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The Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) has welcomed the lifting of the suspension of Junior Drag Racing in Western Australia, announced by The Honourable Minister for Sport and Recreation, Mick Murray.

“Following the enacting of the seven recommendations of Coroner Linton as well as the five further supplementary items offered in her report, junior drag racing in Australia is an example of world’s best practice. This is evidenced by the fact that the largest drag racing sanctioning body in the world – the NHRA – recently followed our lead to implement frontal head restraints for their Junior competitors from June 2020,” ANDRA chief executive Officer Brett Stevens said.

“While very supportive of the suspension of junior drag racing in Western Australia being lifted, ANDRA is surprised at the unanticipated raising of the age to 10 years.

“The findings of the Coroner stated that no further age limit restriction was warranted outside of stating that training to race in Junior competition should not start until eight years of age.”

On page 59 of her report, Coroner Linton noted the following regarding her consideration of a possible lifting of the age restriction:

“…I did consider recommending an older age for children to commence the programme than eight years of age, particularly given the evidence of Mr Cameron about the ability of a child under 10 years of age to assess risk. However, I note the disadvantage this would place children in this State in competition against children in other States and internationally. I also note the small number of children statistically who actually participate in this younger age category, and I am satisfied that a thorough training programme would ensure that of those small number of children, only those children who objectively demonstrate a good understanding of what they are required to do and have shown they are capable of handling the vehicle, will be able to participate. This may mean that some of the children will be significantly older than eight years old before they are assessed as being able to meet the necessary requirements.”

“The decision by the State Government to go outside of her recommendations will see WA junior dragster competitors begin training to compete two years later than their fellow junior racers across Australia and in some cases up to five years behind those who race internationally,” Mr Stevens said.

“While noting the disparity which now exists within Australia and also with our international counterparts, ANDRA and our members are pleased the suspension has been lifted so that Junior Drag Racing competition may recommence in Western Australia.

“On behalf of ANDRA I would like to once again thank Coroner Linton for her thorough investigation. Her recommendations have been implemented not only in Western Australia with the help of VenuesWest and other stakeholders but have also been rolled-out nationally.

“At what is another painful juncture in this process for the family of Anita Board, we continue to keep them in our thoughts while offering the Board family the full support of ANDRA and the wider drag racing community.”

To view the Coroner’s report in full, please visit
www.coronerscourt.wa.gov.au/I/inquest_into_the_death_of_anita_jade_board.aspx 

- ANDRA Media Release