The first round of the APS Racing Australian Karting Championships comes to Adelaide's Bolivar Raceway this weekend for a clash of this countries top future talent. On display will be the international classes of karting, the very classes which...
The first round of the APS Racing Australian Karting Championships comes to Adelaide's Bolivar Raceway this weekend for a clash of this countries top future talent. On display will be the international classes of karting, the very classes which only two short years ago played host to current Williams BMW Formula One driver Jenson Button. They are also the classes from which the top crop of current Formula One drivers graduated, not all that many years ago.
In the elite Pettaras Press Formula A category, reigning champion Jamie Whincup from Melbourne has his work cut out for him as he prepares to defend his title. 1999 Intercontinental A Champion and the man who won at Bolivar last year and in Junior Intercontinental A in 1998 Neil McFadyen will be the threat in this class. McFadyen has a wealth of talent having started karting when he was seven, and he has the cool confidence of an assassin. The 16 year old Sydney driver also has the fortune to drive for the team dubbed the HRT of karting. Tim Craig's Top Kart outfit is one of the best and over recent years developed Sydney teenager Troy Hunt into one of the world's best drivers. Only last week Hunt competed in the opening round of the European Formula Super A Championships (the class won by Button in 1997) and after qualifying 22nd on the grid, stormed through to a fifth place finish just ahead of fellow Sydney driver Ryan Briscoe.
Looking to regain their lost form will be Victorian driver David Clark (1997 Champion) and Queensland's Ryan Wldozinski (1998 Champion), Richard McLeod (1993 Champion) and Adam Graham (1999 Junior Intercontinental A Champion). This will be the biggest field of Formula A karts ever seen in Australia, a field which is bigger than the national championships in England, France, Germany or Belgium.
In the McPherson Media Intercontinental A class, the biggest entry in the Series, over 34 screaming reed valve engines running at over 20,000 rpm will meet the starter in what promises to be a race to remember. Favourites include Perth's Daniel Elliott who is in his first year of seniors. The talented teenager won four Australian Championships in his final year as a junior and this year joins a team with a history that includes six consecutive World Championships. Challenges will come from Wollongong's Jason Burns, Melbourne's Tim Macrow and Matthew Wall, Sydney's Trent Rogers and Jason Hryniuk and 1999 final round winner, Queensland's Barclay Holden.
The Junior of the three classes, Junior Intercontinental A is supported by the karting industry publication KartOz Magazine. This is the class which developed 1995 World Junior Champion and 1997 World Formula A Champion James Courtney into the driver that he is today. Sydney's Courtney is currently dominating the British Formula Ford Championships, a class which was won in 1998 by none other than Jenson Button.
The weekend is sure to provide onlookers with a fantastic insight to karting, it will also showcase Australia's future motorsport champions. Who knows you may just see a future Formula One Champion in the making...