Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

The Comeback Kid

By Sam Gillespie

Eli Thomsett entered the Twin Track Mud Racing Queensland Titles as an underdog.

The 12-year-old was one of five Sarina junior drivers to travel to Kabra near Rockhampton to compete in the titles.

After an unfortunate ending to his Mud Trials campaign in Sarina in May and mechanical hiccup after mechanical hiccup since, he had a point to prove.

“We were all shattered,” said Eli’s mother Nell Thomsett, reflecting on the moment Eli’s motor blew up in the first heat of Queensland Mud Trials in May.

With the Twin Track State Titles months away, the family hooked straight into building another car.

“We did countless late nights, so many people from the club came and helped,” said Ms Thomsett.

With only days until the Titles, the family discovered the car’s CV joints were too short and the car was undriveable.

Phone calls were made throughout the club looking for another car until the Gutschlag family offered one that had been sitting in their garage since last May.

“We literally pulled it out of the garage and got it to turn over Wednesday night,” Ms Thomsett said.

“It had no brakes, it needed a better roll cage … she was in pretty bad shape.

“It’s a manual and Eli hadn’t actually raced a manual car, he’d barely even driven a manual car.

“We got it on the trailer, took it down to Kabra and he learnt how to drive a manual in the pits on Friday night ready to race Saturday morning.”

With odds against him, Eli raced like he’d never raced before, finishing in third in the junior drag.

“He was absolutely over the moon, just beside himself excited,” said Ms Thomsett.

Ms Thomsett said Eli’s results can also be attributed to the culture amongst the racing community.

“There’s competition but everyone still wants everyone to race so they’ll help each other and get everyone’s cars together, it’s an amazing community,” she said.

Focus now turns to Twin Track races in Kabra in October and in Sarina in November, and Ms Thomsett hopes for a smoother preparation.

“It’s a really good spectator sport because it’s fast racing, there’s two cars on the track, so anyone who’s interested, definitely come down and check it out,” she said.


Drags Junior

1st - Mud Hunter-Hunter Weir- Mackay

2nd -  A Problem – Brydie Eames- Mackay

3rd – Tezza’s Jeep – Taeya Simonsen- Mackay

Drags Standard

1st – Falconstein – Paten Kees -Mackay

2nd – Swamp Donkey – Kelvin Schuh (Gracemere)

3rd – Abalong – Kyle Otto (Gracemere)

Drags Buggy

1st – Muddy Mad – Joe Gauci- Mackay

2nd – Mud Blaster – Mark Tomlinson- Mackay

3rd – Kamikaze – Nicholas Brownsey- Mackay

Drags Top Gun

1st Dolly – Tim Granshaw (Glenlee/Rton)

2nd – Awesome – Luke Gravino (Mackay)

3rd – Clone – Darren Ettles- Mackay

Twin Track Junior

1st – Son of a Devil – Hugo Vukovich (Goondiwindi)

2nd – Mud Hunter – Hunter Weir- Mackay

3rd – Spider Pig – Zoe Schuh (Gracemere) and Back Chat – Eli Thomsett - Mackay

Twin Track Standard

1st – Falconstein – Paten Kees- Mackay

2nd – Abalong – Kyle Otto (Gracemere)

3rd – Bush Pig – Jack Muscat- Mackay

Twin Track Buggy

1st Balls Deep – Adam Sweeney- Mackay

2nd Muddy Mad – Joe Gauci- Mackay

3rd Mud Blaster – Mark Tomlinson- Mackay

Twin Track Top Gun

1st Clone – Darren Ettles- Mackay

2nd Bad Company – Ash Janson- Mackay

3rd – Dolly – Tim Granshaw (Glenlee/Rton)

Eli Thomsett

Eli and his dad, Russell Thomsett

Mackay racers featured heavily across all podiums at the Mud Racing State Titles in Kabra earlier this month

In other news