Billy Cart Derby day draws closer

Clair and Piper racing Lincoln (blue cart) at the 2023 Lockyer Valley Billy Cart Derby. Pictures: JACOB HAYDEN

The 4th annual Lockyer Valley Billy Cart Derby is nearly here, and event organiser Alan Willson said there were plenty of ways locals could get involved.

Held at Lake Apex Park in Gatton on 5 May, the Derby promises to deliver an incredibly fun day for the community.

Mr Willson said he loved organising the Derby.

“Last year we had this little girl, she was about four years old, and we have a twin car where the parent can sit in with their child,” he said.

“We put the cart up on the ramp and mum put the little girl in the cart and this little girl screamed and screamed and screamed with absolute, sheer, unabated fear.

“Halfway down the track the screaming stopped and when she got to the bottom of the hill all we heard was ‘let’s do it again, mum, let’s do it again, mum’.

“That’s gold, because you can’t buy that experience.”

Mr Willson said the Lockyer Valley Billy Cart Association began the Decorate A Billy Cart Competition for local primary schools to boost engagement with the Derby.

“We’ve got 12 billy carts available to be decorated, and only four schools have nominated to participate,” Mr Willson said.

He thanked Mt Sylvia, Murphys Creek, Prenzlau and Ma Ma Creek State Schools for their interest.

“There’s plenty of time for more schools to get involved, they can come and collect the billy cart and decorate it,” Mr Willson said.

“Around lunch time there will be a school’s race of those carts, the schools will nominate their own driver and they will race.”

Mr Willson said the Derby also needed more cash sponsors.

“We started this out in 2019 to give something for the community and for the continuation of this annual derby we need businesses to get behind us with not just in-kind sponsorships but also cash-flow sponsorships to keep us running,” he said.

“We are so grateful to Bunnings Plainland who allocate us to do a sausage sizzle every month, but that money raised just covers our insurance policy.

“We still need financial support from the community and businesses to continue the operation.”

Businesses can provide Gold ($1,000), Silver ($750) and Bronze ($500) sponsorships which each come with advertising benefits.

Contact Mr Willson on 0400 703 335 to learn more.

Entry to the Derby is just $15.

“For the $15 you get three runs, and they’re timed, and your best time determines what position on the pole you sit,” Mr Willson said.

“You don’t need to have your own cart because we have 30 carts ourselves which people can use on the day.

“This year, the track has been expanded from 80m to 120m.”

There are trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each age category, plus the perpetual trophy for the fastest time each year.