(Posted April 29, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Ever wonder what it feels like to be behind the wheel of a race car? If you’re between the ages of 5 and 16 years old, now’s your chance.
The Central Ohio Quarter Midget Racing Association (COQMRA) is hosting five arrive-and-drive events this year at their track at the Madison County Fair-grounds in London. The events are designed to give youths a taste of what quarter-midget racing is like. For $10, they can take 10 laps around the track. The association provides the cars and all safety equipment. Drivers must wear tennisshoes. All arrive-and-drives take place from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The dates are May 7, June 25, Aug. 27 and Sept. 17.
COQMRA is now hosting its fourth racing season in London. A total of 25 cars raced on opening weekend April 23-24. Classes are based on a child’s age and weight, as well as their vehicle’s power. Participants earn points for their perfor-mances at races as they strive for end-of-season trophies and prizes. Races take place on weekends; this year’s season runs through Oct. 2.
New this year is a “Night Under the Stars” series. On Aug. 5-6 and Aug. 19-20, races will take place at night under lights.
“The fairgrounds is helping us to get poles and lights up by then. The kids really love to race under the lights. They go crazy for it,” said Becky Hinch of Plain City, the association’s secretary.
The initial costs to get involved in quarter midget racing locally include membership in COQMRA and purchasing a vehicle. Annual family memberships are $175. Vehicles range in price from $1,500 to $3,000.
The association also welcomes volun-teer participation from individuals who don’t have children involved in racing. An alternate handler membership is $100 per year. These members can work the corners, which involves turning cars around when they spin out and moving track walls back into place. These members also can work the flags to start races and issue caution alerts.
Anyone is welcome to watch the races. Admission is free. In addition to the arrive-and-drive events, race dates are: May 8, May 29, June 4, June 11-12, June 26, July 1-3, July 13, June 15-17,July 23, July 29-31, Aug. 5-6, Aug. 19-20, Sept. 10-11, Sept. 24, and Oct. 1-2.
COQMRA has a new slate of officers this year: Bryan Stone of Columbus, president; C.B. Hinch of Plain City, vice president; Becky Hinch, secretary; and Wendy Westwick of Delaware, treasurer.
“Our goals are to build our club with a positive, family environment for the kids, and to build relationships with the fairgrounds and the community,” Becky Hinch said.
For more information about quarter midget racing, go to www.coqmra.com or contact Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org or Hinch at email@example.com.