AUS: A farewell to Oran Park

KARTERS GETTING SET TO SAY GOODBYE TO ORAN PARK When the chequered flag falls on the final race at the Sargents New South Wales State Karting Championships at Oran Park in Western Sydney this weekend (October 2-4), it will complete one of the ...

KARTERS GETTING SET TO SAY GOODBYE TO ORAN PARK

When the chequered flag falls on the final race at the Sargents New South Wales State Karting Championships at Oran Park in Western Sydney this weekend (October 2-4), it will complete one of the final chapters in the history of the celebrated venue.

Over the past 40 years the Oran Park Raceway in Narellan has been the venue for some of the most memorable races in Australian karting history with a number of the world's top drivers taking to the circuit behind the wheel of a kart.

The Oran Park venue played host to the Oceania Championships on a number of occasions with the likes of world-class drivers such as Jarno Trulli, Alessandro Manetti, Anthony Davidson and Jan Magnussen all competing alongside Australia's best.

Some of the drivers who have 'cut their teeth' on the Oran Park circuit include IndyCar Championship contender Ryan Briscoe, dual World Karting Champion James Courtney and last year's V8 Supercar Championship Runner-Up Mark Winterbottom.

With a new housing estate taking over the Oran Park region in the near future, this weekend's event will be the final Championships to be held at the venue.

Almost 400 entries have been received for the Championships making it one of the largest events on the Australian Karting Calendar this year.

"While it is sad that the end to Oran Park is near, it is very exciting to see so many karters coming out to compete at the final State Championship that will be held at the venue," said Australian Karting Association (NSW) President Richard Erdmann.

"Over the years we have seen some of the best racers in the world compete at Oran Park and it has also provided the opportunity for many Australia's top line drivers to develop their careers in the sport as well.

"This weekend's event is certain to be a memorable one with the best drivers from all across the country coming to compete in a variety of classes."

Winston Hills driver Jason Hryniuk is the defending Champion in the Clubman Heavy category and after coming within 200 metres of claiming his third Australian Title earlier in the year he is aiming to make amends this weekend.

However, the 29 year-old will face tough opposition from the likes of Silverdale's Jason Varley, current Australian Champion Matthew Wall and last year's runner-up Brendan Nelson from Queensland.

"I've been racing for over 15 years now and the competition continues to get tougher with every major event. Many of us in Clubman Heavy have been racing for a number of years and are mates off the track but when you put the helmet on we're all out there to win," said Hryniuk.

"After coming so close it was disappointing not to have won the Nationals but to win the final State Championships to be held at Oran Park will certainly go a long way to erasing that disappointment.

"Over the past few months I've been training pretty hard to make sure I'm ready for this event. I'm really looking forward to getting out there this weekend and hopefully winning back-to-back State Championships."

Varley, who is a dual Australian Champion and seven-time runner-up in State Title events, believes that Hryniuk will be the pacesetter this weekend.

"Jason has certainly been the pacesetter around Sydney this year, he dominated the final round of the Premier State Cup and will be tough to beat this weekend," said Varley.

"I've got some great memories of Oran Park, from when I was a kid watching my Dad race on the big track through to watching Ryan Briscoe win the Oceania Junior Title in 1996 along a number of great races myself in a kart, however, the best one of all will come if I can finally break through to win a State Championship this weekend."

There will be 14 categories being contested over the weekend catering across a variety of age, weight and engine capacities. Qualifying begins on Friday with heat races being contested throughout the afternoon and into Saturday followed by the Championship Finals on Sunday.

The Oran Park Raceway is located on the Great Northern Road, Narellan.

-credit: karting.net.au

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Series Kart
Drivers Jarno Trulli , James Courtney , Anthony Davidson , Jan Magnussen , Ryan Briscoe , Mark Winterbottom , Brendan Nelson