Harry Voight is one of the country's fastest up-and-coming dirt trackers and road racers for his age, and if his recent trip to the US is anything to go by, he may even be one of the world's fastest.
At the end of last month Harry went to the famous US dirt track Mecca, the AMA Grand Nationals, where he finished second overall behind another Aussie, Tom Drane from NSW.
From: Helensvale, Gold Coast
Disciplines: Dirt Track and Road Racing
Bike: Dirt Bikes: Husqvarna 85 Big Wheel and Small Wheel
Road: RMU80 & Metrakit 80, R15 Yamaha
Sponsors: Voight Contracting PTY LTD
Biggest achievements: Racing in the AMA Grand Nationals (US) 2018 and finishing 2nd overall.
Finishing third Queensland Junior in 2017, and getting podiums in the 2017 Australian Titles. Winning three Qld Titles in 2018 – (85cc Big Wheel, 85 Small Wheel, 80cc mod).
I ride a motorcycle because: I can have fun and hang out with my mates, and race with Australia’s best kids. I love the action, the speed and the challenges.
The reason I compete aboard one is: I enjoy the racing, experiences and competition.
My bike is: a Husqvarna 85, and what I love about it is: how fast it is.
The biggest high I ever got from competition was: Winning my first Qld Title a few years ago – knowing I was as good as the others out on the track was a great feeling. I was a bit older than the others when I started racing, so I had a lot to learn. Those times of falling off and getting back on paid off in the long run.
My favourite track/place to compete is Kurri Kurri Track (NSW) and Mike Hatchers Track (Gold Coast) and the thing I love about it racing there is: I love the Kurri Kurri Track as it’s fast and the club and competitors are talented and very friendly. Gold Coast is my home track and I always have a blast riding that – it’s fast also, along with my Dad won Qld Titles at Hatchers in the 80s, so that’s pretty cool.
The person who taught me the most about my sport is: My Dad
The people whose backing makes all the difference are: Of course my Dad who’s beside me every step, and Darren Carney (DCR Engineering) who helps getting the bikes prepared for race meets and working with us at the track as well as getting us there and SSS Motorcycles. The experiences and friendships made through the sport I can’t put a measure on that.
Outside of my motorcycle life I (school/study/work)... I just started High School this year at a new school so have also been juggling that as well as racing. I don’t have time for much else, as I’m usually racing somewhere almost every weekend.
You might be surprised to know that I: I am also a fast sprinter and last year ranked 11th on the Gold Coast for my age across 100metre Sprint. My favourite food is Steak! I like Math subjects at school, yet not so fond of English and History.
This year my goals are: To win an Australian Title 2018 and to continue with the road racing
...and I'll achieve those by focussing on: my starts, bike set up and extra fitness.
Tell us about your US trip a couple of weeks ago. What was it like being there?
It was my first time to the USA. It was a long journey to get there, all up taking almost 30 hours to get to Springfield Illinois. It was great to be able to watch the Springfield Mile competition (Senior Classes) and see Brad Baker and Jarred Mees racing, along with Aussie Max Whale in the AFT Single. The atmosphere was great.
Whilst in the USA racing, I rode one bike only KTM 85. My first lot of racing commenced with racing in the TT event (1 days event) which was support racing to the Seniors. I made it through all my heats (winning most), and straight through to finals. Unfortunately during the final I locked up the brake in the first corner and went down – this was certainly a learning point for me. I still managed to punch my way back through the field from last to finish fifth – I gave it all I had in that comeback clocking up fastest lap times.
During the 4-day event (AMA Flat Track Grand Championships), it was really myself and Tom Drane (NSW) who dominated the events. I preferred the short track with a jump and dog leg. Half Mile was a learning experience for me. Overall I loved the experience.
My results for the 4 day Championship event:
1st Short Track
2nd (x 3) Short Track
2nd and 3rd Half Mile
I finished second overall behind Tom – so it was Aussie 1-2 for the 4-day event. It was great to share that experience with my mate Tom from NSW.
It was great to be able to meet other competitors from the US in my category of racing. The weather was quite hot and humid whilst we were there, which at times was challenging in itself. We went to a farm track to practise prior the events, so that was lots of fun also.
My first taxi ride in LA was memorable – they are crazy drivers!
How did the racing compare to what you do in Oz?
The track surface is different to what we have in Australia, along with the tyres they run. On the Short and Half Mile, there are no front brakes.
Do you have any plans to go back there or race anywhere else overseas?
I presume Dad and I will head back to the USA next year and do the competition again, taking with us what we learned from our first time there. I’m hoping to race the 250 there in the future.