Toowoomba's Finest Ready Themselves for Sparco CIK Karting Championships Glory! Two of Toowoomba's finest Motorsport talents will take to the track in their home event of the 2004 Sparco Australian CIK Championships this weekend, being held at...
Toowoomba's Finest Ready Themselves for Sparco CIK Karting Championships Glory!
Two of Toowoomba's finest Motorsport talents will take to the track in their home event of the 2004 Sparco Australian CIK Championships this weekend, being held at the Toowoomba International Kartway, just outside the city of Toowoomba, Queensland.
Whilst James Mann and Tim Ball come from the same town, race the same chassis, in the same class, their seasons could not have been more diametrically opposed.
Mann came into the season with no expectations of where he might have finished in this year's Motor Quality Intercontinental A title chase. Armed with the Trulli chassis, constructed in Italy by the winner of the recent Monaco Grand Prix, Jarno Trulli, that took Glenn Powles to Championship glory last season, the Super Rooster sponsored driver has put in a sterling effort, finishing second in both finals conducted so far. Poor luck during heat and pre-final racing has cost him dearly in the overall points chase, but he has been the revelation of the season thus far.
Meanwhile, Ball came into the season expected to be one of the leading lights of the Motor Quality ICA Championships. Now in his third year of the elite level of karting competition in Australia and his second with Trulli equipment, Ball has suffered with persistent brake problems at the opening two rounds. Plenty of testing in the weeks leading up to this event will hopefully have cured those problems.
Mann and Ball are chasing their 16 year old Ipswich-based Trulli nemesis, Ashley Walsh, who has made a stunning start to the season, blitzing the opposition in no uncertain terms. Walsh has had a trouble free run, holding a commanding points advantage over second placed Top Kart Driver, Paul Laskazeski.
The premier class of the weekend, Dunlop Formula A, features the closest Championship battle in each of the classes. West Australian Birel driver, Daniel Elliott, has taken both of the finals so far, but the Gold Coast's Barclay Holden, driving the Merv Tennant Painting sponsored Trulli Kart, sits just one point behind. The two fierce rivals finished in that order at Toowoomba last year, however Holden is looking to get one up on the West Aussie this weekend.
The next best in the Dunlop Formula A Championship is Wollongong's (NSW) Jason Burns. The importer and lead driver for Team Redspeed has scored a number of podiums over the season and a half that the chassis has been in Australia, but has been unable to crack it for a final win. Melbourne's Matt Wall, driving an Australian made Arrow chassis, is expected to feature prominently this weekend also.
Vega Tyres Intercontinental C is possibly the most spectacular class racing this weekend -- delivering 45 horsepower at a minimum weight of 160 kilograms with a six speed, 125cc water-cooled engine at their disposal means that these karts are a real handful for their drivers. Add in a standing start -- a la Formula One and you have one of the greatest spectacles in kart racing.
Melbourne JT Team Arrow driver, Bart Price is a convincing leader of the championship, proving to be consistently the fastest driver out there. Tom Williamson, who is currently running second in the Championship, has been the Mr. Consistency of Vega ICC, but Sydney's Mat Sofi in his Transwest Racing CRGis proving to be smooth and fast. New Zealand's Karl Wilson, driving the sister Arrow to Price, is another to keep an eye on, now that he has settled into the nuances of the ICC class.
Dunlop Junior Intercontinental A will feature Australia's best Junior karters battling it out and it is New South Wales all the way thus far, occupying first, second and fourth placings in the Championship race.
The Hunter Valley's (NSW) Joshua Scott has been dynamic in the opening rounds of the Championship with his Kubota/Definitive Racing Team BRM Chassis, but has strong opposition from Team Top Kart, consisting of current Australian Champion, Kristian Lindbom and West Australian brothers, Deepal and Amrit Kandola. After a round one aberration, Lindbom was back at his best in round two, taking victory from fellow New South Welshman, Jake Williams and Scott. The Kandolas on the other hand have been the pace setters in qualifying, but when it has come to stringing it all together in the race, things have proven to be slightly more difficult.
All eyes this round will be on Williams, who has elected to make the switch from a Redspeed Chassis to a Trulli Chassis, in the hope of bringing more consistency to his Championship results. Queensland interest will come in the form of Damien Assaillit, who will make his first appearance in this year's Championship for Pieper Motorsport Birel, whilst the 'Kiwi Konnection' of Earl Bamber and Michael Burdett will be aiming to continue their upward movements in the Championship.
All in all, it points towards a magnificent weekend of World Class Motorsport action in Queensland's rural heart, only around two hours from Brisbane.