Steep Learning Curve for Newcastle Teen

press release 22 July 2014

Newcastle teenager (East Seaham, NSW) Ryan Pike will race alongside the best junior kart racers from all across Australia during the penultimate round of the CIK Stars of Karting Championship presented by Castrol EDGE this weekend.

While still a year away from obtaining his road licence, Pike will reach speeds in excess of 120 km/h while competing in the internationally recognised KF3 class around the Cameron Park circuit.

Newcastle teenager Ryan Pike (#96) and Wollongong's John Iafolla (#81) will both be making their KF3 debut this weekend
Above: Newcastle teenager Ryan Pike (#96) and Wollongong's John Iafolla (#81) will both be making their KF3 debut this weekend
pic - Coopers Photography

While excited about the prospect of racing against high quality opposition, Pike is under no illusions about the challenges he will face this weekend.

“The KF3 engine has more power than anything I’ve previously driven in my career and the races are the longest that I will have ever done as well – it’s going to be tough,” said Pike.

“I’m going into the weekend with no expectations.  I’ve been running at the front of the field in other classes, but this is a whole new challenge. The only real thing I’ve got going for me is the fact that I’ll be racing on my home track.

“I think I’ll be spending the first half of the weekend adapting to the extra horsepower and grippier tyres and then fitness and stamina will be the key as the weekend goes on.”

Several years ago Pike and his family spent three years travelling around Australia while competing on 56 different circuits.  During that time they developed a number of friendships, including one with the Fullwood family from Darwin.  Bryce Fullwood is currently second in the KF3 Championship standings and he's one person Pike will be looking to for advice during his debut weekend.

“During our trip Bryce’s family and mine met; since then we’ve become good friends.  With him being slightly older than me I’ve always followed his progress and this weekend I’ll be picking his brain as much as possible,” said Pike.

Pike will be one of three drivers making their debut in the elite junior class this weekend with Wyong’s Kyle Angel and Wollongong’s John Iafolla also making the step up into the KF3 class.

The trio will take to the Newcastle circuit for the first time on Friday for practice ahead of qualifying, and the heat races being contested from 8:30am on Saturday.  The finals will be held from 8:30am on Sunday.

More than 140 competitors will be lining up on the grid for this weekend’s fourth round of the Championship.  Former Champions include the likes of Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo, V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup, Bathurst 1000 Champion Mark Winterbottom and fellow V8 Supercar drivers Michael Caruso and Tim Slade.

The Newcastle Kart Racing Club is located on Cameron Park Drive, Cameron Park.  Admission for spectators is free. 


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