The call wasn’t exactly out of the blue for Kingshott. Ever since he was a child, Kingshott has been hanging out close to the Bunbury-based Krikkes, and he even went for a test drive with the team last season.
“My old man crewed for their team for a while and they have sponsored me coming up through my driving career,” Kingshott said. “I used to kick around in their shed out the back of Bunbury Toyota when I was a little kid.
“I did a practice in their car at the end of last season; they just wanted to give it a run. The Krikke Motorsport crew chief Matt Cochrane was the crew chief for my midget team for my whole career until he went to work for them and they said, ‘Let’s have a skid.’ It was nothing serious and I didn’t think anything would come of it, but obviously it has.”
The Krikke team would usually be focused on World Series Sprintcars during the summer with gun driver Kerry Madsen (who resides in the USA) at the helm, but the series was cancelled this season due to COVID-19.
“Ryan and the Krikke family didn’t want to not go racing for the year and thought racing local was the best way to do it,” Kingshott said. “Kerry is not able to get back and with me having quite a close relationship with them through the years they hit me up and asked if I would like to drive.”
The idea of actually being given a drive for a team and a family he has looked up to for so long remains surreal to Kingshott.
“I shut my family team at the end of last season and I didn’t think it would be that easy to pick up a drive over here. There are not a lot of team owners looking for drivers, in Sprintcars or Speedcars, and all of a sudden here I am racing a 410 Sprintcar for the best team in the country.”
Kingshott and the Krikke team will be getting in a practice session tonight before launching into the opening round of the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series at Perth Motorplex as part of the Shannons Insurance Power Palooza. The team will be contesting the entirety of the series, which is great news for WA speedway fans.
“I want to get up to speed as quickly as I can but first I need to get comfortable,” Kingshott said. “I have driven Sprintcars before but have never been solely focused on them. I want to be smart about it and get laps in.
“Ryan (Krikke) has always had belief in me, and he wants this to be fun for the team, so he doesn’t expect too much right away. If the borders open and Kerry can come back he may do some of the big shows, and I will quite happily hop out of the seat for him.”
The Shannons Insurance Power Palooza is a triple-header festival of motorsport that includes supercharged drag racing from 3.30pm to 6.30pm, followed by burnouts at 6.30pm and concluding with the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series on the speedway from 7.00pm to 10.00pm.
Pics: Richard Hathaway & Peter Roebuck