Sera Rates Kiwi Title Drive As One Of His BestTweet
Top Australian karter David Sera has rated his title-winning drive in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class at the 2012 MG Tyres 2012 KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championships in Hamilton over the Easter weekend as one of his finest - despite a stellar career which so far has netted 12 Australian National titles and 42 Australian State titles.
"It's definitely up there," the 23-year-old from Melbourne said of his charge from last place to first in the 125cc Rotax Max Light class final. "It's probably not the most spectacular but it definitely had its moments. For a while there I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea. If you played that race out again 100 times I don't think it would go the same way it did that time."
Sera was forced to start the Final from the last spot on the grid after failing to finish the Pre-Final, the race which determines the grid for the Final.
Before that he had struggled to make headway in the heats, having qualified back in eighth place thanks to what turned out to be a slow puncture in one of his kart's back tyres.
It was a defective spark plug or coil which stopped him in his tracks at the start of the Pre-Final though, meaning he would have to start the Final from the rear of the grid.
Somehow, however, he managed to make up nine places under braking for the first turn, then four more out of the second when a gaggle of drivers in front of him clashed.
"I knew I had picked up quite a lot of karts and by the third lap I could see the guy in the lead so I counted myself back into about seventh place. Then the red flag came out and when the race started again I think I just had a little bit better speed than the guys at the front and I got the lead with seven laps to go which I wasn't expecting. In fact once I hit the front I was thinking, 'I've done a lot of work to get here I hope nothing falls off!'"
Sera was one of six Australians competing at this year's National Sprint Championship meeting at the KartSport Hamilton club's Agrisea New Zealand Raceway, and one of two who ended up claiming class titles and one of four who ended up with podiums.
The other title winner was 51-year-old veteran Remo Luciani who claimed the 100cc Yamaha Heavy title on Saturday after a three-way battle with Hastings driver Zack Zaloum and one of the other Australian drivers in the field, Lane Moore from the Gold Coast.
Luciani, a seven-time Australian National champion and 55-time State champion, had to use all his guile and racecraft to beat his two younger opponents and afterwards was full of praise for the level of competition here in New Zealand and for the KartSport Hamilton's Agrisea New Zealand Raceway.
"It feels good to be able to win in New Zealand," he said. "I very much appreciate this win and it didn’t come easy as there were many talented drivers in the class including the current NZ champion. "
Luciani was quickest on the downhill section from the clubrooms, and though he says the pace of the final took a heavy toll on his body he reserved special praise for the track.
"It is very technical," he said, " but one of the best I have ever driven on."
Leading the Kiwi charge at the meeting was Auckland-based international Daniel Bray who came back from problems in qualifying (he broke a gear selector) to claim the KZ2 title from three-time former champ Ryan Grant.
Other class winners included Aucklanders Arie Hutton (KF2) and CJ Sinclair (KF3), Christchurch drivers Scot Manson (Junior 100cc Yamaha) and Simon Hunter (125cc Rotax Max Heavy), and Hamilton youngster Matthew Payne (Cadet).
Multi-time New Zealand and Island Sprint class champion Simon Hunter was also in with a chance in the Senior 100cc Yamaha Heavy class only to spin out in the Final, leaving lone Kiwi Zach Zaloum to battle eventual winner Remo Luciani and fellow Australians Lane Moore and Mark Dorbolo.
He got his revenge in the 125cc Rotax Max Heavy class however, re-claiming the title he last held in 2009 from defending champion Moore and 2011 class North Island champion Zaloum.
Another top performance came from former Junior standout James Penrose from North Lowburn near Rangiora. Having won the New Zealand Junior 100cc Yamaha title for the past two years Penrose made a seamless move to the Senior ranks claiming the 100cc Yamaha Light title from Australian James Sera (125cc Rotax Max Light class winner David's 32-year-old cousin) and KF2 title winner Arie Hutton.
Only one title remains undecided after the weekend's competition, the results of the Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha one under appeal and not expected to be finalised until later in the week.
Close to 200 entries from across New Zealand and Australia entered 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) one with 24.
125cc Rotax Max Light
100cc Yamaha Heavy
Junior 100cc Yamaha
125cc Rotax Max Heavy
100cc Yamaha Light