Q & A - Tom Williamson

A week out from the $5,000 Gold Rush City of Wodonga Titles, the Albury-Wodonga club caught up with one of Australia's top karters, NSW's Tom Williamson. The club supplied this interesting interview for publication on KartSportNews.

Q: Tom, 2007 was a big year, 4th in the Rotax World Championships and New Zealand Rotax Champion. Were they the highlights for you?
Tom Williamson:  It was a huge year for me full of highlights, the biggest ones were winning the New Zealand championship and also winning every round of the Rotax series which gained me an entry to the Rotax World Championship. Without doubt the biggest highlight was representing Australia and competing and placing 4th at the World Rotax Championship. That was just awesome!

Q: You've continued that form into '08 and you're the current points leader in the Rotax Max Challenge. What are your goals for the remainder of the year?
TW: So far this year has gone very well with a change of chassis sponsor to Azzurro. This has helped me continue my good form winning all my Rotax meetings bar one so far this year. For the rest of the year I am looking to continue the good form and hopefully win a few State titles as well as giving the Rotax Nationals my best shot. I really want to qualify again for the Rotax World Championship in Italy as I feel I have some unfinished business there.

Q: Karting in Queensland on the weekend (1st place Rotax Light), today you're working at the Audi drive day at Eastern Creek. You must be raking up the frequent flyer points. How do you fit in fitness training on such a busy schedule?
TW: Haha yes I am.  It has been pretty busy of late for me. I actually just got home from the gym now. Training is such a vital part of my racing program so finding time is a must. If this means getting up early to train or going after work like today, so be it, it's just too important to skip. Physical fitness assists me in being able to cope with the busy schedule and the demands the sport places on me.

Above: Tom flys in DD2 at last year's Rotax World Final

Q: You've been training some up and coming karters at Wodonga over the past few months, what do you think of the track?
TW: Yes I have been there a lot in recent months and watched a lot of laps being driven. I had my first drive of the track the other week during a training session. Actually, it’s a really fun track to drive with a good mix of everything including a long back straight, a tight technical section and some fast sweeping corners, and it flows really well.

Q: For the newer karters, tell us how you go about learning a new track. What's the best way to get up to speed quickly?
TW: For me the first thing is I walk the track and look at every corner in detail for rubber line, bumps, ripple strips etc, as well as possible passing opportunities. When I first venture onto the track I try to find the limit to all the corners first, so I go into them till I overshoot the corner then adjust to suit the corner speed. Finally, I look at trying different lines through the corners in an effort to maximise my corner speed. After this I come in and think about what I need to work on and ask for feed back from my pit crew.

Q: Lastly Tom, do you have a routine that you like to follow on race day?
TW: I don’t really have a strict routine but I do follow a basic one. I try to get to sleep early the night before, when I wake up I have some breakfast, normally cereal, then head to the track. At the track I normally just relax with my friends and help out with the kart when I am allowed, haha. Other than kart setup I don’t really think about racing until I am in the kart on the roll up lap. I find that being relaxed and having fun with the people around me is the best preparation before the race because the real preparation is done before you even get to the track on race day.


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