Australian Pair Off To Japan This WeekendTweet
Australian kart racers James Greenwood (Springwood, QLD) and Justin Ford (Sunbury, Vic) jetted off to Japan yesterday for this weekend’s All Japan Yamaha SL Final to be held at the Yamaha-owned facility in Sugo.
The pair won the trips courtesy of competing in the Yamaha Challenge as a part of the five-round CIK Stars of Karting Series presented by Castrol EDGE, which concluded last month in Melbourne.
Greenwood was nothing short of dominant on his way to victory in the Clubman category during the series. Ford's trip came courtesy of him winning the random draw of competitors who competed in more than three rounds throughout the year. He finished third in the Junior National Light category.
“I’m really looking forward to experiencing the different culture in Japan and racing against the best drivers they have,” said 22 year-old Greenwood.
“I’ve been overseas before on holiday to Europe and America but never to Japan and never overseas to race. I can’t wait to get over there.
“My aim for the weekend is to learn as much as possible and hopefully end up with a good result somewhere near the front of the field. My Dad, Gary, is coming with me as my mechanic, we work well together and I hope that we can do everyone who has supported me proud.”
“My biggest supporters would have to be my dad Gary along with my Mum Gill - they have always gone above and beyond to help me anyway they can. Also my brother Matt is always there to help out when he isn't racing his Speedcar. Trevor Beetham is also a huge support to me and my girlfriend Trish has supported me a lot in the last couple of years. A big thanks must go to Remo Racing for helping me get the series win this year along with Grant and Jace Lindstrom from Pro Karting.
"Without the support from the Yamaha Motor Company, especially Adam Wolfenden, and Lee Hanatschek from the Australian Karting Association and the CIK Stars of Karting Series, none of this would be possible. Xzuit have supplied me with an awesome Australian race suit to wear, which I will do with pride, and William Yarwood from Project X racing has supplied me with new Sparco boots and gloves.”
Like Greenwood, this weekend will be Ford’s first overseas competition.
“I’m really looking forward to the experience of racing against new drivers with completely different experience and racing styles to myself. The circuit will be a challenge to learn but having new, unknown equipment and engines is the most exciting hurdle,” said 14 year-old Ford.
“To prepare, I have been trying to become more race fit by attending gym with my brother and doing plenty of laps at Todd Road in my Junior Clubman kart. I've also been focusing on different setups and trying to adapt to unknown changes on my kart has helped get my eye in even further.
“My parents Mariane and Brian, have been a huge support already by helping me raise money for the trip, and also my brother Jordie by getting me race fit taking me to gym and to the track. Adam Wolfenden from Yamaha Australia has been extremely supportive by helping with information, travel bookings and all of our preparation. I'm extremely thankful for the support so many people have given me already, including Xzuit, Lee Hanatschek and all the families and business' that have helped raise money for my trip. It's made me even more prouder to have 'Australia' across the back of my race suit!
"My father Brian and brother Jordie will be making this journey with me and both will be my mechanics for the event. Having two sets of eyes spotting me around the track will hopefully give me the upper hand.”
Updates on the progress of the Australians at the event will be posted on karting.net.au throughout the weekend.