Three generations of karters: Ryan (front) with his cousins Curt and Dmitri, with grandad Barry Fisher and his daughter Jodie.
Three generations of karters: Ryan (front) with his cousins Curt and Dmitri, with grandad Barry Fisher and his daughter Jodie.

Family fun at high speed

When Barry Fisher helped start the Lismore Kart Club nearly 40 year ago, he never dreamed he would be racing against his daughter and watching his grandchildren compete.

But that’s exactly what has happened with his eldest daughter Jodie catching the karting bug from him at a young age and now passing it on to her two boys Curt (10) and Dmitri (8). Barry’s other daughter Tracey also helps out as part of the family pit crew and her son Ryan (7) has started racing too.

Barry won the Australian title in 1979 and eight state titles along the way.

He would regularly travel as far as Bundaberg or Sydney to compete with Jodie tagging along behind.

“I had to wait until I was 12 before I could start competing, but I spent a lot of time in the shed with dad before that,” Jodie said.

Barry described her as “a real grease monkey” who wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and wasn’t afraid to give it to the boys on the track.

“It was always good to beat the boys,” she said with a smile.

Barry has an amazing collection of about a dozen karts in his shed and under his house including a couple of vintage ones. His favourite is a twin engine that he reckons can do 186 km/h.

The single engines will do 145km/h and even when the boys are racing, they get up to around 80-90km/h.

They wear neck braces and ear plugs when they are driving and Jodie said she didn’t think it was any more dangerous than other sports.

“The boys love it. Their friends are getting sick of hearing about it,” she said.

The Lismore Kart Club gets together about once a month at the showgrounds and some of their members travel interstate to compete in big titles.

Barry is 64 and has thought about giving it away, but still loves it.

“I think about retiring when I feel the bruises, but I don’t care if I don’t win these days, I just go out for the drive,” he said. “I enjoy the sport and you meet a lot of nice people and that’s what sport should be about.”

The next meeting of the Lismore Kart Club is this Sunday, December 6, from 9.30am. Entry is free and everyone is welcome.


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