Young 16 year old Patrick Hall is making the South Australian rallying community sit up and take notice.

At only 16 years and four months of age, this dedicated teenager is making a difference to his life and hopes to inspire other young people to do the same. He wants to see more young drivers racing in a controlled environment and not on the streets.

 Patrick has been competing since he was 12 in car club events and has developed skills and maturity well beyond his years, gained through the Southern Districts Car Club's ‘Junior Driver Development Program’.

The program is designed to teach responsible driving on our roads and features special presentations and lectures from S.A Police, the ‘Share the Road’ program and through local competitors all promoting the same message - responsible and safe driving - driving to stay alive. 

As Patrick explains: "If you want to race or do burnouts, do it at a track where you are in a controlled environment and not endangering others.”  Patrick's co-driver and mentor, Mandy Rudham, who is a seasoned competitor with over 20 years of experience, described the Junior Driver program as one of the best in the State.

"I love to encourage young drivers to join car clubs", Mandy enthused. "Too many young people, usually young men, lose their licences for behaving badly and often dangerously on public roads.  By joining a car club, you don’t have to let off steam on the public roads and risk losing your licence or copping huge fines. Further, you develop great car control skills that simply make you a better driver, because you learn to handle your vehicle in high pressure situations."  

The late Peter Brock was also a strong advocate of the benefits of car club membership for young drivers. Car clubs cater for all tastes. There are specific clubs for lovers of particular vehicle makes and models, or you can go rallying, circuit racing, off roading, drag racing, karting, drifting, hill climbing, even burn-out competitions.  

Patrick will be competing in the asp Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally on Sunday June 29, Round 3 of the South Australian Rally Championship and the stand-alone SA Tarmac Rally Championship event. The event is the first and only tarmac round of an Australian State Rally Championship, and will be run over 10 special bitumen stages based around Penny's Hill Winery in the McLaren Vale wine region, south of Adelaide. 

Patrick's ambition is to follow in the footsteps of Chris Atkinson and fly the flag for Australia in the World Rally Championship. If his recent results are anything to go by, he'll be well on his way to achieving his goal very quickly.

In his first full year of competition, Patrick has achieved top 10 finishes in the two rounds of this year's South Australian Rally Championship and won this year’s State Autocross Championship. Patrick Hall's parents also see the benefits of his car club involvement. 

Patrick is also very aware of the opportunity he's been given. "I know the eyes of the entire rally community are on me, from CAMS to my fellow competitors. Being on my L plates creates tremendous pressure."

In juggling school, rallying and preparing his own car, Patrick observed, "I work part time at a local garage and fit in Year 11 studies as well. For some reason my only other interest is sleep!" 

For more details on Patrick Hall or the Southern Districts Car Club Junior Driver Development Program, phone Marc Tillett on 0412 175 224. CAMS offices in each state can provide more details on car club membership and clubs running Junior Driver Development Programs. CAMS South Australia can be contacted on 08 8132 1633.

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