AUS: Series Melbourne preview

STARS OF KARTING ARE HEADING TO MELBOURNE NEXT WEEKEND The battle is on to win a drive overseas Australia's top kart racers are heading to Melbourne's Todd Road circuit next weekend (August 7/8) for the final round of Australia's elite ...


The battle is on to win a drive overseas

Australia's top kart racers are heading to Melbourne's Todd Road circuit next weekend (August 7/8) for the final round of Australia's elite series, the CIK Stars of Karting Series.

Competitors in the CIK Stars of Karting Series use similar equipment to that used in the European and World Championships and will reach speeds in excess of 130km/h around the Port Melbourne circuit.

With an overseas trip on the line in each of the Pro categories - Pro Light (KF1), Pro Gearbox (KZ2) and Pro Light (KF3) - along with the East Coast Clubman Title presented by Yamaha, the action will be intense.

Entering next weekend's final round, Queenslander (Gladstone) Cian Fothergill holds a commanding lead in the chase for the James Courtney trophy, which is to be awarded to the winner of the Pro Light (KF1) category.

If successful in claiming the crown it will be Fothergill's first title at the elite level and he will also earn the right to represent Australia in the Asia Pacific Championships at Suzuka in Japan next year.

Unlike the Pro Light (KF1) category, the battle for the John Pizarro trophy, awarded to the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) Champion, is far from being decided.

With 85 points on offer across the weekend, Bundaberg's (Queensland) Kel Treseder holds a slender 14 point lead over Sunbury (Melbourne) driver Matthew Wall who is closely followed by Ivanhoe's (Melbourne) Troy Woolston, Gold Coaster Chris Hays and Essendon's (Melbourne) Jason Pringle.

Wall, who has changed chassis for next weekend's finale in an effort to claim his first CIK Stars of Karting Series crown, knows that it is going to be tough to snare the championship away from Treseder's grasp.

"I've been around karting for a long time now and have achieved a lot of great results but there is one thing that is missing at the top of my wish list - a CIK Championship - and I've still got a bit of work if it is going to happen this year," said Wall.

"The pace that Kel has shown this year has been very impressive but he too has to be right on top of his game. He struggled to get off the line last round and one slip by either him, myself, Troy (Woolston) or Chris Hays and the chase for the championship will be over for each of us.

"There will also be a number of local guys who are racing in the final round who could throw a real 'spanner in the works' and the fickle Melbourne weather could also play a bit part in the outcome. No matter which way you look at it the final round is set to be a cracker."

Adding more emphasis on the win is the fact that the winner of the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) category will get the opportunity to race in the SuperNats in Las Vegas during November.

Last year, the 13th Annual SuperNats event in Las Vegas, America attracted some of the world's most iconic drivers including seven-time World Formula 1 Champion Michael Schumacher, four-time World Karting Champion Davide Forè, two-time World Karting Champion Marco Adrigo and three-time World Cup KZ1 Champion Jonathan Thonon.

Entering the final round, Sydney youngster Pierce Lehane is well on track to add his name alongside the likes of Ryan Briscoe, Michael Caruso, Tim Slade and Andrew Thompson on the Jon Targett trophy as the winner of the Pro Junior (KF3) category.

Lehane quickly adapted to the extra power provided by the 125cc KF3 specification Vortex engine to win five of the six main events held already this year. While the opposition has closed the gap over the past couple of rounds, Lehane has remained at the front of the field and looks to be the one who will represent Australia in Monaco later this year (the reward for winning the championship).

Sydney drivers Jason Hryniuk and Daniel Baker will also be going at it in the East Coast Title for the Clubman category. With only four points separating the pair, one slip up from either of them in the final round will see the other one jetting off to Japan for the All Japan Championships next year.

In the East Coast Junior Title it is Sunshine Coast (Queensland) driver Mitchell Gee who has been consistent throughout the year and holds a 17 point lead over local driver Phillip Munnerley entering the final round.

There will also be a local class (Rotax 125) being contested across the weekend for the local competitors.

Practice will be held on Friday (August 6) ahead of qualifying day on Saturday (August 7) with the finals to be contested on Sunday (August 8).

-source: kart au

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Series Kart
Drivers Michael Schumacher , James Courtney , Andrew Thompson , Davide Fore , Ryan Briscoe , Michael Caruso , Tim Slade , Jonathan Thonon