Ford Kartstars at Coffs Harbour
Australia’s next generation of motor racing stars will be at Raleigh just south of Coffs Harbour this weekend (July 20-21) for the third round of the Ford KartStars Series.
Sponsored by Stone Brothers Racing, round three of this year’s Series will see a capacity grid of 32 karts take to the popular New South Wales north coast track.
As part of the event former karting champions and now V8 Supercar drivers with Stone Brothers Racing, Marcos Ambrose and David Besnard, will be on hand to offer advice to the karters.
In just their second full year in V8 Supercars, Ambrose is currently placed fifth in the championship with Besnard in eighth.
In the Ford KartStars Series the driver to watch will be round one winner Clint Cathcart of Victoria, who also placed runner-up at a wet and windy second round in Geelong.
“Canberra was a great start to the year and second in Geelong was a good result considering the challenging conditions,” said Cathcart.
“In that race Taz Douglas showed he’s going to be a force in 2002, and with plenty of other eager guys keen to show their form, the racing at Raleigh will be extremely close”.
After a troubled opening round in Canberra, Douglas is confident that the Geelong result is the start of things to come.
“We had to start off the back of the grid in Canberra going from 28th to 10th at the end,” said Douglas.
“Geelong was a great comeback and with the best four of fives races counting towards the final standings, I’m confident of fighting for the title”.
In just its third year of existence, the KartStars is the only motor racing series aimed solely at identifying talented Australian drivers and providing them with a clear and direct path, regardless of their ability to raise the significant sums of money required to compete at the top levels.
Instead of simply picking the winner of an existing series, Ford management realised that to really identify talent, a one-make class had to be created where the strength of competition relied on skill rather than money.
The top-four placegetters from the KartStars Series will be put through an intensive evaluation process with the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS). Two of these four drivers will receive a full season in the 2003 Australian Formula Ford Series courtesy of Ford Racing as well as a day’s testing with the Super Cheap Auto Racing V8 Supercar team of Steve Ellery.
Interest in the 2002 series has been outstanding with two drivers travelling to each round from New Zealand to take part.
“This level of commitment by Ford is bringing Australian karters’ dreams closer to reality,” said Howard Marsden – General Manager Ford Racing Australia.
“The benefits are not just to the final four drivers, as we will send our leading V8 Supercar drivers to each event to offer advice and inspiration to these future stars.
“Marcos and David are perfect examples of what karting does provide, we know there are others in the sport and we want to give them the best opportunity to make a career out of racing.”
All competitors run the same Drew Price Engineering (DPE) Arrow chassis and the Rotax Max FR125 (cc) engines.
A control Bridgestone YGK tyre is used specifically for this Formula, and is the same tyre that was used at the World Max Challenge final and during the Ford series in 2000 and 2001.