Tony Kart Australia signs up Somerset's Jorja Edwards

The biggest go kart racing team in Australia has come calling for a North-West Coast rising star.

Somerset's Jorja Edwards has seen her sharp rise in the sport rewarded with a contract to race for Tony Kart Australia in the Ka2 class in the Australia Kart Championship, becoming the first Tasmanian female to race in the category.

The 14-year-old only began taking racing series last season and made enough of an impression in Ka3 and Ka4 karts that three teams were chasing her signature.

Edwards said she was amazed by the interest she had received from the teams and couldn't be more excited to race with a teams with so much history.

"It is pretty cool, the opportunity I have got is huge and has me pretty excited for the future," she said.

"I didn't know that I was going to get with the Tony Kart team or any other team, especially considering next year will be just my second full year.

"Racing the national series last year was pretty amazing because of all the big tents and the crowds and I can't wait to be go back again."

NATIONAL CHANCE: Jorja Edwards will race
for Tony Kart in 2020. Picture: Simon Sturzaker

NATIONAL CHANCE: Jorja Edwards will race for Tony Kart in 2020. Picture: Simon Sturzaker

The contract will also see Edwards make a jump up to the higher class, which will see her take control of a kart that can hit a top speed of 130 km/h.

But the increase in speed was not a concern for Edwards, who believed it would suit her driving style as she wants to go fast.

"The fastest I have got up to in a Ka4 kart is 108 km/h, wheile I have already got up to 113 km/h in the Ka2, although I haven't drove on a long enough straight to go faster.

"The feeling of going fast is a little bit scary before you get to used to it, but it has been more enjoyable for me now and I am better when I go faster.

"There may not other female drivers in the class, so it is hard to get this level because of the speed you need to go.

"So, it will also be great to be able to represent the females as well and show we can match it with the boys in the faster karts."

NEED FOR SPEED: Jorja Edwards (88) leads the pack earlier this year. Picture: Supplied

NEED FOR SPEED: Jorja Edwards (88) leads the pack earlier this year. Picture: Supplied

But Edwards won't be able to get many opportunities to drive the kart before the series as it will remain with the team between the five rounds of the championship.

The lack of access to the kart in Tasmania was no issue for Edwards, who was happy to continue competing in Ka3 in the Victorian and Tasmanian state series.

"We will go over a couple of weeks ahead of each of the rounds to practice in the kart and get to know the tracks.

"We will also go over a lot of times to Victoria to practice in the kart with the team.

"We can't actually get the kart over here because Ka2 karts are not allowed on our tracks and because the team will keep it with them.

"But I just enjoy to race, I will keep racing with my old kart and look to get better."

Edwards' father Robbie said he was so impressed by his daughter's success and was looking forward to all the benefits of being a part of a huge team.

BIG STEP UP: Jorja Edwards meets with Tony Kart Australia owner Greg Smith after signing her contract. Picture: Supplied

BIG STEP UP: Jorja Edwards meets with Tony Kart Australia owner Greg Smith after signing her contract. Picture: Supplied

"We couldn't be prouder of her because it comes back to her great attitude and being level-headed," he said.

"We always knew she could drive and it has gone a lot faster than we though it would, it has been a whirlwind for us and if she can keep her head, she will go places.

"We won't have to worry about getting the kart to races as that will go with the team and we will have amazing access to data that the other top drivers Jorja has raced against have received.

"It is amazing how important data is to a sport like go kart racing, she will get to see how the way she drives and it will make it a lot easier for her to learn and improve at a faster rate.

"It will allow her to find where she has room to improve, it could be when she breaks going into corners or how fast she is drive in a certain part of the track, so those little details could make a big difference for her."

Robbie said national championship contract would mean a lot of travel for the family and he will work with his daughter to make sure she can handle the tiring nature of the trips.

The Australia Kart Championship will be begin in South Australia on February 28 and it will also have rounds in Victoria (twice), New South Wales and Queensland.

This story Edwards signs national karting contract first appeared on The Advocate.