McLaughlin Ready For World Karting Challenge

press release

Britek Motorsport Scholarship karter Scott McLaughlin has joined 215 drivers from 55 nations in Italy for the World Final of the Junior Rotax Max Challenge at the La Conca circuit in Muro Leccese this weekend.

The Gold Coast racer won through to the final through his native New Zealand Junior Rotax Max Challenge Series along with Nick Cassidy.

The New Zealand Series was a big challenge with the minimum weight 15 kilograms less than what is run in Australia and at the World Finals.

McLaughlin, along with his sister Samantha and parents Wayne and Dianne, have been joined in Italy by Australian kart tuner Robbie Morton to fully prepare for what is regarded as one of the most competitive one-off championship races in world motor sport.

This will be the ninth time the World Finals have been contested. The circuit is regarded as one of the best in the world and the southern Italian location should guarantee mild and dry conditions at this time of year.

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All drivers will compete in the same model Zanardi kart with the 125cc cc rotax motor. It is a competition that comes down to preparation and driver's skill.

Australians and New Zealanders have enjoyed strong performances at this event dating back to inaugural event when William Yarwood (Australia) finished third ahead of Dale Verall (NZ) in the first event in 2000.

"I have been focussing on this event really since winning the final round in Auckland in early October," said McLaughlin.

"The competition is clearly going to be very tough, but I will give it everything. There is going to be no second to relax on the track as I will be competing against the very best junior karters from across the globe.

"I have to stay focused and not be distracted by the size of the event. We have been in Italy a week ahead to acclimatise and take it easy, so now it is time to focus on racing.

"My Australian tuner Robbie Morton is not only excellent in preparing the kart, but also makes sure my mind is always on the job. We have a very good relationship and that is sure to be a bonus when it comes down to the races.

"I have also spoken with V8 supercar driver Jason Bright who has been an awesome inspiration for me this year.

"Along with my friends and supporters, I really feel like I have a lot of people following me this weekend in Italy."

Jason Bright has been actively involved with McLaughlin's racing in 2008.

"Scott has done a fantastic job and I'm sure he will turn plenty of heads in Italy," said Bright.

"I am envious of him. I never got to compete at such a huge karting event like Max Junior World Rotax Finals. This truly is where the stars of tomorrow will be found.

"He has the determination and skill to go a long way in motor sport. This weekend will be the true test of that against other competitors just like him from around the world.

"The most important thing is that he will learn a lot and be a better racer for the experience."

McLaughlin is on-track Wednesday and Thursday for practice. Friday begins qualifying heats which continue through Saturday. Sunday's action gets underway in the morning with the pre-final, which will set the grid for the 15-lap World Final in the afternoon.