KARTING STARS SET FOR SYDNEY SHOWDOWN NEXT WEEKEND
Local drivers will start as the favourites when Australia’s best kart racers converge on Sydney’s Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway for Round Four of the CIK Stars of Karting Series presented by Castrol EDGE next weekend (July 28/29).
Leading the way for the Sydney-based drivers will be Hinchinbrook’s Joseph Mawson, who recently returned from competing at the opening round of the World Under 18 Championship in Portugal.
Mawson is confident that the home track knowledge will assist him in challenging for the win in the Pro Light (KF1) category, where competitors will not only be chasing the round win but also the Franco Guaitoli Memorial Shield.
Guaitoli, who passed away last month following a short battle with cancer, was considered to be one of the most instrumental men in karting during the past few decades. He was the driving force behind the CIK style of racing and supported a number of top drivers during their careers. He was the person who many considered responsible for Australia hosting International CIK events at venues such as Eastern Creek in the 1990s.
“It will be an honour for whoever wins next weekend and it will be a privilege for whoever has their name engraved on the Shield for the first time – hopefully it’s me,” said Mawson.
“After racing in Portugal I’m pretty excited about getting back behind the wheel on my home track and put what I learnt over there into practice.
“I learnt so much over there, it was an unbelievable experience. The event was a whole different level to what we have here and I was able to learn from the best drivers in the world which will hopefully help me with my racing here in Australia.
“There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to win this round but the competition will be tough with the likes of Cian (Fothergill), Adam Hughes and (Daniel) Rochford set to be three of the toughest drivers to beat.”
Other Sydney drivers lining up alongside Mawson in the Pro Light category will include fellow World Under 18 competitor Jacob Parsons (North Shore), Matthew Waters (Horsley Park), Daniel Holihan (North Shore) and Peter Hollings (Dee Why).
Sydney will also be well represented in the Pro Junior (KF3) ranks, a title that has been won in the past two years by Castle Hill driver Pierce Lehane, with Glenmore Park’s Jake Coleman and Rouse Hill’s Joseph Burton-Harris set to lead the local charge.
Coleman was dominant on his way to victory in the opening round, however, two straight wins by Canberra driver Cameron Hill sees him enter round four a top of the points standings.
“I’m very determined to do well in my home round, I think I’m better prepared for next weekend’s event than any other since I made my debut in the series at the start of 2010,” said Coleman.
“I’ve been training hard but I know Cameron will be very tough to beat, like me he has done a lot of laps around Eastern Creek so he knows the track well.
“The competition in the Pro Junior class is extremely tough and I think Thomas Randle and Joseph Burton-Harris will be another two guys who will be right up there but Cameron’s on a roll right now and we’ve got to try and stop his run of victories.
“A good round here can certainly put me in a strong position to make sure the Pro Junior Title stays here in Sydney.”
Graystanes teenager Dimitri Agathos has secured a pair of podium finishes in the opening two rounds. However, some disappointing qualifying efforts sees him languishing ninth in the overall standings – a position Agathos is confident on improving on at his home circuit.
“The year so far has been fun and frustrating at the same time,” said Agathos.
“My lap times have been as fast as the front runners but I haven’t been able to qualify well, which has hurt me in the heat races because it has led to being involved in a incidents.
“The podium finishes have certainly been highlights of the year, hopefully I can qualify better this weekend and get my best finish of the year on my home track.”
Driving alongside Australian Champions Cian Fothergill and Matthew Waters in the Kosmic outfit is something that Agathos believes has assisted him to strive for further success in 2012.
“Being a part of the Kosmic Team has been great, to have drivers like Cian Fothergill and Matthew Waters watching me drive and giving me advice which inspires me to do better.”
Buoyed in confidence from a strong showing at the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy series opener in Portugal earlier this month, Horsely Park youngster James Abela will be out to claim a career best on his home track.
In his first year competing at the top level of Australian karting, Kings Langley’s Lachlan Gibbons will also be in action.
The honours in the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) category has been an all Queensland affair with Sunshine Coast’s Kyle Ensbey, Gold Coaster Chris Hays and Toowoomba’s Tyler Greenbury sharing the three wins so far in 2012.
New South Wales will be represented in the field by Mathew Erdmann and Joshua Pontello.
A total of 117 entries have been received for next weekend’s event with the three Pro categories being supported by competitors in the Yamaha Challenge (Clubman and Junior National) and the Australian Leopard Challenge.
Qualifying and heat races will be contested on Saturday July 28 from 9am with the finals scheduled to get underway from 9am on Sunday July 29.
The Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway is located on Peter Brock Drive, Eastern Creek.
Admission is free for spectators.
Click here to view the entry list for Round Four of the CIK Stars of Karting Series presented by Castrol EDGE.