ELITE KARTERS HEADING TO IPSWICH NEXT WEEKEND While much of the focus for motorsport fans in South East Queensland this weekend is focused on the V8 Supercars event at Queensland Raceway, the spotlight will next weekend (May 8/9) turn towards...
ELITE KARTERS HEADING TO IPSWICH NEXT WEEKEND
While much of the focus for motorsport fans in South East Queensland this weekend is focused on the V8 Supercars event at Queensland Raceway, the spotlight will next weekend (May 8/9) turn towards the stars of tomorrow in the CIK Stars of Karting Series.
Round two of Australia's elite karting series will be hosted by next weekend by the Ipswich Kart Club, located on Champions Way in Willowbank, and it has attracted some of the top young drivers from across the country.
Following on from his successful debut in the Pro Light (KF1) category in Newcastle during round one, Gladstone's Cian Fothergill will start as the favourite in that category for next weekend's event.
"I haven't raced much at Ipswich over the past few years but it is a track that I really enjoy and I can't wait to get there next weekend," said Fothergill.
"Obviously I have had a great start to the series but it came very much as a surprise to me as I was using the opening round more as a test session than anything else.
"I've made some changes to my set-up since last round which will hopefully help me go faster and stay on top of the points table because after round one my goal is now to chase the championship."
Fothergill's Tracksa Racing team-mate John Grother, also hailing from Central Queensland, had a disappointing opening round of 2010 and as a result currently sits 13th in the points standings. Despite his lowly ranking Grother firmly believes that a strong run next weekend can see him back in the chase for the Pro Light (KF1) championship.
"I was very much behind the eight ball going into the opening round with all of the rain in Central Queensland and then I had a few things go wrong on track meaning I am a lot further down in the standings than what I would have liked," said Grother.
"To win the championship now is certainly harder than what it was six weeks ago but it's not out of the question and I certainly haven't given up.
"I only raced in two rounds last year, won them both and finished up in a good position in the overall standings - there is still a long way to go yet."
The Pro Gearbox (KZ2) ranks will be bolstered by the return of former front-runner in the category, William Yarwood of Cornubia (Brisbane, QLD). As a multiple national and state champion Yarwood is one of the most experienced and successful competitors in Australian karting and is enthused about getting back behind the wheel of a kart powered by a six-speed 125cc engine.
"I'm really chafing at the bit to get back out there, I'm probably more enthused about racing now than I ever have been during my career," said Yarwood.
"I think if it wasn't for the return of the CIK Stars of Karting Series I would still be sitting on the sidelines and next weekend is something that I have been looking forward to for a number of months now.
"It has certainly been a while since I've raced competitively so I've been training very hard to get back in shape to meet the physical demands that comes with the CIK style of racing."
Forest Lake (Brisbane, QLD) youngster Brock Plumb sits fifth in the championship standings for the Pro Junior (KF3) category. The 13 year-old will be one to watch next weekend as he takes on the best young drivers from across the country on his home track.
Among those drivers joining Plumb in the battle for the Pro Junior (KF3) championship is opening round winner Pierce Lehane (Castle Hill, NSW) and a number of Queenslanders James Macken (Gold Coast, QLD), Aidan Wright (Cairns, QLD), Scott May (Gold Coast, QLD), Alistair Ingram (Gladstone, QLD) and Troy Loeskow (Bundaberg, QLD).
Competitors in the Pro Light category will use the 125cc IAME KF specification engine, as used in the 2009 championship that was won by Newcastle driver Hayden McBride. The Pro Gearbox drivers will take to the track powered by a six-speed 125cc gearbox machine while the Pro Junior drivers will use a 125cc Vortex KF3 specification engine.
Running in conjunction with the series will also be a Clubman and Junior National category, where competitors will be vying for the East Coast Title, along with one class chosen by the host club. The winner of the Clubman class across the four rounds will also receive a trip to the All Japan Kart Championships later in the year courtesy of the Yamaha Motor Company.
Approximately 100 drivers are set to take to the Willowbank Kart 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 Formula 100 category.
Practice will be held on Friday May 7 followed by qualifying races on Saturday May 8 and the finals on Sunday May 9. Admission for spectators is free.