news page banner

SA's Blue-eyed Champion Aims For More Glory

AKA media 21 March 2013

Pasadena’s Luke Marquis joined an elite group of South Australian drivers who have succeeded at the national level last year when he won the 2012 Australian Karting Championship, and now he is looking to make it two from two at 2013’s running of the championship at Monarto next weekend.

When Marquis secured the Junior National Light crown last July in Australia’s most prestigious stand-alone karting event, he became the first South Australian to take home a green plate since 2006. Prior to this success in Darwin, Murray Bridge driver Mason Merritt was the only South Australian to have enjoyed victory at the national level in the past ten years.

Above: Luke Marquis enjoying the spoils of victory at the 2012 Australian National Sprint Kart Championships
pic - AF Images/Budd

Despite a move into the competitive senior ranks for this year’s championships – kicking off next Friday at the Monarto Karting Complex near Murray Bridge – the 17 year-old is confident of a strong showing at his home event.
“It didn’t really hit me until a while afterwards that I had just won the national championships, it was a very surreal feeling,” said Marquis of his 2012 win.

“The first thing I saw coming into the pit area was Stuart Morrison’s (Marquis’ pit crew) yellow vest and he walked the other way because he was crying. Then I saw all of my family and their faces made me realise what I’d just achieved.

“This year I’m concentrating on racing the National Formula Ford Championship and doing very little karting but given the nationals are virtually at home I decided to rejoin the Mollydooker Racing Team and give it a crack.”
Marquis will be lining up in the highly competitive 125cc Leopard Light and Clubman Light categories in next weekend’s event.

“I’m coming into the weekend with no real expectations, if I can run competitively with the front-running group that will be a good start and then we can see what happens from there,” said Marquis.

Above: Luke Marquis on his way to victory in Darwin last year
pic - AF Images/Budd

“With this being our home nationals, all of our family and friends will be there to support us. I’ve told all of my school mates that they need to come out and support me, so the canteen ladies will need to order a lot of food.

“James Sera (multiple-time Australian Champion) will definitely be one to beat, he’s a veteran of both the Clubman Light and Leopard Light brackets. In saying that though, there is no shortage of talent at an event like this with the likes of Jordie Ford, Ben Stewart, David Sera and Dean Foster in the fields. It’s going to be very tough but exciting at the same time.”

When Marquis was quizzed about what it takes to win the elusive national championship his answer was all about perseverance.

“A national championship doesn’t come easily, no matter what sport you are competing in and karting is no different,” said Marquis.

“It takes a lot of perseverance and you need to have the complete package to win. You really need to have a good understanding of the go-kart, you really need to know what changes affect what area of the kart – you can’t be guessing at an event like this.

“Knowing all of this only comes from doing race meetings all across the country and racing the best drivers there are.”

Marquis is one of 69 entries from the home state amongst 227 entries received across nine categories for the 51st running of the Australian National Sprint Kart Championships next weekend.

This year marks 25 years since South Australian V8 Supercar star Russell Ingall won his last of four national karting championships when he was victorious in the International Light category at the Bolivar Raceway in the 1988 event.

Drivers will take to the track on Wednesday and Thursday for practice ahead of qualifying on Friday. Heat races will be contested on Friday afternoon and Saturday with the championship finals to be held on Sunday.

The Monarto Karting Complex is located at 3711 Old Princess Highway, approximately 1km past the Monarto Zoo.





kartsportnews promo banner