ELITE KART RACERS TO CONTINUE IPSWICH’S MOTORSPORT FRENZY
Australia’s elite kart racers will continue Ipswich’s motorsport frenzy later this week when Round Three of the CIK Stars of Karting Series presented by Castrol EDGE fires into action at the Ipswich Kart Club in Queensland.
With the ears of motorsport fans in the region still ringing from the sounds of the Winternationals drag racing event at the adjacent Willowbank Raceway, the Ipswich Motorsport precinct will come alive to the sounds of high revving engines once again this weekend.
More than 130 drivers from various parts of the country will be competing in this weekend’s event that will feature three elite categories – Pro Light (KF1), Pro Gearbox (KZ2) and Pro Junior (KF3) – along with three Challenge categories.
As the elite level of karting in Australia, this series has been responsible for developing the skills of numerous V8 Supercar champions and stars – none more so than three-time V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup, who is a former champion of this series.
Other current V8 drivers who are former champions of the CIK Stars of Karting Series include Mark Winterbottom, Tim Slade and Michael Caruso while James Courtney is a dual World Karting Champion.
Forest Lake teenager Brock Plumb is competing in his third year at the top level of the sport, and he’s confident of a top result in the Pro Junior category this weekend.
“The level that I’m now racing at there’s no real home track advantage as such because the competition is so tough,” said the Year 10 Ipswich Grammar Student.
“I’m trying just to treat it like another round of the series, they’re all worth the same amount of points and you’ve got to score as much as you can all of the time.
“In saying that though, I’m pretty confident heading into the weekend as I do know the track better than any other in the series. I’ve also got a new Arrow kart, which was only launched two weeks ago and felt really good in testing at another track last weekend, I think we’re in pretty good shape.
“I think Lachlan McHugh (Gold Coast, QLD) will be very competitive at this round, he’s done a lot of laps around Ipswich and has qualified well at the past two rounds, so I think he’ll probably be one of the hardest to beat.”
After two rounds in the five round series, Plumb is third in the standings behind Jake Coleman and Cameron Hill, who won round one and two respectively.
Toowoomba’s Tyler Greenbury is the reigning champion in the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) ranks, however, the Bolt Pro Racing driver has been upstaged by Sunshine Coast’s Kyle Ensbey so far in 2012 who currently leads the chase for the championship.
Gold Coaster Chris Hays, who’s home track is Ipswich, won the most recent round in Newcastle to currently be 19 points in arrears of Ensbey in the standings. Greenbury is fourth, behind Victorian Jason Pringle and 50 points adrift of the lead.
“The year probably hasn’t started as good as what we would have hoped but we’ve changed chassis makes to the CRG since last round, so hopefully that will give me a boost this weekend,” said Greenbury, who finished runner-up in the corresponding round last year.
“While I’ve only done one weekend of testing in the new chassis, I’m very happy with how that all went and really looking forward to a good showing this weekend.
“It’s our home round for the year and I’d love to get a win for my team owner Brian Hicks and also to make it a winning debut for CRG.”
In the Pro Light category, Victorian Daniel Rochford has shown that consistency is what matters most and as a result, he finds himself as the championship leader entering round three.
Yatala-based Harrington Doyle Racing fields two drivers in this highly competitive category with Toowoomba’s Brooke Topp and Mackay’s Jarrad Ebzery behind the wheel.
For Topp, who is a second year University of Southern Queensland student, he openly admits that competing in the Pro Light category – where the drivers are chasing the James Courtney trophy – is the toughest challenge he has ever faced in his ten-year karting career.
“I’ve been racing for ten years but nothing I’ve done before comes anywhere close to competing at this level of the sport, it’s been a very steep learning curve,” said Topp.
“It’s no longer just about being fast but it also about being super fit and ensuring your kart set-up is spot on every time that you hit the track. One mistake whether it due to fatigue or kart set-up and it will cost you dearly.”
Many other local drivers will be lining up in the Australian Leopard Challenge and Yamaha Challenge (Junior National and Clubman). These categories provide the opportunity for club and state level competitors to compete in Australia’s most professional karting series.
Along with the main competition across the weekend, on Sunday there will also be the Castrol Cadets Challenge (drivers aged between 7 and 11 years old) at 11:40am and 12:00pm on Sunday. This will demonstrate the car control and driving techniques of these youngsters.
A total of 134 entries have been received for round three of the CIK Stars of Karting with practice being held on Friday ahead of qualifying and the heat races on Sunday. A pair of main events will be contested on Sunday.
The Ipswich Kart Club is located on Champions Way, Willowbank.
Admission is Free for Spectators with catering available. There will also be a jumping castle and face painting for the kids.
To view the complete entry list please click here.