Six Kiwi karters – Seniors Madeline Stewart and Dylan Drysdale, and Juniors Connor Davison, Liam Sceats, Luke Thompson and Kaden Probst – will contest the penultimate round of this year’s Australian Kart Championship at Emerald in Northern Queensland this weekend.
It’s the first time the 1005 metre track adjacent the Capricorn Highway inland from Rockhampton has hosted a round of an Australian Kart Championship and getting their karts to and from has been a major undertaking for the Australians entered, let alone the Kiwis.
“We are actually very lucky to be able to fly in and out,” says Madeline and Ashleigh Stewart’s father Tony. “To give you an idea our karts are transported for us from the team base in Wollongong which is a 17 hour drive. Making matters worse is that we have a practice for the other series the girls are running in this year, the Rotax Pro Tour, at Puckapunyal in Victoria the weekend after so the minute we finish at Emerald the truck will have to be packed up so it can head back south again.”
Like most of the top teams, the Tom Williamson squad which runs Madeline and Ashleigh also tested at Emerald last weekend. Because it is school holidays here Madeline was able to attend, but Ashleigh – who is at University in Melbourne – could not spare the time and though she will be there to support the team is not competing this weekend.
According to Tony the track is well-suited to the 6-speed gearbox/125cc KZ2 class karts Madeline is racing in the Australian Kart Championship this year.
“It’s a great track with really good facilities and the racing should be pretty exciting with some good passing opportunities. It’s quite a fast track with the KZ2s hitting 145km/h at the end of the front straight. The straight is not actually that long but there is a long, sweeping corner coming onto it with very high mid-corner speed.”
Points-wise heading into this weekend’s meeting Dylan Drysdale is the best placed of the six Kiwis making the trip with 11th place in the X30 class. Connor Davison is next with 15th in KA4 Junior then it goes Liam Sceats 18th in Cadet 12, Madeline Stewart 30th in KZ2, and Luke Thompson and Kaden Probst 31st and 34th respectively in Cadet 12.
After the penultimate round this weekend the final round of this year’s Australian Kart Championship presented by Jayco and Castrol Edge will be held in Melbourne between September 01 and 03.
2017 AUSTRALIAN KART CHAMPIONSHIP
Rnd 1 – Newcastle (NSW) February 10-12
Rnd 2 – Geelong (VIC) March 31-April 2
Rnd 3 – Monarto (SA) May 26-28
Rnd 4 – Emerald (QLD) July 21-23
Rnd 5 – Port Melbourne (VIC) September 1-3