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Newcastle Herald
Newcastle Herald
Alanna Tomazin

Burning rubber and revving engines, Newcastle kids help out at Bathurst 500

Nic Reid and Luke McDonald help out at the Bathurst 500 as Dunlop grid kids.
Luke McDonald and Nic Reid (left) in the pits with the other Dunlop grid kids.
Nic Reid.
Luke McDonald and Nic Reid (left) with Chaz Mostert.
The Dunlop grid kids with James Courtney.
Anton de Pasquale with the grid kids.
Luke McDonald.

THE smell of the pits, the humming of engines and getting up close and personal with their favourite race car drivers, two Newcastle teenagers have experienced the thrill of Bathurst.

Newcastle Kart Racing Club drivers Nic Reid, 13 and Luke McDonald, 14 were chosen to participate as Dunlop 'grid kids' at the Bathurst 500 on Sunday, February 25.

Previously known as the Newcastle 500, Bathurst's Mount Panorama has become the first battleground of the 2024 Supercars Championship and it was the experience of a lifetime for Nic who wants to become a Supercar driver when he's older.

"I love racing, I love the speed of it, the adrenaline and the atmosphere," he said.

He has been driving karts for two-and-a-half years and his friend Luke has been racing for one year.

"It's definitely a goal of mine to expand to cars," Luke added.

The young rev-heads took the day off school on the Friday to travel to Bathurst for three days of racing with paddock pass access and stayed at accommodation just metres from the track.

"It was a really good experience, we got a garage tour with Walkinshaw Andretti United, met drivers and got to stand out on the grid holding Dunlop flags," Nic said.

"The smell and the sounds - I love it."

"Mount Panorama was more than everything I thought it would be," Luke said on being a first-time visitor.

The pair got to meet some well-known drivers in the industry like Chaz Mostert and James Courtney.

"It was an awesome experience, lots of tours, a good feed and meeting drivers and getting autographs," Luke said.

Nic had only ever attended the Newcastle 500 with his dad Hugh Reid who worked as a doctor at the medical tent on the track previously.

"We were thinking of going to Bathurst now that it's no longer in Newcastle, and when Nic and Luke got accepted it was a no-brainer," Mr Reid said.

"Knowing how other drivers are doing stuff was a great learning experience for him and opened up a lot of opportunity."

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