Racing, competing, it's in my blood. It's part of me, it's part of my life; I have been doing it all my life and it stands out above everything else. -Ayrton Senna
My Name is Ben Stewart, and I am a professional kart driver. At the age of 20, I have been competing in kart racing for 10 years now. I have dedicated more than half of my life to racing with the goal of becoming one of the top kart drivers in Australia.
I live on the Gold Coast, Australia with my family who have been supporting my racing career since I first began karting. Unlike many drivers, I have been fortunate enough to gain some sponsorship to help cover the costs with operating our karts and getting to the events. Being based on the Gold Coast often means driving 12+ hours to events in other states on the weekends in order to compete. This is what I have dedicated my life to for the past 10 years and it’s what is required to achieve my goals.
For many years I’ve dreamed of racing at an international karting event, where I could showcase my driving ability against the best of the best. I have never been given the chance to fulfill this dream of taking my motorsport career to the next level, until now. For me, 2013 is that year!
After various championship victories and consistent results here in Australia, I have been given the opportunity by sponsors to race in what can be described as not only a World Title, but one of the biggest and most competitive race meetings on the international karting calendar, the 17th Annual 'Las Vegas Supernationals' in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. This is the World Cup of karting and I have been given the opportunity to realise one of my longest running dreams of competing at an International level.
Each year the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino hosts up to 600 of the worlds best drivers from across the globe to compete in the Las Vegas Supernationals. This event isn't just for kart drivers, a number of well known car drivers from various racing disciplines participate and race in the event each year. Former Formula 1 champion, Michael Schumacher along with INDY 500 winners Buddy Rice and Dan Wheldon are just 3 that have raced in the Supernationals. This is simply due to the SKUSA Supernationals being recognised as the biggest and most competitive race karting has to offer world wide.
The event has a entry cut off limit of 80 drivers for each category that is reached almost instantly each year as entries open. I will be supplied a spot in my race category, TaG Senior, at the event but there is just one catch. I personally have to supply the funding towards the expenses for both the event itself as well as all travel & personal needs. Unfortunately, I haven't exactly chosen the cheapest form of sport to be involved in professionally, not to mention the event itself is a long way from home.
Here is where I need your help!
Without including other unknown daily costs, a total amount of at least $15,000 is required just to cover the essentials of the trip as a whole. This may seem like a large sum of money for one sporting event, however it all adds up very quickly when you start to break it all down. EVERY DOLLAR raised will get me one step closer to making this dream reality and will be going directly into the costs outlined below. Also, if you are not in a position to donate money, you can still help me out tremendously by simply SHARING my campaign/story wherever you can (facebook, websites, friends, family etc).
PERSONAL (DRIVER) COSTS / MECHANIC (ENGINEER) COSTS
- Flights: $3,200 return
(2 people at $1,600 return each from Brisbane, Australia to Los Angeles, USA)
- Accommodation: $1,000-$1,500
(10 nights accommodation for 2 people in Las Vegas)
- Food: $1400
(bare minimum of $70 a day per person for breakfast, lunch, dinner)
(TOTAL = $6,100)
RACING ASSOCIATED COSTS
- Kart/Engine Hire from Kartsport North America: $7,000
(supply of new Kart/chassis, multiple race engines, spare parts, technical assistance, pit bay costs etc)
- Supernationals Entry Fee: $500
- 2 sets of RACE Tyres: $450
- 2 sets of PRACTICE Tyres: $450
- One-off SKUSA Racing License (for international competitors): $50
(TOTAL = $8,450)
Grand Total = $14,550
For specific event information regarding the 17th Annual Las Vegas Supernationals, please visit:
"Without a doubt, the SKUSA (Superkarts USA) SuperNationals in Las Vegas is the biggest sprint karting event in the world" (www.superkartsusa.com)
I would also like to thank my main sponsors here in Australia that initiated the idea and gave me the opportunity to race in the Supernationals, it would not be possible without them! (Arrow Race Karts, KTEQ Rentals, OMP Racing)