Memories of the atrocious weather that prevailed on the Saturday of last year's CIK round at Dubbo were erased today with perfect conditions greeting the drivers and crews for the first day of practice for the penultimate round of the 2004 Sparco...
Memories of the atrocious weather that prevailed on the Saturday of last year's CIK round at Dubbo were erased today with perfect conditions greeting the drivers and crews for the first day of practice for the penultimate round of the 2004 Sparco CIK Australian Championships at Lincoln County Raceway.
Drivers were greeted to a track cleaned by welcome recent rains in the drought stricken region, with most teams devoting the available track time to setup for the qualifying sessions tomorrow. It was a day of contrasts, with some teams opting for softer settings while others spent the day chasing grip with a harder setup. The Dubbo track is renowned for laying the rubber down well and this weekend appears to be no exception, with a number of drivers already picking up two wheels in some corners.
The notable omission this weekend is reigning Australian Intercontinental A pilot, Glenn Powles, who has been forced to retire from the Formula A Championship due to work commitments, whilst the premier class welcomes Hunter Valley based debutante and former Intercontinental A driver, Luke Wood driving an Azzurro/Parilla combination, the lone Australian manufactured Azzurro in the Championships.
Other omissions this weekend include Leah Unsworth from the Intercontinental A Championships, who is suffering from a mystery illness and Shannon Pearce (Junior ICA) who is still recovering from rib injuries received at the last round in Toowoomba. Another suffering with rib problems is New Zealand's Michael Burdett, who sustained injury a couple of weekends ago in the New Zealand Junior Rotax Championship. His Junior Intercontinental A combatant, Earl Bamber, is competing in the latest round of the Junior Rotax Championship this weekend, which he currently leads, hence his non-appearance at Dubbo.
The Junior Intercontinental A class is being setup as a great battle between current Championship leader, and defending Champion, Top Kart's Kristian Lindbom and round one victor, Definitive Racing BRM's Joshua Scott. The two traded fastest times throughout the day.
Ashley Walsh is expected to continue his run in Motor Quality Intercontinental A, proving to be fairly handy around the demanding Dubbo layout.
In other news, Trulli's Barclay Holden has moved a further five points clear of Birel lead driver Daniel Elliot in the chase for the Formula Title due to his appeal relating to qualifying from the first round at Geelong being upheld.
Vega Tyres Intercontinental C continues to grow with the welcome addition of Daniel Erickson (DB Motorsport/Ultimate Kart Engines) in the First/Pavesi and WA's Jared Bishop (PDB Racing Havelock Group Gyro Tune) Gillard Pavesi. An exciting addition in the Motor Quality Intercontinental A class this weekend is the surprise inclusion of former JICA star Deepal Kandola, who showed immediate pace and could play a pivotal role in these final two rounds.
Fine and sunny conditions with temperatures expected in the low 20's make for some mouth watering karting action this weekend at Dubbo's Lincoln County Raceway.