Reigning Champions Set To Lead The Charge In DarwinTweet
No less than six current Australian Champions will line up on the grid at next month’s (July 7/8) 50th Australian National Sprint Kart Championships at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Karting Raceway in the Northern Territory.
Many of these champions will also be competing in the Northern Territory Championship on the preluding weekend (June 30/July 1), the 477 entries received across these two events ensures that the ten day extravaganza will become the Top End’s largest motorsport festival in terms of participation.
“The support shown by the Australian karting community for these two events has been amazing,” said National President Craig Denton.
“To have received almost 500 entries across the two events is testament to the hard work and dedication by the committee and members of the Darwin Karting Association and everyone is excited about the two great events that lie ahead.
“It’s not just the overall numbers that are impressive either, to have six current national champions and another dozen who are former national champions ensures there will be some high quality action in Darwin.”
After many years of trying, Lee Mitchener broke through to claim his maiden national championship in 2010. He then backed this effort up with victory at last year’s event held at the Cockburn circuit in Western Australia.
Mitchener (left, on his way to victory during last year's event at Cockburn in Western Australia - AF Images/Budd pic) will be aiming to join an exclusive group of drivers who have won three consecutive titles in the same category when he lines up in the Leopard Heavy category. Out to halt Mitchener from joining the group, which is headed by Brian Hunter who won three consecutive 200cc Super crowns following the inaugural event in 1963, is the likes of 10-time National Champion Matthew Wall, Hryniuk, Energy Corse Australia’s Jason Faint and West Aussie Brad Fitch.
“I’ve never been to Darwin, I’ve seen the track on google maps, so I’m heading up there with my eyes wide open,” said Mitchener.
“The championship is pretty open and I’m not going into the event without any expectations, just simply going there and not expecting anything in particular and do the best I can.
“I’ve raced wheel to wheel with just about every driver in the field quite a few times before and by all means anyone who gets on top of their game when it matters most will be able to win. The quality of drivers is very high.
“I’m not putting any pressure on myself but it will definitely be a big feat if I’m able to get three in a row. I just need to keep a level head so I can concentrate on what needs to be done.”
Practice for the Northern Territory State Championships will be held on Thursday June 28 and Friday June 29 ahead of racing on Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1.
The on track action in the National Championships will begin on the following Thursday (July 5) with two days of practice ahead of racing across the weekend of July 7 and 8.