When the final round of the Queensland Drag Racing Championships hits the track at Willowbank Raceway this Saturday (21 November), siblings Kellie Kidd and Tony Bellert will be looking to secure twin-championships for their family.
The 32 year old mum of two and her 35 year old engine building brother are leading the points standings in the Knijff Earthmoving Modified and QDRC SuperComp brackets respectively, with Bellert hoping to secure back-to-back titles.
Adding to the family factor is the fact that the pair were introduced to racing by their father and fourth-placed Knijff Earthmoving Modified competitor Phil Bellert, and that under the Bellert Racing Team banner they all compete in honour of their late mother and wife Browyn Bellert – whose passing due to cancer was mourned by the sportsman drag racing community in 2013 with a display of pink heart ‘in memoriam’ stickers which many competitors still carry today.
“All of the racing that we do in the Bellert Racing Team is in memory of our mum – Brownyn Bellert – who we sadly lost to cancer in 2013. It would be a great treat for us for Kellie and I to each take out the QDRC titles in her honour, and we will be doing everything we can to make that happen,” said Tony Bellert.
“I always try and keep an eye on both dad and Kellie although it is a little hard sometimes given the work needed between each race on the car. I don’t get nervous for her anymore though, she has done enough passes now that she can keep herself out of trouble and I am really proud of how she has progressed.”
“It would be an amazing achievement for our family and our team to have a brother and sister take the wins in our brackets. Having us all doing so well and our dad Phil in the top five of the championship in Modified is truly an overwhelming accomplishment already,” said Kidd.
“Dad got us into drag racing, he has been competing in the sportsman brackets since Willowbank Raceway opened. Dad and I race each other quite often in the Modified bracket and bring out the best in each other, and while I don’t often race Tony as we are in different brackets, I try to be involved with his and dad’s program as much as possible and to be out on the start line if I can.
“The family racing vibe is set to continue as well, with my son Alex stepping up into his very own Junior Dragster in the coming weeks. To have four cars in our team and three generations racing at once will not only be a logistical nightmare, but also a dream come true – it is a very exciting time for us all that is for sure. Thanks has to go to our crew as we wouldn’t be able to do all this without them, and personally I need to thank my husband Steve – he has always been there to support me through the good and the bad of the season and will now support our son Alex as well.”
While each is hopeful of bringing home two reasons for the family to celebrate this weekend, their experience with the world of drag racing means neither are taking victory as a given.
“I am not celebrating just yet – I have a good lead coming into the finale, but at the end of the day this is drag racing and anything can happen. I am taking each race as it comes,” said Kidd.
“This year has been a rollercoaster to say the least. We went from a strong start with a runner-up result to a mid-season being plagued by transmission problems, before the last two rounds saw us take back to back event victories.
“I feel that I have finally really settled into the driver’s seat. The level of the skill amongst the field in my class this year is a true testament to our bracket, with extremely close racing and sharp packages from many drivers. Mike (Michael Bailey – second on the points) is very experienced and can bring his A game – so I am just going to enjoy the finale knowing it has been a great season for my family and our racing team.
For Bellert, issues that have been plaguing the racer now seem less-threatening following positive results in testing recently.
“When it comes to taking out the title, I am more confident now following some testing where we were able to get the car down the track with three passes right on or under the national record. We had been struggling with getting the car to stick to the track, so hopefully our issues are sorted now and we can move forward with some wins,” said Bellert.
“Sam (Kiprios – second in the points) is a great racer and I am glad he has been supporting the bracket – it is always in your mind that you may not come out on top, but if you go in with that attitude you are sure to lose. It is all about being positive and concentrating on the job at hand – we are going in with one objective, and that is to take out the title again.”
Kidd and Bellert will be joined on-track for the final round of the QDRC this Saturday the 21st of November by racers across ten brackets – QDRC SuperComp, QDRC Comp Bike, Donnelly Blasting Services QDRC Outlaws, Knijff Earthmoving Modified, Powercruise Super Sedan, Prime Signs/Speed Elec Super Street, Modified Bike, Wallace Bishop Loyal Watches Junior Dragster and Super Gas. Spectator admission is just $20.00 for adults, $18.00 for students with ID, and children aged 13 and under gain FREE admission. Gates open at 7.00am, with qualifying from 12.00pm and racing from 5.00pm. For full event information, please click here.
While this is the final round, the championships are far from decided, with the top runners for a number of the classes separated by only a few points after an exciting year at the track. Leading their classes heading into the final round are Josh Fletcher (Donnelly Blasting Services QDRC Outlaws), Tony Bellert (QDRC SuperComp), Peter Everett (QDRC Comp Bike), Kellie Kidd (Knijff Earthmoving Modified), Tony Whyatt (Powercruise Super Sedan), Neil Tschutura (Prime Signs/Speed Elec Super Street), Brian Alvisio (Modified Bike), Tim Barron (Wallace Bishop Loyal Watches). For a full accounting of the championship standings, please click here. For full event information, please click here.