CIK STARS OF KARTING SERIES TO KICK OFF IN NEWCASTLE NEXT WEEKEND The karting series that assisted to fine tune the skills of the likes of dual V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup, IndyCar Series star Ryan Briscoe and many other Australian ...
CIK STARS OF KARTING SERIES TO KICK OFF IN NEWCASTLE NEXT WEEKEND
The karting series that assisted to fine tune the skills of the likes of dual V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup, IndyCar Series star Ryan Briscoe and many other Australian motorsport stars will fire into action at Newcastle next weekend (March 5-7).
The 2010 CIK Stars of Karting series is the elite level of karting in the country with competitors taking to the circuit using equipment similar to that used in the European and World Karting Championships.
Drivers in the Pro Light (KF1) category will be out to chase down local pair Hayden McBride, who took out the 2009 championship, and Simon Roberts -- who finished third in last year's series.
"I've been doing a fair bit of testing over the past couple of months and also focusing a lot on my fitness because the CIK-style of racing certainly takes its toll on your body," said McBride.
"As the defending champion you are always going to have a bit of a target on you as the one people are really out there to beat, but I think we've got some really good drivers in the series this year and it's going to be tough.
"With the first round being at my home track it is a little bit of an advantage to me and I'm confident that I'll be able to start the year off well."
After finishing last year off strongly, with victory in the final two rounds, Queenslander John Grother has got his sights set on wrestling the title away from McBride in 2010.
"Last year I wasn't able to commit to the entire series due to work commitments, however, this year I am fully prepared and ready for an all out assault on the championship," said Grother.
"I will be a part of a five kart team from Central Queensland with support from Tracksa, a track safety lighting system, and I can't wait to get out there on the track at Newcastle."
This year marks the return of the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) category and the elite junior category of the sport across the globe, Pro Junior (KF3).
The Pro Gearbox (KZ2) category will see drivers take to the circuit aboard six-speed 125cc engines, which produce in excess of 40 horsepower. The rejuvenation of this category has re-ignited the enthusiasm by many experienced competitors -- including nine-time Australian karting Champion Matthew Wall.
"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," said Wall.
"Now, with the inclusion of the KZ2 spec Pro Gearbox category into the series it has re-ignited my passion to chase a CIK Championship and the sport of karting as a whole. I'm can't wait to get out there."
Wall will battle with the likes of Victorians Josh Arandt, Jordie Lindstrom, Troy Woolston, Jason Pringle and rising star Chris Hays from the Gold Coast, in the chase for the title in the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) category.
For the first time in five years, the elite level of junior competition will return to Australian circuits with young drivers taking to the track to battle for the Pro Junior (KF3) Australian Championship.
In what is looking like a state of origin battle, with the bulk of the entries for this category coming from New South Wales and Queensland, young guns Jonathan Venter -- just back from racing in America, Pierce Lehane, Jake Coleman and Jacob Parsons will fly the flag for the host state.
"It is going to be a very busy year for me but I'm very much looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead," said Coleman.
"My engine for the CIK Stars of Karting Series didn't arrive from Europe until last week and with the opening round of the series being so close I will be spending a fair bit of time squeezing some practice in.
"There is just so much more work with these karts, they are so much more powerful, the tyres are so much grippier and from what I am told fitness will play a big part."
Almost 100 drivers are set to take to the Cameron Park (Newcastle) circuit for the opening round of competition across the six categories being contested. In addition to the three Pro categories the up and coming competitors will contest the opening round of the East Coast Title for Clubman and Junior National while local competitors will battle it out in the TaG Restricted category.
Practice will be held on Friday March 5 followed by qualifying races on Saturday March 6 and the finals on Sunday March 7. The Newcastle circuit is located on Cameron Park, Cameron Park (just outside of Newcastle) Admission for spectators is free.