Peter Dow and Max Laybutt of Macarthur are no strangers to the racetrack.
The passionate locals have spent their lives devoting themselves to motorcycle and karting sports, respectively.
Now, they’ve been recognized for their efforts with 2021 Distinguished Long-Service Awards at the NSW Community Sports Awards.
Dow and Laybutt were among 23 Distinguished Long Service Award recipients from a wide range of sports who received their awards from Sports Minister Natalie Ward at Bankwest Stadium on June 17.
Laybutt said he started karting in 1959 in the Condobolin countryside and progressed very quickly in the sport.
âI was studying mechanical engineering by correspondence, and it sounds silly, but I was trying to figure out how to make a smaller car so that the kids could learn to drive,â said the Narellan resident.
âI saw an article in a karting magazine and I was like ‘this is exactly what I want’.
“Then the sport came to Australia and I never looked back.”
Laybutt said he hopes the award will help raise the profile of karting in Australia.
âIt’s a good thing for me, but it’s an even bigger thing for our sport,â he said.
“It’s good to see karting recognized because it’s a great sport.
“It’s good for kids, adults and us old fools – and I think the price has gone a long way to show that.”
Laybutt was appointed Treasurer of Karting NSW in 2003 and remained in this position until 2010. He was also elected National Treasurer in 2004 and held this position until 2011.
At 81, Laybutt still attends race meetings most weekends as an official, occasionally races in his 4SS Kart and helps train junior officials.
âSeeing the younger ones, the seven to nine years old on the track, brings tears to your eyes,â he said.
âThese kids learn everything they need to know in life, they learn to drive a car and they learn respect.
âNone of the kids who come from karting grew up to be a speed junkie because they’ve been there and done that.
“I encourage everyone to take a look at [karting] – we have some amazing pilots out there. “
Dow was honored for his decades of motorcycle service.
Dow’s interest in motorsport began when he was young, driving rally cars in England with his brother.
He was very interested in Wesley Wheels, which led him to join the Macarthur District Motorcycle Sports Club in 1980.
Dow ultimately secured the contest property with his own money when it went on sale in 1999 to ensure young people have a safe and secure place to ride. Over time, the complex was returned to the club.
Dow has also rebuilt and relaunched the motocross track at Oran Park and served on committees for the Thumpernats, Amcross Series, Supercross with Spokes Promotions, as well as the State and Australian Championships.
He served on the Motorcycle NSW Board of Directors for several years and was heavily involved in the creation of a flat track facility in Appin.
Sport NSW president Carolyn Campbell said Dow and Laybutt were deserving recipients.
âSport in New South Wales is built on people like Peter and Max who have generously given countless hours of their time, year after year, for many decades. Sport in New South Wales is forever with them. indebted, âMs. Campbell said.
âIt is only fitting that these Distinguished Long Service Award recipients be recognized and honored.
âThey have been dedicated champions of their sport and have provided a wonderful community legacy that others aspire to and follow.