Pat Healey interviews Aaliyah and Cassidy post race. (Amanda Williams photo)

BEAVER BANK: It’s a snowy Wednesday afternoon and I’m heading to Bayer’s Lake. My destination is Kartbahn where the Racing for Research fundraiser in support of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is taking place.

The April 10 event was organized by Harold T. Barrett Junior High student Aaliyah Cook and her best friend Cassidy Fletcher, who attends Ridgecliff Middle School in Timberlea. Aaliyah and her family just moved to Beaver Bank a few months ago.

So it came our time to strap in. The girls said they were ready to accept my challenge and race me on the track.

Here we go!

So Aaliyah, Cassidy, myself in the no. 1 (perfect race number, but if they had a no. 0 I’d have taken that one for my favourite Pro Stock driver, Shawn Turple); and Megan Jean from JDRF went down to the track. My go-kart had a Go Pro from Kartbahn attached to it.

After getting some instructions it’s time to put on the balaclava and our helmets. Next we all get assigned carts and head to them.

We’re racing at Kartbahn. (Amanda Williams photo)

Once we’re in and the karts are running it’s time to go out. The first lap is a slow lap, but once we hit the start the cart’s pedals controls are released and it’s race on.

We’re slowed a few times by cars spinning out-I think because of how much power they have it’s hard for some to control. But when we were green flag racing, I had the pedal to the metal. And it showed.

Once our time was up, the checkered flag waves and our race is over.

Amanda comes down with the race results. And it shows I came out on top of the six of us that were on track. I couldn’t believe it. The real winner though was JDRF.

Interview with Cassidy and Aaliyah.

After getting out of their karts and off to the side so the next group could go, Aaliyah and Cassidy talked to me about the event. They have done other fundraisers in previous years for JDRF.

“We are doing this so we can raise money for more research into Type 1 diabetes,” said Cook.

Fletcher said she had a lot of fun racing around the Kartbahn track.

“It was so exciting,” she said.

The support was amazing.

“There was about 20-25 people here right at the start of the event that went out racing,” said Cook.

When the final tally was all counted up from donations received, Cassidy and Aaliyah raised $1,345 for JDRF.

Now that I showed what I can do on the go-carting track and snag first place, guess my next thing is to hit the big tracks and wheel a race car? Wonder if the Ken-Etic Auto Racing team has an opening?