifying on the first day of the two-day event, however disaster struck.
“The kart just wouldn’t turn on,” he said.
“It turned out it was engine failure, which meant I was unable to finish the race.
“I was absolutely devastated.”
Although things didn’t look good, Nicholas and his father weren’t about to give up.
“A friend of ours owns a go-kart shop in Melbourne and he had an engine available, so dad and I jumped in the car, drove down there, picked up the engine and then drove back to Philip Island,” Nicholas said.
The late night proved to be worth it, with the new engine helping Nicholas blitz the field on the second day.
“I started last in all three races and managed to win all three,” he said.
Although he managed a clean sweep of Sunday’s races, the fact that he was unable to finish on Saturday meant that Nicholas finished the leg of the titles in second place.
To follow Nicholas or to sponsor his journey visit: www.facebook.com/NickSTARRacing