Townsville Karters Prepare For Hometown Nationals

AKA press release

Local Townsville kart racers have started to count down the days until they take on Australia’s best drivers from across the country on their own circuit, the Sun City Raceway, for the National Championships in April

With the 47th National Sprint Kart Championships sponsored by Yamaha now less than 50 days away, preparations by both competitors and Event organisers are beginning to move into top gear.

“This Event is set to be the biggest that the Club has ever hosted and after several years of planning it is hard to believe that it is less than 50 days away,” said Townsville Kart Club President Ken Cann. “Despite all of the rain in the region, the circuit and all of the surrounds are in good condition and looking great.

Above: Townsville's Brad Belcher is one driver counting down the days until this year's Nationals.

“At this stage we’d expect that there will be around 400 competitors from all across Australia coming to compete at the Championships, ranging in age from as young as 12, both boys and girls, right through to drivers in their fifties.

“Along with the competitors there will be almost 1,000 others that are directly involved in the Event coming to town, which will certainly provide the economy with a nice boost leading into the peak tourist season.”

Two of the local stars expected to figure prominently at the National Championships are State Champions Brad Belcher and Corey James. The duo climbed aboard their karts last week to begin the countdown to the biggest race meeting of their careers.

For Belcher, the Championships will be the biggest Event in his ten-year career and his best shot at claiming the prestigious green plate awarded to the National Champion.

“It is going to be a huge bonus to be able to take on the best drivers from across the country on our home track,” said Belcher, who is a former State Champion in the Clubman Heavy category.

“I’ll certainly go into the Event with a positive attitude and a fair bit of confidence but there will probably be around 10 to 20 guys who have a realistic shot at winning if they can get everything right on the day.

“Over the next month I’ll be doing a fair bit of testing to make sure I’m as best prepared as I can be and hopefully that will be enough to run near the front of the field.

“The last time I raced at a National Championships was in Sydney two years ago. I was running inside the top ten in the Final until I bent the rear axle on my kart which ended my campaign.”

Above: Corey James is looking forward to racing Australia's best on his home circuit.

With the recent Victorian Open Sprint Kart Championships, the traditional opening major event on the karting calendar, being postponed until May 8-10 due to the bushfires, the National Championships will be Australian karting’s first ‘blue ribbon’ event to be held in 2009.

The Townsville Kart Club will host its next race meeting on this Saturday February 28 with the track set to get a final shakedown by competitors on March 21 before the National Championships fire up in 50 days time.



1 Round 1 Central Coast Speedway 

1 Grenfell 

1 Vic Minarelli Open Performance & Nthn Zone Leopard Qualifier. Lismore 

7 Sydney Kart Racing Club 

8 Round 2 NSW Speedway 

8 Sapphire 

8 Orange 

8 Junior Challenge-Rd 1 & Club Championship-Rd 2 Port Macquarie 

14 North Shore 

15 Canberra 

15 Coffs Harbour 

15 Dubbo 

21/22 Combined Districts 

21/22 Southern Zone Round 2 Wagga 

21 Northern Zone Leopard Qualifier Manning Valley 

22 Round 2 Central Coast Speedway 

22 Round 3 NSW Speedway 

28/29 Newcastle 

29 Grafton 

29 Newcastle

28 Round 1 Darwin

1 Fraser

7 Ipswich

7 Gladstone

7 Mt Isa

7 Cairns

8 Cooloola Coast

14 Mackay

15 Warwick

15 Rockhampton

21 Final Countdown Townsville

22 Toowoomba 

28 Cairns

28 Towers

29 Enterprise Air Cup Bundaberg

29 Gold Coast

1 Junior Showdown Mt Gambier 

14/15 Festival State Cup 1 A&B GKCSA

15 Open Meeting Whyalla

21 March Meeting Broken Hill

29 March Club Day Mt Gambier

7/8/9 50 Years of Karting Tas NWKC

21/22 WT House Retravision Club Titles Rnd 2 – State Closed Titles CHKC

29 Club Day – Closed Meeting All Clubs

1 Open Meeting South West 

8 Country Series Round 1 Wimmera 

14/15 All Star series Round 1/Winter cup Geelong

22 Golden Power series round 1 Gippsland

29 Closed club day (all clubs)

1 Northern Zone Round 1 Impala

7 City of Perth Round 1 Hurricane

14/15 Clubrun Weekend

28/29 WA State Title Series Round 2 Mid West