Six Aussies Tackle Kiwi Nationals This WeekendTweet
A six-strong contingent of Australian karters will compete in this weekend's MG Tyres 2012 KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Kart Championships in Hamilton.
Leading the sextet will be defending NZ Rotax Heavy champion, Queensland's Lane Moore, who won the class at last year's Easter Nationals at Invercargill.
Melbourne's David Sera, who won the North Island Sprint Championship, returns in the Rotax Light class.
The pair will be joined by James Sera (David's cousin), Mark Dorbolo and Ricky Capo, plus ageless veteran Remo Luciani from Horsham.
Traditionally, New Zealand drivers have had their annual nationals meeting to themselves as the AKA runs the Australian Championships over the same Easter weekend. But this year, Northern Territory capital Darwin is hosting that event in July, opening the way for a quick trophy hunting expedition across the Tasman.
"It's why you're suddenly seeing six of them making the trip this time," explains KartSport New Zealand Development & Administration Manager Robert Hutton. "The weather (in Darwin) is more settled in July so the Australians have moved their Nationals meeting to that month."
Of the six, David Sera is by far the best credentialed, as the 21-year-old proved at the North Island meeting last October. Not only is he a 42-time State champion and 12-time National champion, he has also won the Australian 125cc Rotax Max Light title five years in a row.
His cousin James has also got an impressive track record, the 32-year-old a 22-time State and three-time Australian champion.
However, in terms of State titles, no-one in the group can hold a candle to Remo Luciani. The 51-year-old has amassed 55 over a career spanning over 30 years in which time he has also won seven National titles, the latest in the Formula 100 class in 2010.
The other three drivers are not in the same league - yet - but Moore, a regular front-runner in Australia's Rotax Max class tour, proved what he can do on this side of the Tasman in Invercargill last Easter, beating Tokoroa's Bradley Tyrrell and Christchurch's Simon Hunter to the New Zealand 125cc Rotax Max Heavy title.
Capo, 16, is now a regular top ten contender in the KZ2 class. Although still feeling his way back into the sport after a break, 21-year-old Dorbolo has one of the best possible mentors, David Sera's father George.
Close to 200 entries from across New Zealand - and Australia - have been received for this year's MG Tyres-backed National Sprint Championships with 125cc Yamaha Light the best supported Senior class with 30 entries and Junior 100cc Yamaha the best supported Junior (under 16) class with 24.
Ten separate class titles will be contested over the Easter weekend, with qualifying on Friday then Cadet, Junior 100cc Yamaha, 100cc Yamaha Heavy, KZ2, 125cc Rotax Max Light and KF2 on Saturday, and Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha, KF3, 125cc Rotax Max Heavy and 100cc Yamaha Light on Sunday.
Three of the six Australians (Lane Moore, Remo Luciani and Mark Dorbolo) will be contesting the New Zealand 100cc Yamaha Heavy title. The others will be competing in 125cc Rotax Max Light (David Sera), 100cc Yamaha Light (James Sera) and KZ2 (Ricky Capo).