A bunch of Australian kart racers are heading to France to contest the 2017 Sodi World Series Final.
Eleven of them qualified via Xtreme Karting Pimpama’s Sodi Series. Three teams comprising 10 drivers will compete in the Sodi Endurance Cup, while Clay Seaborne will race ‘solo’ in the Sodi Sprint Cup.
The 26th and 27th of May is when the racing takes place, however Seaborne is heading over this week. “I want to get some practice on the short and long tracks that all those Frenchman have already been using!” he told KartSportNews. “And, I don’t want to be jet-lagged.”
The Sodi World Series is run by the France-based Sodi Kart organization. It is a world wide competition conducted by authorised race centres where drivers accumulate points and a world ranking in Endurance, Sprint and Junior categories.
Based on rankings at the end of the year, drivers and teams are invited to compete in the series’ championship final in France. According to the sodiworldseries.com website, 596 Australian drivers have earned SWS points.
Xtreme Karting Pimpama was one of the first tracks in Australia to become affiliated with the Sodi World Series, but there are now several across the country (both indoor and outdoor) where drivers can earn points.
In 2014 one driver, Leigh Di Pietro, was Xtreme’s Sprint Cup representative. The following year, a three driver team (BD Racing – Dan Nystrom, James Murden and Owen O’Rourke) contested the Endurance Cup.
For 2016, both Sprint and Endurance Cup entries were lodged, Clinton Hocking competing in Sprint Cup while the 666 Racing team (James Shields, Michael Seeto, Todd Alister) contested the Endurance Cup.
2017 sees the largest field the circuit has sent to the World Final:
- Sprint Cup:
- Clay Seaborne
- Endurance Cup:
- Team Profile Autosports (Clinton Hocking, Matt Roland, Karl Moore, Tyler Blackburn)
- Team 1788 Kangaroos (James Shields, Ryan Jones, Nathan Heuschele)
- Team TSR (Michael Seeto, Jack Hughes Todd McDonald)
Seaborne won the ‘solos’ title last year, competing in 11 rounds.
“I was lucky we had a few wet races” he said. “I was 30kg heavier than some of the other drivers, but my experience from racing as a kid, especially in Victoria (he raced AKA with the Gippsland club as a Junior), helped a lot! In one event, I lapped up to 5th in the wet.”
Fortunately for him, the competition in France will be parity equalised for a body mass of 80kg – drivers who weigh less will have ballast added.
For the competitors, the trip is self-funded. Seaborne has been lucky to assemble some sponsors to help him make the journey – BBQ to You, Beenleigh Mufflers & Brakes, Bob Jane Beenleigh, and Andrew’s Meats.