The NSW Kart Championship has a long winner’s list of past and present motorsport stars, and recently at the Lismore Kart Track, the 2023 NSW Kart Championship was fought out, and it saw newcomer Thomas Williams score the win in the TAG Restricted Light class and become the latest driver added to that list.
In what is currently his third year of karting, and his first in the senior ranks, the 16-year-old from Toowoomba (Qld) showed plenty of front-running pace throughout the NSW Championship weekend. It resulted in him scoring his first final win in karting, but also step onto the podium for the first time.
“To have my first win in karting in a NSW Championship is quite a surreal feeling, but at the same time, it’s an incredible honour,” he expressed.
“I had a very solid run over the NSW Championship weekend, and it was awesome to be able to turn it into a win.”
For Williams, he started the weekend by qualifying fourth fastest and then went on to finish fourth and third in his two heat races on the Saturday. The following day, he finished third in the Pre Final. It saw him locked into a battle for second throughout much of the race. Starting from position three in the NSW Championship deciding Final, Williams showed good speed from the outset and remained in third, but the opening laps presented him with a winning opportunity, and he grabbed it with both hands. On lap two, Williams was following the two leading competitors when they clashed, which allowed Williams to duck underneath both drivers as they drifted wide into a turn, and then move into the lead.
The remaining 20 laps of the Final saw Williams keep his head down and hit his marks around the circuit, and he went on to greet the chequered flag and score an impressive NSW Championship victory.
“Everything worked in my favour throughout the final and I was pleased to be able to get myself in a position to benefit from the winning opportunity,” he explained.
“Once I got out in front of the Final, I knew I just had to put my head down and go for it, as I was confident that I had the pace to stay out in front, and that’s exactly what happened and I’m now a NSW Champion.”
To say that the NSW Championship win for Williams was an upset performance would be quite the understatement, especially when you consider he has only three years of kart racing experience to his name. Just on 12 months ago, Williams moved into the senior ranks, after two years in juniors, competing domestically in the KA3 Junior class.
“I’ve only been in karting for a short time, but I’ve been around motorsport my whole life. My dad has been involved with go karting and speedway for a long time,” Williams commented, who has motorsport career aspirations of trying to reach the lofty heights of Formula One.
“I know that there are people in their life that don’t get the opportunity to win a major event like a NSW Championship, so to be able to do it so early in my motorsport career is something that I don’t take for granted, and I’m hoping that I can continue to be a front-running contender.”
For the rest of the 2023 season, Williams plans to compete in local club race meetings at both Toowoomba and Ipswich circuits. When it comes to 2024, Williams and his family are hoping to be able to contest selected Australian Kart Championship rounds in order to gain more experience against the country’s top racers.
Thomas Williams would like to thank his dad Jim Williams, along with good family friend Brendan Palmer, and Justin Voigt from Diesel Spec Mechanical Repairs for the supply of his engine, along with the rest of his family and friends for their ongoing support in 2023.