8-year-old girl dies in drag race crash

Rebecca Le May

An eight-year-old Perth girl has died in a crash at a junior drag racing event while trying to get her licence, just three days after reaching the minimum age to compete.

Anita Board suffered severe injuries in the crash at Perth Motorplex in Kwinana on Saturday afternoon and was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

She lost control of her vehicle at the end of her solo run and crashed into a cement barrier.

No other dragsters were on the track.

She had just turned eight on Thursday, the minimum age to be allowed to race under Australian National Drag Racing Association rules.

The motorsports-loving Board family, from Aubin Grove, said on their Facebook page that she celebrated her birthday by going go-karting to get more practice before attempting to get her licence.

The page shows Anita with a 210CC purple dragster called "Pony Power" emblazoned with the My Little Pony character Rainbow Dash, while her older sister Zara has a blue-streaked dragster named "Night Fury".

Before Anita's death in Princess Margaret Hospital on Sunday, their father Ian J Board posted a photo of the girls in a car, saying "Our angel setting (out) on what was meant to be day to remember for all the right reasons. My heart in a million pieces atm."

The siblings were among 26 entrants for the Goldenstates Junior Dragster event.

Racing was temporarily suspended while police investigated.

Police want to speak with anyone who saw or took video of the crash, and are preparing a report for the coroner.

ANDRA, the venue and motorsports lovers posted messages of support for the Board family on social media.

"Everyone at the Australian National Drag Racing Association extends its sincere and deepest condolences to Anita's family, friends and the wider drag racing community at this tragic time," the association said in an emailed statement.

"ANDRA will continue to work with VenuesWest and continue to assist police with their investigations while supporting Anita's family, and ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this tragic time."

Under ANDRA rules, racers aged between eight and 10 must not exceed 96km/h, but it is understood the top speeds of vehicles driven by beginners are much lower.

Mike Sprylan of West Coast Junior Dragsters said it wasn't unusual to see eight-year-olds competing in the sport.

"They get into all sport at that age," he told AAP.