TO SET foot on the raceway of champions is one thing, but to gear up to race along side them at the tender age of 13 is another.
Local Whitsundays teenager Hunter Penhallurick has taken his motorbike riding to the next level and transitioned from the dirt to the bitumen.
The Proserpine State High School student is now a proud member of the GowMoto team to race the Supersport 300 class on a KDM 390 under the sponsorship of passionate Gympie motor sport lover David Gow.
Heading down earlier in the year to put the rubber to the track for a test at Phillip Island, Hunter improved with every lap and his Victorian team-mate, 16-year-old Ben Bramich, ran the third fastest lap time.
It was through Streetwise Motorcycles in Mackay, where Hunter's parents took him for some training that a friend recommended the young champion dirt rider as a potential convert to David Gow.
"I went off my mates word - I wanted an up and coming young rider to showcase and give them an opportunity,” Mr Gow said.
"I started a team because it's my passion - I did it years ago and now I'm retired and bored.”
Mr Gow has worked with a lot of riders but this is the first time sponsoring ones on his own and will cover the cost of the bikes, repairs and equipment transportation.
"Those two lads have a great future in the sport, they have the right attitude and great support from their parents,” he said.
"It is just exciting stuff to be going to the world stage at Phillip Island, the first round of the series is racing on the same day as with the world super bikes.”
Mr Gow said although he will travel with the boys to six meets spanning almost every state, it wasn't about him.
"It's about the two young lads, their success and their enjoyment,” he said.
"Hunter has a great personality and he's very easy to work with -both boys are, without all the support from their families we wouldn't have what we call the 'team'.”
Hunter's mother Lynda Penhallurick said she was proud of her son.
"I don't ride, I'm the chief fan-base,” she laughed.
"This is a great opportunity for him and where ever it leads it is only the start.
"It would be nice really just to see him progress and do his best.”
The next big race for the local will be round one of the Australian Superbike Championship ASBK Supersport 300 later in February at Phillip Island.
Hunter would like to thank Penhallurick constructions, Lindsay Bates Building, Haber X, and Revival Custom Stickers and Signs.
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