The Perth kart club behind future stars

11 May
Aaron Love is the latest prodigy of a club that produced Garth Tander, Brodie Kostecki and Daniel Ricciardo
4 mins by James Pavey, Kart Pics by Tiger Kart Club

Garth Tander. Brodie Kostecki. Aaron Love. Daniel Ricciardo. Perth racing stars, born and bred.

They all share one thing in common — they all learned their trade at Tiger Kart Club.

Formed in 1958, Tiger Kart Club is the largest kart club in Western Australia, and the only kart club in Australia with two separate tracks.

From ages seven to 70, Tiger Kart Club offers racers of all ages a chance to get up to speed, whether that be at Cockburn International Raceway or Wanneroo International Raceway.

Next weekend’s Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint will have two Tiger Kart Club drivers in reigning Supercars champion Kostecki and rookie Love, For Love, the bug was caught as it usually is in motorsport — through his father and brother, even if it took come convincing.

“It's pretty cool to look back on,” Love, a second-generation racer and current Blanchard Racing Team driver, told Supercars.com.

1 love garage 2024 brt

"My brother had a go at it, and I’d sometimes have a dabble at Cockburn. Then we thought, ‘Maybe Aaron can have a go too?’

“We started out with a go-kart each down at Cockburn, a guy by the name Mike Sully was running the kart shop at the time.

“We would go down once a week, or once every two weeks after school or a weekend, just to have a bit of a fang around as a bit of fun.

"Then that kind of grew into club racing here and there — Dad slowly got convinced by Mike to go towards doing some races at the Wanneroo track.

“You catch a bit of a bug when you start, and being from WA, and it just keeps on growing and growing.”

Jordan, three years Aaron’s senior, has since gone on to become a GT ace for Mercedes-AMG, and scored a class podium at February’s Repco Bathurst 12 Hour.

Aaron shifted to Porsches before quickly rising through the Dunlop Series into Supercars, making his full-time debut this year with BRT. Last year, Love raced in Super2 with the #78, the number he used in karting (pictured below).

love kart perth

For Tiger Kart Club President Chad Parham, the Love brothers’ progression is further proof of how quickly drivers can climb the ladder thanks to a strong club.

“For those that want to go on, it gives them the opportunity to go on to bigger and better things,” Parham told Supercars.com.

“One of the elements of the club is helping drivers go to the next level and progress further. Only a few years ago, some of them were here racing karts.

“There's been a number of young kids over the years that have progressed from our club and gone on to race in other formats of racing.

"Jordan, Aaron's brother, also went through the club. Caleb Sumich has gone into Porsches. There’s even some that are racing now in the Excel Cup series, saloon cars, and TA2.

“We’ve just resurfaced the Cockburn track. Last year, we hosted a round of the Australian Karting Championship, and had nearly 400 competitors at that event from all over the country (pictured below).

2023 AKC RD2 tiger kart

“The opportunity's there and it gives them a platform to improve their skills, or gain the skills and then move on to those other formats.”

Tander’s rise to Supercars stardom and Ricciardo’s journey to Formula 1 weren’t lost on Love, who will race in the main game on home soil for the first time next weekend.

"Jake and Kurt were obviously a couple of years further ahead of me. My brother raced against them a couple of times,” Love said.

“We knew Jake [Kostecki] and Kurt [Kostecki] quite well through karting. We met Brodie very early on, but then he moved over to the US.

"I knew Daniel came from there — Garth was probably a few too many years ahead for me to have much to do with him racing karts there!

“But I knew the WA heritage there was pretty strong, so when you start out and you've got a dream, you can actually see that it's achievable through the people that have been there and done it before."

The season will resume in Perth on May 17-19. Tickets for the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint are on sale now. International viewers can follow all the action on Superview.

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