Q&A with Go-Kart Racer Tayla Harnas
Tayla Harnas is a fifteen-year-old nationally ranked go-karter in Canberra, placing at number ten for her racing class in the final standings of the 2016 NSW Kart Championship, as well as achieving the status of the number one female Junior in Australia for both 2015 and 2016. I spoke with Tayla about how she got started and where she hopes to go within the Motorsport.
Q: How long have you been go-karting for?
A: I started go-karting at the age of seven. That was in 2008, so I’ve currently been go-karting for nine years.
Q: Why did you start go-karting?
A: I initially saw it on Discovery Channel when I was about five, and I absolutely begged my dad to get me one. So he ended up getting me one when I was seven years old, because I wasn’t allowed to race before I was seven. Ever since then I’ve been stuck in it, and absolutely love it.
Q: What’s your greatest achievement in the area of go-karting?
A: My greatest achievement was probably in 2013. I won the Ladies National Titles in Lithgow. Then in 2015 and 2016 I was the number one female Junior in Australia – that was probably my biggest achievement.
Q: How much time does go-karting take up for you?
A: I think we were away somewhere between 30 and 40 weekends last year, out of the whole year. It takes up normally around two to three weekends a month, so it’s pretty intense.
Q: Where would you like go-karting to take you in the future? Are you using it as a gateway into motorsport?
A: At the moment I’ve secured myself a run in the sprint cars with my sponsor – they compete in the sprint cars. That’s kind of a next level thing. But I’m definitely looking toward the V8s or something.
Q: Who are your sponsors and how do they help you?
A: I have…I don’t [even] know how many sponsors. Mad Harry Steel would be one of my top sponsors, then I have CCS, Apex Plumbing, Banatex Services, I think that’s about it.
Mad Harry Steel has given me motors and chassis’ before, and other ones are just simple payments to go towards [equipment] like tyres. Every bit of money helps.
Q: How many go-karts do you have?
A: I have four go-karts currently, but I’m trying to sell one. Two are my club karts and two are my national karts. There’s a difference in competition level between club and national [racing events].
Q: Do you know anyone else, outside the sport of go-karting, that also races?
A: The school that I go to at the moment, St Mary McKillop Catholic College, currently has three drivers – it used to have seven. We have quite a few drivers based at school.
Q: What’s the best part about go-karting for you?
A: Probably the adrenaline. I love the speed of them, and the competitiveness, I just really enjoy it.