Racing futures for young drivers

Darrell Cole
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Preliminary plans in works for Amherst Grand Prix

While Amherst may not exactly be a hotbed for racing, a trio of young Amherstonians are working to change that.

Racing futures for young drivers

AMHERST - While Amherst may not exactly be a hotbed for racing, a trio of young Amherstonians are working to change that.

Nathan Kelly, Ryan Mackintosh and Alex Vansnick are nearing the end of the season in the Maritime karting circuit and all three have quickly made names for themselves across the region.

Kelly, who is in his fourth season of racing, is a member of the Honda junior four-stroke tour, placed first in his class last year and while bad luck and some mechanical difficulties have caused him some problems this year he's hoping for a strong finish.

"There's a few races left in the Maritime Pro Kart and the Island Kart Club and I'm hoping for a strong finish in both," Kelly said.

He's presently battling for top spot on the Prince Edward Island circuit and is near the top in the Maritime standings, presently battling for third place. He also raced in Quebec placing second in the Vega Cup while also participating in the nationals in Hamilton, Ont.

While Kelly is a veteran racer, both Mackintosh and Vansnick are rookies to the circuit, but are quickly enjoying success with Vansnick's Snicker's racing team sitting near the top in the Maritime circuit while Mackintosh is enjoying success racing out of Moncton and Prince Edward Island.

MacKintosh is presently first place in the novice division in Moncton while VanSnick is in third in the Maritime novice circuit.

The 11-year-old Vansnick got into racing because it's something he can do with his father, Rick, while MacKintosh, who's also 11, was introduced to racing by Kelly.

"I really like it because it's fast," Mackintosh said. "I like the competition and trying to win each race."

Vansnick has enjoyed a lot of early success on the track including several top three finishes and he's hoping to continue to get better and isn't ruling out continuing racing for many years.

"This is something I'd like to do for a long time. It's lots of fun and it's very fast," Vansnick said.

There's also a chance the three local racers may be able to showcase their talents in front of the home crowd next year.

Preliminary work has begun on a street race in Amherst as part of the Maritime circuit.

The Amherst Grand Prix would also include a number of other events including a car show.

Organizations: Amherst Grand Prix, Honda, Island Kart Club

Geographic location: AMHERST, Prince Edward Island, Moncton Quebec Vega Hamilton

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