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Kilmore karting family sees success

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

Kilmore’s Sam Payne scored success in Speedway Karting, winning two titles last month in a competitive homemade kart.

So far this year Sam has won the Speedway Kart National Title and Victorian State Title, with the new kart he jointly built with his father Jamie Payne.

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The kart has allowed drivers podium finishes in four of the five races it has entered.

Sam said his family team operated on a relatively small budget compared to other competitors, however they were still able to compete as they wanted.

“We haven’t got the most expensive budget compared to what everyone else has got, so we tend to just pick our own races and have fun with it whenever we can,” he said.

“Only this year we’ve had some success because dad and I have spent a lot of time out in the shed building a chassis specifically designed for speedway.

“Kenton Ferguson who builds our engines is awesome at what he does, so with his engines and our frame, it stands out from the rest and has worked good this year.”

Sam featured in the Review in March 2019, when he was selected to take part in the Speedway Australia Rising Stars Program at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

There, he received fitness, psychology and media and marketing training to help him along in his career.

Sam is a third generation racer and has been karting for about five years, often competing in the same class as his sister Megan.

Jamie said the family team was one that operated by doing their best without prioritising one driver over the other.

“We just go out there and try to enjoy it, if one of them wins, it’s a win for the whole team,” he said.

Speedway karting requires a more tailor-made kart compared to a typical go-kart, with modifications fabricated and installed to allow the karts to drive effectively on dirt while still being reliable enough to cover a full race distance.

Sam will next month compete in the All Power competition in Mildura, one of the year’s most important events for karting with more than 150 karts expected to compete.

The family will also continue to compete in the current speedway series with Avalon Speedway Karts.

Sam Payne on track during a heat race at the Victorian title.
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