Makenah makes the most of WA JD championship opportunity

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New WA Junior Dragster state champion Makenah Johnson-Begg drove the race of her life to claim her first title as she eyes bigger things for the future.

Johnson-Begg sat fourth in the points going into the final event in May but when opponents’ results fell her way early she had the championship opportunity rise.

“I knew I had to race really well to even be in with a chance to place anywhere near the top three,” she said. “It came down to the third round. When I got through that round I couldn’t believe it.”

Competing for a championship wasn’t even on Johnson-Begg’s mind at the start of the season with engine issues still plaguing her car.

“My dad (Super Sedan racer Tyron Begg) was not used to working with Junior Dragsters, only Holden engines, so it was really hard to deal with some of the breakdowns during eliminations,” she said. “I was so surprised when dad told me a couple of events ago that I was in the top 10.

“I didn’t really look at where I was in the point score – I just wanted to race.” With her dad’s mechanical skills on the single cylinder Junior Dragster motors aside, Johnson-Begg said the experience of her parents, both racers, was of great help. Her dad even gave up his own car to see his daughter race.

“My mum (Marcina Johnson-Begg) always knew I had the skill and passion to race and my dad made it possible by selling his pride and joy, the Datsun 1200,” she said.

“My mum races in Super Street and she has given me so much advice because she knows exactly how it feels to win and lose gracefully. She always tells me it’s not about winning or losing but how racing makes you feel and if you love doing it then it makes it worthwhile.

“My dad has taught me so much with my racing and he keeps it real, he doesn’t pretend that it is easy and always makes sure that he’s there for me no matter what.”

Johnson-Begg has one more season left in Junior Dragsters before she will have to move on to bigger race cars. She has her eye on her mum’s Super Street Holden Calais.

“I would love to carry on racing, I think I would look good in mum’s Holden Calais to start off with,” she said.

“Mum’s car would be great to learn in so I can really understand how it feels to be in control of the car and learn how to race myself.

“It’s still a year away from when I do step up and I’m excited for that day to come but I also do not want to stop racing my Junior, I love racing my little car.”

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