Speedsters jostle for series start
AUSTRALIAN karting’s finest competitors took to the Ipswich track for practice yesterday ahead of the opening round of the CIK Stars of Karting Series being held at the Willowbank venue this weekend.
With more than 120 drivers lining up for the event, yesterday’s practice sessions gave the drivers and teams the opportunity to fine-tune their highly-impressive machinery to gain a head start on their opposition.
In the three pro categories – Pro Light (KF1), Pro Gearbox (KZ2) and Pro Junior (KF3) – it was Gold Coast’s James Macken, Ipswich’s Scott Auld and Sydney’s Pierce Lehane who finished the day with the fastest times around the 1080-metre circuit.
Ironically, all three drivers are making their debuts in their respective categories this weekend.
Auld, who is making his return to top level racing this weekend in the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) category, was fastest ahead of defending series champion Matthew Wall.
Another Ipswich driver, schoolboy Brock Plumb, was fifth in the Pro Junior (KF3) category.
“Three weeks ago I wasn’t even sure that Iwas going to be racing after injurying my ribs, so to go out and be the fastest today it an amazing feeling,” Auld said.
“We’ve still got a long way to go in the weekend, and there are a lot of high quality drivers competing this weekend, but it is a great start and I’m confident that I will be inside the top five tomorrow.”
After finishing equal runner-up in the Pro Junior (KF3) Championship last year, Macken was delighted to enter today’s opening day of competition as the fastest in his category.
“I’ve been hanging out for the start of the series this year and make my senior debut, so to kick it off by being fastest in the opening practice is a great feeling,” Macken said.
“The quality of drivers has improved once again with some great drivers competing across all three pro categories and the racing should be really close all weekend.
“We’ve started on a good note and I was one of the fastest all throughout the day ... now the challenge is to stay on top of the timesheets for qualifying.”
Qualifying will be held from 9am today followed by three heat races.
The finals will begin tomorrow morning at 9am.
The Ipswich Kart Club is located on Champions Way at Willowbank.