Top Finish for Kiwi Karter At AKA NationalsTweet
Wanganui karter Aaron Marr has returned home happy after finishing fourth in the premier Clubman Light class at the Australian National Karting Championship meeting in Darwin over the weekend.
The 17-year-old Wanganui Collegiate student was one of the front-runners in the class, qualifying seventh quickest before working his way to fourth in both heats, third in the Pre-Final and second for much of the 16 lap Final.
Unfortunately, with just two laps to go he was shuffled back to fourth after being pushed wide in a corner and passed by Anthony Martin and defending title holder Cian Fothergill.
Because the Australian Sprint Kart Championship is usually run, like the New Zealand one, over the Easter weekend, it's rare for a Kiwi driver to even contest the event let alone do well at it.
But with the 50th annual meeting being held in Darwin this year the Australian Karting Association allowed the organising club to run the event in July, when day time temperatures in the Northern Territory are not so high. In doing so they allowed Marr to contest the New Zealand title meeting at Hamilton in April - where he also finished fourth, in that case in the Senior 100cc Yamaha Light class - and the Australian one in Darwin this month.
The club also sought and was granted permission to run a split programme, with some classes running through the afternoon and others - like Clubman Light - at night under lights.
To give out-of-state drivers a chance to get used to the Darwin track the club ran its own Northern Territory State Titles meeting the weekend before.
Marr, who was run by his father Lloyd in a leased Arrow A9X kart, also did well at that meeting - qualifying sixth and running in the top 10 in the heats, Pre-Final and Final only to be punted off the track and out of the race with just two corners to go while lying fourth.
Now that he is back at home Marr's focus will return to single-seater racing cars. Earlier this year he won the annual SpeedSport Scholarship - which offers an all-expenses-paid drive in the 2012/13 New Zealand Formula First championship - and last month he started from pole position and won all three Formula First class races at the first round of the Manfeild circuit's annual Winter Series.