National Champions Ready For Tasmanian AssaultTweet
Between them, Lee Mitchener and Pierce Lehane have won six National Championships and are two of Australia’s top kart racers.
This weekend, they will pair up with long-time karting team owner, and Penguin resident, Col Watts, for an all out assault on the Tasmanian State Championships at Burnie’s Hardings Hotmix Kartway.
Watts has been instrumental in assisting to pave the way for a number of young drivers in the sport of karting and this weekend’s event is another example of this.
“It’s very good to have Pierce and Lee here with us this weekend, but I brought them over for one reason – to win,” said Watts.
“Both drivers are very professional and have achieved a lot on their careers. I really like the way they go about their racing.”
While it will be the first time that Lehane, who is the reigning Australian Champion in the Leopard and Rotax Light categories, has competed under Watts’ tutorage, Mitchener has competed under Watts’ Team RacePrep banner on a number of occasions.
“This is my fifth time driving with Col, it’s always great to work with him. It’s a lot of fun but when it comes to the racing he’s pretty serious and puts together some very good equipment,” said Mitchener.
“It’s a privilege to be down here and getting amongst it. This is my first time to Burnie, it’s a tricky little track, there’s a lot of change in direction, off camber corners and on camber corners. It’s also quite narrow as well so qualifying up the front will be vital as it’s going to be pretty hard to pass around here.”
After having his first taste of the circuit during practice yesterday, Lehane is excited about the weekend ahead in the highly competitive Clubman Light category.
“The track here in Burnie is a good one and I’m liking it so far, it has a lot of character. This is my first time racing karts here in Tasmania, the only other time I’ve been here was when I was racing junior motocross raced in Penguin,” said Lehane.
“It’s a great honour to drive with Watssy, a lot of great Australian kart racers have driven for him over the years including Barclay Holden, Richie McLeod, Ryal Harris and the Greenbury brothers, hopefully I can do him proud this weekend.”
This weekend’s event will be Lehane’s last on Australian soil before he jets out to Portugal to compete in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Final on November 25 – December 2. Lehane will be one of 12 drivers from Down Under who will be competing at the event that the Sydney teenager finished third in during 2010.
“I’m very excited about heading over to Portugal, it’s going to be another great event. I’ve the track looks amazing and I can’t wait to head over there next week,” said Pierce.
Qualifying for this weekend’s championships will be held tomorrow ahead of the opening round of heat races. The heat races will continue on Saturday with the championship finals to be contested on Sunday.The Hardings Hotmix Kartway is located in Highclere, a few kilometres South of Burnie on the Ridgley Highway.