The father of junior drag racer Anita Board says he wants the sport “back up and running” in WA as soon as possible and that he’s “not happy” with the State Government-imposed suspension on races.
Ian Board, pictured right, said he and his family were still feeling “pretty raw” after his eight-year-old daughter crashed at Perth Motorplex last weekend while going for her junior drag racing licence.
Anita, who had become eligible for her licence just two days before she crashed when she turned eight, died in hospital the next day.
But Mr Board said the grieving family had been “overwhelmed” by community support.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response of the majority of the general public and their understanding of us putting our child into a sport which a lot of people don’t understand,,” he said. “They don’t understand the risk involved and the impeccable safety record up until this point.”
“We want to get this sport back up and running in WA”
Mr Board has this message for those critical of the sport: “They just need to go and do their research on the sport because since 1993 until now the only serious injury in this sport has been a broken hand. So that’s how critical the safety is in this sport.
“This is what we’re trying to protect, the safety of the sport and how safe it has been. So we do want to get that out there eventually.
“Talking to people right the way through North America, America, the UK, Hungary, Spain … we’ve got stuff coming in from all around the globe. It appears there has been no other death.”
When asked what legacy he wanted for his daughter, Mr Board said: “We want to get this sport back up and running in WA, we’re not happy with this suspension.
“We believe we know where the critical things went wrong. But until the coroner has got all the facts we’re not going to go into any detail.
“Kids race every weekend somewhere in Australia and around the world. We want them back racing (in WA), there’s no doubt about that, but we want them back with the changes in place to make a one-in- a-million (event) a one-in-a-trillion.”
Mr Board said the family was still unsure when Anita’s funeral would take place as the coroner had yet to release his daughter’s body.
At Perth Motorplex last night before a speedway event started, a minute’s silence was observed to remember the Aubin Grove girl.
Earlier this week, the State Government suspended junior drag racing pending the outcome of the police investigation.
Yesterday, Sports Minister Mick Murray said he was “concerned” at a report that Anita was travelling at 85km/h before she crashed.
“I hope the inquiry includes looking at the speeds of these vehicles and hopefully the report can be concluded in a timely manner,” Mr Murray said.
He said he would table a direction to VenuesWest in State Parliament that junior drag racing remain suspended until the results of the inquiry are known.