Estonian karting champion Mario Vendla will take on some of Australia’s top young drivers when he contests the Sparco Rotax Nationals to be hosted by the Ipswich Kart Club in Queensland next weekend (September 4/5).

Vendla, who finished runner-up in last year’s World Rotax Max Challenge in Egypt, will line up in the event aboard an Australian-made Arrow chassis in the Rotax Light category.

Vendla has raced several of Australia’s top Rotax drivers previously at the World Championships. In 2007 he battled with four-time and reigning National Champion David Sera ahead of lining up against Toowoomba’s Tyler Greenbury last year.

The Estonian rates Sera as one of the best drivers he has raced against, alongside the likes of last year’s world Champion Luke Varley, Kenneth Hildebrand, Ben Cooper and Matthew Hamilton.

“I am looking forward to racing with them again; they both impressed me with their speed and have top ten results from the grand finals,” said Vendla.

“I’ll be out there to win but if I can’t do that I hope that I am at the same speed with the top drivers and can gain some great experience from my trip over here.”

Vendla will be joining Sera in the line up for the Arrow Racing team, made in Australia by Drew Price Engineering, and will surely add to the excitement of the event.

Drew Price Engineering’s Adam Klunyk believes Vendla’s entry to next weekend’s event in an Arrow kart will provide more excitement to one of Australian karting’s blue ribbon events.

“From DPE’s perspective we believe Mario’s attendance will be an injection of excitement for Australian Karting and the Rotax Nationals,” said Klunyk.

“It is fantastic that one of the best drivers in the world wants to race in Australia and that he has chosen Arrow as the Kart he thinks will give him the best chance to be competitive.

“This a big honour for us and a big indication that Australian karting continues to become recognised and respected on a worldwide basis.”

In excess of 150 entries has been received across seven categories, including three where drivers will be vying for Australian championships, for next weekend’s event.

Practice will begin next Thursday (Sept 2) ahead of qualifying on Saturday morning (Sept 4) with the finals to be held on Sunday (Sept 5).

The full entry list can be viewed by clicking here

The Ipswich Kart Club is located on Champions Way at Willowbank, just outside of Ipswich in Queensland.

Former winners of the Sparco Rotax Nationals
Rotax Light
2001 – Matthew Wall (Vic) – Arrow
2002 – Josh Arandt (Vic) – Arrow
2003 – Bart Price (Vic) – Arrow
2004 – Scott Auld (Qld) – Arrow
2005 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow
2006 – Hayden McBride (NSW) – Gillard
2007 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow
2008 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow
2009 – David Sera (Vic) – Arrow

Rotax Heavy
2001 – Damien Meyer (NSW) – CRG
2002 – Brett Davidson (Vic) – Arrow
2003 – William Yarwood (Qld) – Arrow
2004 – William Yarwood (Qld) – Arrow
2005 – William Yarwood (Qld) – Arrow
2006 – William Yarwood (Qld) – Arrow
2007 – Kel Treseder (Qld) – Top Kart
2008 – Kel Treseder (Qld) – Kosmic
2009 – Matthew Wall (Vic) – Arrow

Formula JMA
2009 – Ben Jurczak (Qld) – Redspeed

Previous Venues
2001 – Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway, Sydney, NSW
2002 – Todd Road Karting Complex, Melbourne, Vic
2003 – Mt Sugarloaf Raceway, Newcastle, NSW
2004 – Ipswich Raceway, Ipswich, QLD
2005 – Beckley Park Raceway, Geelong, Vic
2006 – Mt Sugarloaf Raceway, Newcastle, NSW
2007 – Ipswich Raceway, Ipswich, QLD
2008 – Todd Road Karting Complex, Melbourne, Vic
2009 – Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway, Sydney, NSW