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Last Lap Incident Prevents Solid Nationals Result

press release

A top-six final result was snatched from the hands of Gold Coast teenager Scott McLaughlin at the National Sprint Kart Titles at Sun City Raceway in Townsville a couple of weeks ago.  After a weekend of fast and demanding racing, Scott was running the ‘winner-takes-all’ final in sixth position in what was his first Nationals as a senior driver, when he was hit from behind within sight of the chequered flag and dropped to thirteenth place.

Having won every event he had contested so far this year Scott knew the 40-strong Clubman Light field would provide his biggest challenge yet.  After showing top-five speed in practice he was disappointed to line up in tenth grid position for the first of two events that would determine pre-final starting spots.  Racing in the heats saw a good improvement in pace despite tricky conditions prevailing as scattered showers hit the challenging Townsville circuit, and Scott finished the first heat in eighth place before a stellar drive in Heat 2 saw him come home in a brilliant third place. 

The accumulated result had Scott on grid three for the all-important Pre-Final, the result of which determines grid positions for the National Title shoot-out, and after a solid start Scott struggled with his kart’s speed and fell back to take a clean and mature sixth at the Chequered Flag.  

Team Engineer Robbie Morton worked with Scott on tuning the kart for the final and out of grid six Scott was hopeful of climbing his way onto the podium, but the start was the beginning of the end for the Kiwi teenager when contact with another competitor on the frantic opening lap resulted in a badly bent rear axle.  After grappling with the problems this created Scott was doing his best to hold on to the lead group but blurred vision and nausea set in as the problem worsened.

Just when it looked like sixth place was going to be just-reward for coping with the affliction Scott was pushed off the track with just four corners to go and slipped back to an un-representative thirteenth.

Said Scott, “We’ve had a great weekend and while I knew a podium was as good as a win I would have been happy to bring the kart home in sixth for the team.  Robbie and Phil (Flynn) worked their backsides off all week and they deserved it and despite the bent axle I had pretty good pace.  I was pretty crook once the race was over and couldn’t stop shaking from the pounding I had taken.  That’s the way it goes and it’s a whole lot better than having a clean weekend with only the thirteenth fastest kart in the field.  A lot of people sat up and took notice of us this weekend and I’m really looking forward to our next outing and the remaining big races this year.”

Scott’s next outing is on May 16 and 17 for Round 2 of the All Stars Series at Oakleigh’s Deals Road circuit just outside Melbourne and he will be looking to extend his current series lead when he takes to the track in his lurid green #98 machine.


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