Competitive junior drag racing has been suspended in Western Australia following the death of a girl just a few days after her eight birthday. Anita Board died after losing control of her vehicle crashing into a concrete barrier during a solo test run at Perth Motorplex at the Goldenstates Junior Dragster event.

She was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital for Children but died from her injuries on 12 November.

An investigation is under way following Anita's death. Sport and Recreation minister Mick Murray confirmed that junior drag racing competitions will be halted until the police investigation was completed.

He said: "The suspension of this category of motorsport activity allows for a full investigation to be carried out into the nature of the accident."

The acting premier of Western Australia, Roger Cook, added inquiries would also be conducted by the coroner and the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA).

Anita turned eight on 9 November, just two days before her crash. Junior drag racers must be aged at least eight to take part in the sport according to rules of the drag racing association.

Racers between eight and 10 can travel as as fast as 96km/h (60mph) but it is understood the maximum speed of vehicles driven by beginners are much lower. It is unclear how fast Anita was going at the time of the accident.

Speaking to the press, Anita's father Ian Broad described her as having "a bright, bubbly personality" with an "infectious" smile.

He said: "Her passion for motor sport, drag racing and being here with her sister at the track was the highlight of her life. We were blessed to have had her for eight years and she's going to be forever missed."

Defending the sport, Broad described the crash as a "one in a million event".

He added: "We do want the kids to go on and enjoy racing, we do understand there needs to be a couple of changes, we don't believe there needs to be a major change."

WA division director of ANDRA Terry Jongen said: "ANDRA regulations for Junior competition are benchmarked against similar organisations internationally and safety is always the priority.

"Like all sporting codes, we are constantly seeking to improve.

"Once the continuing police investigation into Saturday's tragic incident at the Perth Motorplex is concluded, ANDRA will undertake its own internal investigation into what happened and what can be learned."