17 May, 2003 - The Byron bay bullet, Andrew Thomspon, has begun to prove that he will definitely be a force in this year's Ford KartStars Series by setting the pace during the opening day's competition at the Raleigh International Karting ...
17 May, 2003 - The Byron bay bullet, Andrew Thomspon, has begun to prove that he will definitely be a force in this year's Ford KartStars Series by setting the pace during the opening day's competition at the Raleigh International Karting Raceway.
Thompson, 15, is being assisted by well-known karting identity Jon Targett who last year crewed for Adam Graham who also dominated the Raleigh round of the series.
In only his second flying lap Thomspon moved to the top of the tables during the opening qualifying session and improved his time for the next three laps to set the fastest qualifying lap of 45.899 almost 2-tenths clear of his nearest opposition.
Troy Woolsten qualified second ahead of Adrian Estasy, Wesley May and Jason Varley.
In the opening event Thomspon led the entire distance from pole to claim the victory followed by Woolsten who was several kart lengths in arrears for the duration.
May claimed third ahead of Adrian Estasy and Tim Blanchard who was impressing many on his KartStars debut.
Woolsten got the jump on Thompson at the start of the second event to lead for the opening laps before Thompson returned to the front of the pack.
Shadowing Thompson's every move for the remainder of the event Woolsten attempted a pass on the last lap entering the NGK turn only to have Thomspon return the favour on the exit and hold on for the victory.
"I tried a little too hard on that last lap and was probably a little too anxious. I am confident we will have the pace to match it with Andrew tomorrow," commented Woolsten.
Behind the leading duo was Estasy, a much-improved Cameron Farr, Blanchard and May.
The later admitted after the event to making several changes to the kart that hindered his performance.
"We made three changes to the kart from which I think one worked which was a change to the front end but the rear end was dreadful," lamented May.
The two big movers in the pack were Varley and Reif Corbett who both failed to finish the opening event passing 30 cars between the pair.
By virtue of his second heat victory Thomspon will start on pole for tomorrow's third heat on pole and is looking forward to the longer races.
"Right now we are at the point of fine tuning the kart as it went off a bit at the end of that last race and with the longer races those laps become even more important," said Thompson.
The Ford KartStars action will continue tomorrow with the Final to be held at 2:15pm.
The Raleigh circuit is located approximately 15 minutes south of the New South Wales coastal town of Coffs Harbour.