CIK: RMC: Australian Karting preview

AUSTRALIAN KARTERS READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD IN ITALY A group of Australian karters are currently preparing themselves for the biggest race meeting of their young careers as they get set to compete in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at...

AUSTRALIAN KARTERS READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD IN ITALY

A group of Australian karters are currently preparing themselves for the biggest race meeting of their young careers as they get set to compete in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at the La Conca circuit in Italy this weekend (November 28-30).

The Australian contingent will be among the 216 drivers, who are representing a total of 55 countries, competing at the prestigious Event.

This will be the ninth time the World Rotax Final has been contested. The La Conca circuit is regarded as one of the best in the world and the southern Italian location should guarantee mild and dry conditions at this time of year.

Leading the way for the team will be multiple Australian, and current National Rotax Light, Champion David Sera.

Over the past few years the 20 year-old Victorian has been the star performer in Australian karting. After representing his country at Langkawi, Malaysia in 2005 and Abi Dhabi, Dubai last year, this will be his third tilt at the World Rotax Final.

In the corresponding Event last year Sera was the dominant driver and appeared on track to secure Australia's first victory in the 125cc Rotax Senior category until his campaign was derailed by a technical infringement. After starting from near the rear of the field in the pre-final, he would eventually claw his way up the order to finish in ninth spot in the final.

"After the disappointment of last year I'm out to prove myself on the world stage, I'm really determined to put in a good showing and do Australian karting proud this weekend," said Sera.

"The World Rotax Challenge is a great formula, with everyone using identical chassis and engines it allows a driver to really show their true talent. It is not a case of whoever has got the biggest budget will win - it is who can set the kart up the best, has the most talent and gets everything right on the day that ends up being the winner."

Sera will be joined in the Senior Rotax category this weekend by fellow Victorian Troy Woolston.

Also competing in the senior ranks will be the winner of the Australian Rotax points championship Rick Pringle. The Victorian will be representing Australian in the two-speed Rotax DD2 category, which was won in 2006 by Austrian-based Tasmanian Ben George.

Gold Coast driver Chris Hays and Victorian Josh De Maio will be Australia's representatives in the Junior Rotax category at this weekend's event.

This time last year Hays was visiting the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One factory and spending time with Lewis Hamilton, who is now the Formula One World Champion, as a part of a mentoring program by Vodafone Australia.

Hays is joined in his campaign at the Event by former Australian driver, turned mentor, Jon Targett who was one of the stars on the European karting scene during the late eighties and early nineties. Since hanging up the helmet Targett has been one of the influential mentors in the careers of a number of drivers, including two-time world karting champion James Courtney.

De Maio has been one of the leading junior drivers in Australia throughout 2008 and took out the Junior Rotax points championship following his second placing in the Rotax Nationals held at Melbourne's VACC Park in September.

The Australian team is supported by International Karting Distributors, the Australian importer of the Rotax kart engine.

Also competing this weekend will be Gold Coast-based Kiwi Scott McLaughlin. The Britek Motorsport Scholarship driver earned his trip to Italy by winning the 2008 New Zealand Rotax series and as a result will be representing the land of the long white cloud in the Event.

-credit: karting.net.au

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Series Kart
Drivers James Courtney , Lewis Hamilton , Scott McLaughlin