The 4th round of the Newland and Associates WA KZ Series hits off this Saturday, August 26th in Albany. The Ablany Kart Club track is a fast and physical circuit and always offers close racing for the KZ’s.
As always, putting its support behind the series is PatriziCorse who have given placed drivers a Vrooam Oils pack which is sure to keep their equipment in winning condition.
The 2017 Season also sees the introduction of the Newland and Associates “Arrive and Drive Award”. This is awarded to drivers in the X30 class who have been picked because of exceptional results.
The drivers get a chance to experience a full race weekend at the next level of racing in a KZ, which hopefully leads to bigger and better things.
The fourth X30 driver to get picked is… Michael Jones! Michael recently spoke to us about the award:
Q – Michael, welcome to the WA KZ Series. You have been awarded the Arrive and Drive based on your performance in the X30 class. It must be a great feeling to get the award?
MJ – To be honest it was a big shock to be offered the Arrive and Drive as I have only done two open meets in an X30, and one club day. I struggled for pace in the first one, but managed to finish the second one on the podium at the Coastal Classic in Bunbury. (It’s) definitely a great feeling to be offered the drive and hopefully I can reward the series and Newland and Associates with a good showing.
What are your expectations for the weekend? Have you got your eye on the $500 winner’s prize?
Anytime I pull the helmet on I want to win, but I’m also realistic that the guys at the front of the WA KZ field are as good as anyone in the country. If I can be near them on pace and not stuff the starts up I’ll be happy. However in saying that, if my pace is good in practice I will be giving it everything to take home that winner’s cheque.
Have you cut any laps in a shifter before?
Upon accepting the offer I hadn’t even sat in one, let alone cut laps.
The first person I messaged after accepting was Gumby (former KZ series champ and all round good bloke, Simon Gwilliam) and asked him to give me a crash course in driving one. He did one better and let me drive his last weekend at the club day. So I have now done three practice session and one heat in a Shifter and surprised myself and a few others with how quickly I came to terms with it. But with that in mind, one lap pace is one thing- a full race weekend in one will definitely test my fitness levels and ability to look after the tyres.
What’s your aim in motorsport? How will the KZ experience benefit your career?
Unlike the last few guys that have been offered the Arrive and Drive package, I am a bit older and have no plans to continue into cars in the future.
If all goes well this weekend and I could come up with the funding, I would love to have a crack at the full KZ series in the future, but with a young family, that would take some sponsorship to make it happen. For now I will have to settle for a one-off appearance before setting my sites on winning a blue plate at the WA State Titles down in Albany later in the year.
I think the KZ experience will definitely help me with my driving. If you want to be the best, you need to race against the best and like I said before, these guys are some of the best in the country.
I also would like to take the opportunity to thank the guys that have helped me out along the way to get to a point where I could even be offered this opportunity – John Brennan for first convincing me to change over from dirt to bitumen, Greg Dicker, Trev Gaynor, Simon Minton and the whole Flatout Kart family for the help over the last few years, I would definitely not have been in a position to be given this opportunity without their guidance and help. Lastly thank you to the WA KZ committee and Newland and Associates for the opportunity of the Arrive and Drive package. I’m really looking forward to the weekend.