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Murray Bridge Racer Set For His Biggest Test

AKA media 25 March 2013

For the past seven years, Murray Bridge kart racer Michael Phillpott has been chasing trophies across the state.  This weekend, he gets to chase glory on his home track at Monarto against the best drivers from all across Australia.

Phillpott will have the local hopes on his shoulders when he lines up in the highly competitive 125cc Leopard Light category in the 51st Australian National Sprint Kart Championships at the Monarto Karting Complex this week.

Michael Phillpott in action behind the wheel of his CRG kart
Above: Michael Phillpott in action behind the wheel of his CRG kart
pic: AF Images/Budd

The 19 year-old has only recently graduated into the category but says he’s not nervous of taking on some of the best drivers of all-time such as 12-time Australian champion David Sera and his cousin James at the event.
“Coming into the weekend, I’m not feeling any nerves.  We’ve been doing a fair bit of testing lately and I finished second at the Shakedown Meeting a few weeks ago, so I’m hopeful of a good result,” said Phillpott, who is one of 38 drivers in the Leopard Light category.

“I know the kart has the potential but I’ve never raced in such a big field, so the first aim is to qualify inside the top 20, and then move up through the heats to hopefully be inside the top ten for the final.

“When I look at the line-up, it is full of state and national champions, so there will be no easy place, it’s going to be very tough.  However, in saying that though just because they’ve won more titles than me it doesn’t mean that they’ve got into my head.”

While taking on the high quality opposition is one thing, racing for the first time at the national level on his home track in front of his friends and family is another.

“It’s going to be pretty special racing at the Nationals with all my friends and family there who have supported me throughout the years.   It is my first nationals, but because I’m so familiar with the track I’m not going in blind like I would be if it was being held interstate,” said Phillpott.

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

It is the first time Australia’s most prestigious stand-alone karting event has been held at the five year-old Monarto Karting Complex.   It is also the first time it has been contested in South Australia since the Southern Go Kart Club hosted the 2006 event at the Bolivar Raceway, where Murray Bridge’s Mason Merritt was victorious in the Clubman Light category.

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.




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