|14 December 2016|
David Sera has published a "2016 Year in Review" in the latest edition of the Deadly Newsletter. In addition to his Likes and Dislikes for the year, Dave also calls out his top 5 Aussie drivers for 2016, plus the 'Next Best'.
While the views expressed below are David's own personal opinion, I gotta say, I reckon he's pretty much spot on with most of it, particularly the grippy tyres for Juniors. The relative speed hierarchy from one class to another is all screwed up in this country at the moment. If MG are allowed to swap their tyre mid-contract, I'm guessing Bridgestone could too if they so wished... MW.
- AKC - I think it's safe to say now that the Australian Kart Championship is the leading series in the country overtaking the Rotax Pro Tour. The series is structured very well, has live video feed on finals day, the trophies have stepped up and the end of season prizes are impressive. 2017 sees the series travel to a new circuit in Emerald which I'm looking forward to.
- Junior drivers stepping up - I can see parents frustration at having to move their children up possibly a year early due to size. If your end desire is to stay in kart racing then making that jump up a year early isn't necessary. If you wish to move up the motorsport ladder into Open - wheel racing, then it is wise to get the kids up to race more experienced drivers to better develop their skills. Looking back at 2016, drivers like Josh Fyfe, Thomas Gasperak & Aaron Cameron show that the big step to Seniors is achievable with the right amount of testing and dedication.
- Australian drivers on the World Stage - We've seen all year the amount of Australian drivers heading all around the World to take on the best the sport has to offer. Lee Mitchener set the benchmark winning Australia's first Rotax World Championship since Ben George. Oscar Piastri held his own at most European Championships, Cooper Webster won a race at Le Mans, Kip Foster on the podium in France, Josh Carr third at the SKUSA SuperNats. No doubt I've forgotten a few drivers, but all in all it proves to the rest of the World that Australian Karting should be taken seriously. We look into the open wheel categories and see former champions in Joey Mawson, Thomas Randle, Luis Leeds and Thomas Maxwell all doing extremely well in Europe.
- Grippy Tyres - I've said it once and I'll say it again. Kids don't need to be driving around at higher corner speeds than senior drivers. The amount of accidents we've seen this year due to this is concerning as kids haven't got the brain capacity at times to avoid accidents. Throw in the tyre degradation and it takes it's toll on club racers and the social karters. Seeing kids make mistakes and not spin out is also concerning. How do kids learn now without making mistakes?
- Juniors Practice Format - Not allowing them to practice on Fridays, then changing it to Friday afternoons. The kids are already there in the morning, they've taken time off school if travelling from interstate so why not incorporate them into the full schedule. It puts less pressure on the Senior drivers who have around 40 minutes in between sessions and the kids function better in the morning rather than in the afternoon after running around all day. We need to look at changing this in 2017.
- Stewards decisions / consistency - In 2016 we saw a bigger presence of cameras; whether it be on karts to cameras used on the circuit to help with stewards decisions. I see this as a great benefit to the safety of drivers in races, but the level of consistency in which these decisions are being handed down need to be governed better. Contact of karts was one that lacked clarity with some drivers receiving time penalties, others position penalties, with some attending a separate hearing three months later. This isn't well received from the general karting community.