By the time Brooke Allen qualified for her licence, she had already been driving for about a decade.
The 26-year-old started by driving go-karts. Scores of others just like her will descend on Illabo’s Motorsports Park on Saturday morning from 10:30 for GasWorks’ driver training development.
“We get these kids as young as six-years-old in a kart and out there on the track and it builds their confidence in handling a vehicle,” said GasWorks member Joe Belling.
“It’s a safe way to learn how to handle a vehicle in all sorts of conditions on all sorts of surfaces, and it’s so important because young drivers can get themselves into a lot of trouble on the road because they just haven’t had that practice before.
“They have to do their hours of driving before they can qualify to drive, then they could get their licence on a Monday and on a Tuesday they’re driving in pouring down rain on a dirt road, which they’ve just never done before.”
Saturday’s event will provide drivers as young as 12 with the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a buggy, and children aged six a chance to ride motorbikes.
Younger children will drive karts that can travel up to speeds of 30 kilometres an hour. As they age, they then graduate to faster karts that are capable of speeds up to 100 kilometres an hour.
Bringing the program to the Riverina was the brainchild of Kerry Phelan.
“Four years ago, I stood here and it was just a paddock,” Mr Phelan said.
“We’ve always wanted to use the track to provide life-saving skills, to give kids experience controlling a vehicle in a safe environment, where they can make mistakes and learn to correct them without getting hurt.”