Lifetime of service
ADDICTED to adrenaline since 1958, Ipswich Kart Club volunteer Alf Capri is the high-octane sport's longest standing servant.
His remarkable contribution across more than six decades is matched only by that of his loving wife Maureen who married into the sport just a couple of years later.
"That was his sport, so that's what we did," Maureen said.
"We love the sport."
Together, the pair have devoted a considerable portion of their lives to promoting karting and ensuring the next generation has greater opportunities than the one that came before.
Over many years, they have watched Ipswich Kart Club grow from its infancy in the early days at Mount Crosby into the largest, most technologically advanced and popular group of its kind in Australia based at the state-of-the-art Willowbank facility.
Throughout their rich association with the organisation, the Capris have filled almost every official position, and their incredible passion for the fast-paced and highly enjoyable activity shows no signs of waning.
With Alf now past 80 years of age and their adult children no longer taking part, he and Maureen still serve IKC as grade one officials in the capacities of chief scrutineer and steward respectively.
Maureen also works tirelessly in the all-important role of memberships and licencing officer. The Capris' contribution extends beyond IKC, with clubs at Warwick, Gympie and Karting Queensland also benefiting from their generous support.
As a testament to their lifetime of involvement, Alf and Maureen were surprised and humbled to be named the "CAMS Motorsport Volunteers of the year" in 2019.
Ipswich Kart Club secretary Kalie Sampson said the duo's dedication to karting was unbelievable.
"When they retire I think there will be a few people around who won't know what to do," she said.
While a predisposition which craved speed enticed Alf to get behind the wheel, Maureen tried driving once but soon found out the fast lane was not for her.
1n the late 1970s, Alf's focus shifted from racing to mechanical aspects of the sport, opening a business in his spare time working on karts. In that unregulated era, designs were geared towards maximising torque and some powerful machines graced the track as technicians souped up their vehicles in search of every advantage.
The introduction of restrictions limiting engine output may have standardised setups but it has not altered the overarching quest for pace which drives progression in karting and captured Alf's attention all those years ago.
That pursuit of speed still excites him today but it is seeing the looks on the faces of young competitors which keeps the couple committed year after year.
"We saw it in our children and we see it in everybody else's children as well," Maureen said.
"They are gorgeous.
"They look like little lollipops rounding the track in their helmets.
"They are the future of karting.
"It's the younger ones that are going to keep the sport going."