This weekend, Sydney’s Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway sees the competition in Australian Karting’s Rotax Pro Tour intensify as the Rotax Max Grand Final Challenge in Brazil in November looms brighter. While the race against Brazil is on in earnest at Russia’s FIFA World Cup, the race to Brazil among Australian Karting’s elite will be on in Sydney, with precious few opportunities to grab one of the 11 remaining places on the coveted Australian team.
The Rotax DD2 points re-set after the midway point of the season and it has welcomed a raft of new drivers into the fight including Kiwi female racer, Madeline Stewart – who was the first female to win a round of the Pro Tour last year. Also returning in the JC (James Courtney) Kart factory outfit will be Lucas Ward, who lines up alongside brother Damien. Their fellow Queenslander, Ryan Kennedy booked his trip to Brazil a few weeks ago in the category, he’ll return in Sydney as will the Victorian he edged for the first seat on Team Australia, Nikolaj Thomas.
World DD2 Masters Champion, Troy Woolston has been irrepressible in his attempt to go back-to-back this season and he heads to Eastern Creek with a significant points lead over his fellow Victorian, Jason Pringle. Pringle has significant experience at Eastern Creek as does Matthew Wall – who comes into the weekend sixth on points. One of Wall’s many Australian Championships was won on the layout they’ll be using this weekend back in 2001.
The huge Rotax Light field will feature a number of drivers that spent their formative racing years at the 1024 metre Eastern Creek facility. Cody Brewczynski has been in great form in 2018 and representing Velocity Kart Shop – based at Eastern Creek – he will be one to beat. As will Reece Cohen, who started on the pole position for the Final at the previous round in Queensland. Jack Black has been in good form in other categories and will be another to have home track advantage. Also expect Mitchell Hewitt, Chris Bregonje and the Lichtenberger brothers, Lucas and Nicklaus to feature. They’ll have to chase down another Kiwi though in Josh Hart. The veteran has shown his vast European experience in winning the last two rounds of the Series.
Chris Bregonje’s father, Tony makes his comeback to be a hard charger in Rotax Heavy, but will be challenged hard by Series leader, Lane Moore, Mitchell Wall and Chris Board – who scored a podium last round.
James Wharton arrives for Sydney’s Junior Max race fresh from finishing with two podium finishes in the latest round of the European Rotax Championships last weekend in Sweden. He’s currently out of the points race however, with that Series changing from event to event. Currently, it is led narrowly by Jaiden Pope with the consistent Luke Pink right behind him and William Seal slightly further behind. Last round winner, Ryan Wood was dominant in Ipswich and he enters the weekend full of confidence and keen to move forward from his current fourth position on points.
In Mini Max, local drivers, Macka Hazard, Kamal Mrad and Cody Maynes-Rutty are expected to be at the front, however last round went literally to the last corner with Ethan Feather edging Series leader Costa Toparis for the event win. Queenslander, Feather returns this weekend from a recent wrist injury.
In Micro Max, a highly entertaining and competitive race is expected between the two Burns Brothers – Jaxson and Jenson, Max Walton and season long combatants Peter Bouzinelos and Jake Rutkowski, with James Anagnostiadis thrown in for good measure.
Action gets underway at Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway on Friday with practice before qualifying and heat racing Saturday, then Pre-Finals and Finals on Sunday.
Entry to Eastern Creek is free from Peter Brock Drive.
Sunday’s action will be livestreamed thanks to our sponsors, Tillett Race Seats, Hayat & Fay Catering, G-Force Karts, Homebush Karts, IKD & Freem Karting Australia through the Rotax Pro Tour Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rotaxprotour.