It’s no wonder that fourth-generation racer Riley Taylor would eventually follow in his family’s tyre tracks by undertaking his own competitive racing career, with the youngster currently contesting his first season in Junior Quarter Midgets.
After making his debut at the beginning of the season in the Novice B class, where he picked up a number of wins, Riley progressed into the Novice A class within two race meetings and has steadily built up his confidence and become more competitive.
Joining the nine-year-old driver, from Carrum Downs in the south-east of Melbourne, this season is his younger sister Eliza (7), who made her debut in the Novice B class in the middle stages of 2016-17.
The pathway into motor racing in some capacity was clear for the siblings from the outset, with both their dad, Shane, and their grandfather, Bernie, having raced Modified Sedans in the past. Riley and Eliza’s grandfather on their mum’s side, Barry Caldwell, raced Sprintcars in the 1980s and 90s, and their great-grandfather, Les, on their dad’s side, competed in road racing and hill climbs in the 1950s and 60s, while their uncle Warrick Taylor currently runs a Wingless Sprint, as well as previously competing in Sprintcars and Mini Sprints.
Both siblings are currently enjoying the friendly atmosphere in Junior Quarter Midgets and are learning valuable skills such as public speaking and social interaction that they will be able to draw on in general life.
Riley takes great inspiration from his favourite driver Jordyn Charge, who used to compete in Junior Quarter Midgets, as well as fellow Junior Quarter Midget racer Declan Robinson, while Eliza admires South Australian Sprintcar racer Lisa Walker.
Riley’s long-term goal for the future is to one day step into 410 Sprintcars.
The Taylor siblings would like to thank the following 2016-17 sponsors: PJM Industrial and Taylor’d Fabrications. They would also like to give special thanks to their mum and dad, Shane and Nicole.
A Junior Quarter Midget is a quarter scale version of an actual open wheel midget (Speedcar) which is open to race for kids between five and 16 years of age. The cars are built around a tubular chromoly frame including ant-intrusion bars and kick-outs to stop wheel interference. All vehicles are fully suspended with coil over racing shock absorbers.
The vehicle bodies consist of fibreglass and aluminium and the cars are powered by Honda GX120 or GX160 single cylinder air-cooled 4 cycle engines providing 4.5-5.5 horsepower in standard configuration. The emphasis in Quarter Midget Racing is on participation and skill building and as such, the JQMA has a strict sealed, standard motor policy.
For more information on Junior Quarter Midgets Victoria, visit their website at www.jqmvic.com or contact their President Graham Hutchinson on 0417 566 709.