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21 April 2005
Go to Darwin, to meet a young man who might just be the next Australian go-kart champion.

KATE CARTER: John Daniel Luke, or JD to his friends, is one teenager going places fast.

At 17 years of age he's one of the Territory's top go-kart racing champions. Not bad considering he took up the sport just 19 months ago.

JD LUKE, GO-KART RACER: I started with my uncle just on a hire track and just mucking around.

I went out on my first drive and I was already faster than him, so it's a bit of a rush like, you get out there and you stop thinking about everything else.

KATE CARTER: At various times throughout the year Go Kart enthusiasts hit the track at Hidden Valley.

Today it's the last meeting of the year to score points to determine the overall champion for the year.

JD LUKE: Listening, look at me, look at me.

I want you to look at me, so when I point at you, you go out and I try and keep a nice gap, OK?

KATE CARTER: This is the final meet for JD before he heads to Adelaide to compete in the South Australian State titles.

Go Karts take to the track soon after the sun comes up and racing continues throughout the afternoon and it appears age is no barrier.

JD LUKE: Yeah, we've got Barry who's about nearly 60 and we've got all ages down here, seven year olds, and everyone.

KATE CARTER: JD's dad John is also his pit crew.

A former racer himself he was pleased when his son decided to follow in his footsteps.

JD has the edge over many of his competitors. John senior is a mechanic with his own workshop.

Every day after school JD heads to his father's garage where his prized machine is kept.

It's here the odd maintenance job is carried out with dad on hand to give plenty of professional advice.

Saving up the thousands of dollars for a decent go-kart is just the start of a never-ending dive into the bank balance.

A set of tyres alone will set you back $250 and only last a couple of racers.

At the end of the day's racing JD has finished second overall.

It's a result he hopes to repeat in Adelaide.

As for life after go-karting, well upsizing is just one possibility if only a pipe dream.

JD LUKE: I'd love to race in Bathurst and I'd also like to race in Indy cars, that's where I'd love to go.

They get to travel all over the world.

story notes

JD's real name is John Daniel Luke. JD is a nickname.
Nicknames are sometimes just shortened versions of someone's first or second name. So someone called Daniel might be called 'Dan'. And someone called Michael might be known as 'Mike'.
Another common way to make a nickname is by using someone's initials. So instead of John Daniel, we get JD.

 going places fast
To be going places fast means to quickly become very successful.

 took up
started an activity
Example: I took up swimming last year.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb take up, follow the link.
more information: take up

 mucking around
Mucking around means being silly, or playing.
Example: Stop mucking around and do some work!

 hit the track
To hit the track means to start racing on the track.

 age is no barrier
The phrase age is no barrier means that people of any age can do it. Age doesn't stop people from go-karting.

Here, got is the past participle of the irregular verb get.
more information: get

Here, who's is the contracted form of who is.
more information: whose & who's

 follow in his footsteps
To follow in someone's footsteps means to do the same things as somebody else, especially somebody in your family.

 has the edge
To have the edge is to have the advantage.
Example: Our team will win because it has the edge.

 John senior
When a father and son have the same name, people will sometime call the father senior, and the son junior, meaning younger. So JD's dad is John senior, and JD could be called John junior.

 on hand
available or present
Example: Is there a doctor on hand?

Notice that we spell the word for the tyres on wheels with a 'y' and not an 'i'.

 pipe dream
A pipe dream is a plan that will probably never come true.
Example: Her ambition of becoming a singer is looking more and more like a pipe dream.