Internationals Join Australia Day Pro Tour SpectacularTweet
The second round of the 2012/2013 Rotax Pro Tour will take its traditional place at the Todd Road Karting Complex in Port Melbourne, and the series reputation as the grounding for World Championship level racing continues as further International drivers join the growing event.
Returning drivers from New Zealand and an entry from as far as the United Kingdom form part of a strong field of in excess of 170 entries across six categories for the event that is always recognised to provide some of the closest racing seen on the calendar.
Daniel Kinsman, Josh Drysdale and Daniel Connor will make the trip from New Zealand; all three competed at the Rotax Nationals in Dubbo last September. Kinsman went on to represent his country at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal in November, Drysdale held pole position for the final in Junior Max while Daniel Connor formed part of the field at the opening round at Canberra and all are sure to play a significant role in the oversubscribed Rotax Light field.
The United Kingdom’s Steve and Laura Tillett will attend the Todd Road event, recognised for their background in the sport through Tillett Race Seats. Laura herself has established a career in the motorsport industry, being an entrant in the 2012 Formula Renault UK series and a World Championship Karting driver; her driving prowess will be on show with an entry in the event in Rotax Light.
On Friday night, Steve will speak at the Go-Kart Club of Victoria Clubhouse from 5:30pm about the history of the product. International Karting Distributors extends an invitation for all to attend the event, and join in the pre-event festivities with the Pro Tour drivers and their teams.
An extensive DD2 Masters field comprises drivers from a cross section of the country, with Team Australia representatives Hamish Leighton and Jose Ruiz returning to look towards another tilt at the World Finals. Former V8 Supercar driver Steve Ellery will make his category debut, adding yet more interest to one of the fastest growing categories in the event. Ellery will join his two sons, Dalton and Tristan who will be returning to Pro Tour in Rotax Light and Junior Max respectively.
A comprehensively large Junior Max field is set to take on the complex Todd Road circuit, while event favourites Joseph Burton-Harris, James Abela and Jordan Boys all expected to be matching times towards the front of the field, an array of new drivers have joined the category. Hunter McElrea, son of Porsche Carrera Cup team owner Andy McElrea will make his Pro Tour debut. West Australian brother combination Kurt and Jake Kostecki also join the series, while Jayden Sharrad will lead a three prong attack from South Australia also including Jordan Murphy and Holly Marquis.
Inaugural Junior Max Trophy round winner Bryce Fullwood will be absent from the Melbourne event, allowing the Canberra second place driver Zane Goddard the chance to go a step further up the podium. The battle will be on to complete the podium, with a resurgent Jordan McGregor also looking to improve on his first round position.
A multitude of drivers are capable of taking maximum points in the hefty DD2 field, experience will be in favour of Jason Pringle, Troy Bretherton and Matthew Wall, however an impressive drive at his home track in Canberra will give Michael Stewart a boost of confidence going into the second round. Combining both the DD2 Masters and Open fields, it is the largest group the category has seen in the one event, reaching a total of 51.
An oversubscribed field in Rotax Light is sure to provide some of the most nail-biting racing of the weekend. While Pierce Lehane returns to the Pro Tour after his impeccable performance in Portugal, both Daniel Rochford and Thomas Randle who joined Lehane on the podium in Canberra are sure to be amongst the front runners again. Queensland’s Tyler Greenbury returns after an absence at Canberra, and will be amongst the challengers for the podium.
In an extra announcement for the Pro Tour event, Josh Hunt will be providing expert commentary on track and via Ustream alongside regular series commentator, Liam Meegan. Hunt comes to the Pro Tour with nothing less than an incredible list of achievements behind the wheel himself, ranging from State titles in karts, and events in Italy, to Formula Ford, Champ Cars ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ series and Toyota Atlantic Champ Cars in America to multiple V8 Supercar tests with powerhouse teams Stone Brothers Racing and Kelly Racing, and time in the Porsche Carrera Cup. Josh will bring valuable insight not only to driving, but knowledge of the circuit, adding to the atmosphere both at the track and around the World.
To follow the event throughout the weekend, like Rotax Pro Tour on Facebook, follow Rotax Pro Tour on Twitter and tune into the audio commentary via Ustream at www.ustream.tv/user/internationalkarting.