Sydney Karters Reminisce On V8 Podium

AKA press release

In the early nineties the likes of James Courtney, Michael Caruso and Mark Winterbottom were ‘banging sidepods’ on karting circuits across New South Wales.

Yesterday, the trio filled the podium at the inaugural Sydney Telstra 500 at the Sydney Olympic Park precinct (below).

Pic: Edge Photographics

"Today could have been the Combined District Kart Club Championship in 1992, although the trophy Mark got back then was probably bigger than the one he got today,” said Courtney in the post race press conference.

"We all grew up karting together from when we were seven at places like Lithgow, Oran Park and Wollongong.

“Back then we were banging side pods and now we're banging car doors. There were a lot of us when we were younger, a lot of people dropped off along the way but I think everyone in the V8 championship raced against each other in karting.”

Jamie Whincup, who secured his second consecutive V8 Supercar Championship on Saturday, indicated the interstate rival was also something that he thrived on during his karting career.

“It was a massive, massive battle between us Victorians and the Sydneysiders. We’d come up here and try to knock these blokes off and be very proud that we could take the trophy away from them,” said Whincup.

All four drivers developed much of their craft not only in karting more specifically the CIK-style of racing. Courtney captured two World CIK Karting Championships throughout his career (1995 and 1997) while Caruso, Whincup and Winterbottom are all former champions in the CIK Stars of Karting Series.

Above: James Courtney crossing the line for victory in the 1997 World Karting Championships

The rejuvenated CIK Stars of Karting Series will kick off in Newcastle on March 5-7, 2010 with the championship categories being Pro Light(KF1), Pro Gearbox(KZ2) and Pro Junior(KF3).