WA child drag racer's death mourned
Junior competition drag racing has been banned in Western Australia pending an investigation into the death of eight-year-old Perth girl Anita Board who crashed while trying to get her licence.
Anita lost control of her vehicle and smashed into a cement barrier at the end of her solo run at Perth Motorplex during the Goldenstates Junior Dragster event on Saturday, and died in Princess Margaret Hospital for Children on Sunday.
Anita's devastated father Ian said the family chose drag racing because it was a safe form of motor sport.
Mr Board said Anita was excited about joining her big sister at the track and said Sunday was going to be "the best day ever."
"Our baby girl Anita had a bright, bubbly personality and her smile was infectious," he told reporters on Monday.
"Her passion for motorsport, drag racing and being here as a family with her sister at the track was the highlights of her life.
"We are blessed to have had her for eight years and she's going to be forever missed. We are grateful for the love and support of the drag racing community."
Acting Premier Roger Cook says investigations will be conducted by police, the coroner and the Australian National Drag Racing Association before the government considers whether to lift the participation age limit.
"We can't wrap our kids up in cotton wool, but we do need to make sure that we are protecting them and that they aren't taking unnecessary risks," he told reporters.
Racers aged between eight and 10 must not exceed 96km/h, but it is understood the top speeds of vehicles driven by beginners are lower.
It is not known how fast Anita was driving.
ANDRA WA division director Terry Jongen says more than 100 children aged between eight and 17 hold junior drag racing licences in Australia, and many more compete regularly overseas.
Anita had celebrated her eight birthday on Thursday by going go-karting to get more practice before trying to secure her licence.
Premier Mark McGowan, who is in China, Sport Minister Mick Murray and Mr Cook all said they were unaware young children could participate in such events.
"I was very surprised ... but in saying that, from my understanding, it was well controlled but an unfortunate accident," Mr Murray told reporters.
Some racers have put their helmets out as a sign of respect, while others changed their social media profile pictures to the Rainbow Dash character from My Little Pony, which was emblazoned on Anita's 210cc purple dragster called Pony Power.
Hundreds more posted tributes online, including Pete Styles who wrote: "Knowing how much she loved her drag racing and how you guys as a family followed that dream to end up like this ... I don't know why she was taken so young, but at least it was doing something she loved."
Troy Thompson posted: "We will all be racing with a heavy heart at the next meeting."
© AAP 2017