Wall of Gratitude

The JBH Wall of Gratitude honours those who have helped Joseph throughout his career that may sometimes be overlooked as time passes. Every brick on this wall has contributed to Joseph Burton-Harris’ current success in 2015…an invaluable brick in the road to success.

FamilyThe Family: The strongest support of my life has been and is my family. I believe the root of an athlete’s success begins with their family. In my case it is taking me all over Australia and the world at the break of dawn and leaving well after the sun has set. Financially my family has been my rock; emotionally riding the highs and lows of life in sports. I would like to honour my Dad-Brian; Mum-Lisa and Brothers-Samuel & Benjamin for being there on and off the track no matter what.


IanBurtonIan Burton: My DNA and all things racing derive from my Grandfather, Ian Burton. An incredibly successful engine builder from Auckland, New Zealand, his experiences in motorsport both in NZ and the USA have guided my career from the beginning. Today, his eagle eye watches over my progress in 2015 and keeps all the technicians on their toes.


Southern Go Kart ClubSouthern Go Kart ClubBolivar Raceway: Like most families, my mother turned up at Southern Go Kart Track with a brand new Midget Arrow Kart from Ian Williams Tuning; no spanners; 1 gear sprocket and no knowledge whatsoever other than you turn the steering wheel left at Bolivar, South Australia. Without the help of all the club members; the Freer Family and Ian Williams, I may not have even started this amazing life.


Troy HuntTroy Hunt & Top Gun Racing: The best piece of advice I received in karting was from Troy Hunt. He said ‘there are no braking markers’. What he meant was that every corner; track surface; kart is different and during a race, braking may change with the weather so you must learn the process of finding your braking markers. Troy himself was 4 times Australian Champion, 13 times State Karting Champion finishing 8th in the World Championship 2000. Troy was very influential in my style of driving today and I honour his tireless efforts helping new Karter’s join the sport and develop just like I did. Start karting today!

ExpritExprit & IKD: My first corporate partnership was with IKD and the brand Exprit karts. Donald Stevenson and Ian Black at IKD taught me the importance of branding and how success on the track can convert to success in business. My Exprit kart was the only one in the Junior Max category when I began the relationship and within 12 months, 40% of the field were Exprit karts. My gratitude goes out to Don; Ian and the IKD team for showing me that results and corporate professionalism have equal importance in racing. Photograph: Gordon Cooper – thanks Gordon for some amazing photographs! 

BenGeorgeBen George & R360: My karting career in Rotax was transformed by Ben George who convinced me I was good enough to race in Europe at aged 14. Racing in the Euromax round at Wackersdorf, Germany with Peto and the FK Europe team taught me real racecraft and showed me that I could run at the front in Europe, leading laps throughout the weekend. Salbris, France with Gerry Hargatai and the Hungarian team showed me I could come from the back even against the best junior drivers in the world. Ben has such belief in his drivers and my racecraft and belief today comes in large part from him.

RKSteve Macken, Birel ART Australia: Steve Macken showed me how a professional race team operates in Australia during my time with the team in the 2012-2013 season. Steve is totally committed to winning and providing a winning environment for his drivers from the tent; to the apparel; to conduct both on and off the track; to the kart itself. My time with Steve was life-changing in understanding the total package needed to be successful and how the team environment is fundamental to that success.


TW KWorldTom Williamson Racing and Karting World: Any karter who has driven a KZ2 knows the thrill of a 6 speed gearbox; 42hp kart with top speeds of 160kph just inches off the ground. Tom Williamson made this possible for me with my first practice on slicks in the pouring rain at a track in Orange, NSW – trademark for Tom, to bring out the very best in his drivers through toughness and hard work. Qualifying 2nd in my first race at the CIK Stars of Karting was all down to Tom’s skill in this category, prompting me to think about moving to Formula where the speed really begins.

Adam and Mark at Karting World along with Greg Smith at Tony Kart Australia have always been there for me when I needed a kart to race and my return to racing after my 2014 break was all down to their unconditional support. Thank you!

Moses SmithMoses Smith & Texas Autosports: The transition from Karting to Formula can be overwhelming. Moses Smith has been fundamental in my 2015 Formula Mazda (FM) success with his positive instructions. With the power; aero and tyres of the FM allowing you to get up to 140mph (225kph) on Road Courses such as Road Atlanta and 165mph (265kph) on Ovals such as Daytona Speedway, I wanted an instructor that really cared about my success and understood how to turn my Karting hands into Formula hands. Moses was a successful karter himself, then FM driver and finally NASCAR driver so I am in great hands for 2015.

Gene RoddenberryMy life outside of racing: As an athlete, my life outside of racing plays an integral part in keeping my mind and body healthy. Gratitude must go out to Qantas Virtual, where I have spent 6 years flying thousands of hours around the world learning the complexities of the Cessna to the A380. Also keeping my mind active is Gene Roddenberry and his Star Trek franchise which may be ‘out there’ for many but does raise some interesting questions. We can learn a lot from past inventors and creators. Lastly, Michael Schumacher has been my inspiration as a driver since I was born. Such talent in my lifetime will always inspire me to be the best I can be.