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AKA press release
Over the past two years, the Pro Junior (KF3) ranks have been all but dominated by dual CIK Stars of Karting Series champion Pierce Lehane and nemesis Joseph Mawson.
With the pair, along with Perth’s Jake Klarich, moving into the senior ranks for 2012, it opens the opportunity for some other young talents to shine with new battle lines set to be drawn.
Throughout 2011, there was no less than five drivers who were never far off the pace and always pushing the likes of Mawson, Lehane and Klarich – Joseph Burton-Harris (right, AF Images/Budd pic), Jake Coleman, Brock Plumb, Cameron Hill and Thomas Randle.
Plumb, who finished equal runner-up in the 2010 series and fifth in 2011, and Coleman, who finished fourth in the 2011 championship, will start as two of the strongest favourites for the 2012 series.
“I think I’ve got a real shot at the championship but it’s going to be very even with the likes of Brock, Joseph, Cam and Tommy all set to step it up a notch in 2012,” said Coleman.
“Everyone has really got a handle on the KF3 engine now and I think we’ve all learnt a lot from racing guys to the level of Pierce and Joey – especially how they prepare themselves for the events.
“Until this year I really didn’t fully appreciate how physical karting could be, so I’ve been training very hard and can’t wait for next season to start.”
Burton-Harris has been knocking on the door of victory for a while now, mixing it inside the top five throughout 2011 and he is excited about the 2012 season.
“I can’t wait, I just really can’t wait to dice it out with them all, it will be close next year,” said Burton-Harris.
“It’s definitely going to competitive in 2012, from the experienced guys and but also the drivers who have shown they are really talented in J’s. It will be a lot closer than what people think.
“I think Pierce and Joey had a bit of a mental edge over us, as we all knew how good they are, but it was more so physically. The Stars of Karting races are such long distances, which means the body development plays a big role.
“The experience we gained by racing Pierce, Joey and Jake will help us in the coming years – we were able to learn a lot from how they handled themselves in different situations and make the most of our opportunities that came our way.
“While the field will be once again high in talent none of us have made our mark yet – we’ve sort of all been living in their shadows over the past two years.”
After also being right on the heels of the leading bunch for so long, Randle recently won his very first blue plate at the South Australian State Championships edging out Burton-Harris in the Junior Max class aboard his FA Kart.
“Winning the State Championship in Junior Max has certainly given me some confidence heading into 2012. It’s going to be pretty close racing with the competitors like Joey Burton-Harris, Coleman and Plumb will now be battling for the top spot,” said Randle.
Also expected to move into the Pro Junior ranks for 2012 is Lachlan McHugh and Callum Walker (who debuted in this year’s final round) along with Anthony Martin’s younger brother Patrick.