Superkarts to Tackle Bathurst!

Superkarts will make their first appearance at Bathurst as part of the Bathurst 12-hour program this coming weekend. Six drivers will run a 3-lap session to evaluate the circuit's suitability for superkart racing in the future.

The six will represent the three most popularly contested Superkarting classes and each will record their impressions to CAMS.

The six are: 250 International drivers Tamworth-based Warren McIlveen and Melbourne's Gary Pegoraro, 125cc Gearbox drivers, Sydneysiders Jeff Reed and Ian Mash and Rotax Max: Wayne Horswell and Alan Dodge also from Sydney.

The feasibility test came from an initiative started by the Superkart Club of New South Wales, after an invitation from Bathurst 12 Hour organisers, Yeehah Events. An extensive safety study of the fabled and fast racing circuit was conducted by Workplace Safety specialist Ian Mash of Superkart Club of New South Wales with the report submitted to CAMS last year.

"Having ridden this wave from day one, it's with much excitement for not only the Superkart Club of NSW, but Superkarts in Australia that this opportunity has arisen," said Wayne Horswell, President of the Superkart Club of New South Wales. "James O'Brien from Yeehah Events and CAMS deserve a lot of praise for opening a door that has the ability to put this little known, inexpensive category on show."

If approved it will be the first time in over forty years that winged open wheel racing cars will have raced at Mount Panorama. In 1970 in the only appearance of the V8 powered Formula 5000 category, Neil Allen set a lap record that took the touring cars of the Bathurst 1000 thirty years to eclipse. Since then Formula Ford and Formula Vee, two categories that race on treaded tyres and run without aerodynamic wings have been the only open wheel racing cars to race at Bathurst. In recent years a former American Indycar has completed demonstration runs during Bathurst Festival weekend.

Strictly a feasibility demonstration run, the drivers will not be setting aggressive lap times and are not expected to approach Greg Murphy's famous fastest ever lap, although they will be exploring capabilities of their karts on the circuit.

"I can't wait to drive a Superkart around the prestigious Mount Panorama Circuit," said McIlveen. "I feel it will be very exhilarating but a little bit scary driving between those concrete walls  at speeds up to 240kph. It is also going to be an awesome spectacle watching Superkarts literally fly up and across the mountain. Many thanks to all the organisers."

Further Info:

Superkarts are one of Australia's fastest motor racing categories and also one of the most cost-effective. Built around a specialist kart racing chassis which are constructed in both Europe and Australia, these pocket rockets are powered by a mix of specialist kart racing engines, and by 250cc and 125cc Grand Prix motorcycle engines. Producing approximately 100 horsepower in the 250 International class, the karts themselves weigh just 215 kg, making for a power-to-weight ratio unmatched in Australian motorsport at an operating budget of as little as 5% of comparably swift racing categories.

Gary Pegoraro: "I feel it is an honour and a privilege to be selected to do the Bathurst test. Growing up in Australia, Bathurst has always been the pinnacle of motorsport in Australia, so to have the opportunity to drive a 250 Superkart on such a daunting circuit is a dream come true."

Jeff Reed: "To race around the world famous Mount Panorama has been a dream of mine for many years. Due to the never say never attitudes and a lot of hard work by some key figures of the Superkart club of N.S.W. the dream is getting much closer to becoming a reality. Exciting times ahead for Australian Superkarting."

Ian Mash: "I hope this is a case of one door closed, another opens, so long as it is safe enough! Losing Oran Park is a big loss to Superkart racing, but the opportunity to explore how safely and successfully these impressive little machines might lap the Mountain is something the Superkart racing community should embrace. I'm looking forward with great anticipation, and a little trepidation, to climbing the mountain, and the run down Conrod Straight will be spectacular!"

Alan Dodge: "I'm very excited to have the opportunity to take part in these test laps at Mount Panorama, and hopefully to pave the way for all Superkarts to race this great track in the near future. Many thanks to all those behind the scenes who have made this happen and especially to Wayne Horswell from the Superkart Club of NSW."