Kip Foster Heads Back To The Top Level

West Australian karter Kip Foster is making a comeback to top level competition at this weekend's Victorian Open Championships. The now 33-year old is a long term karter, having started in the sport when he was just eight years old. Foster will saddle up and race in Leopard Heavy against a quality field that includes newly crowned National Champion Kel Treseder.

KartSportNews caught up with the four-time national champ just before he headed east.

Kip Foster at the workbench in the Kartforce shop

KartSportNews: You’ve decided to make a comeback at the Vic Open. The obvious first question is ‘why’?
Kip Foster:
Probably the main reason to choose the Vic Open as the comeback meet is the track, Pucka. I consider it a horsepower track and perhaps a little easier on the body. Also, with the nationals being such a major event, it was difficult to service customers and have a race myself. So Vic Open it is, and by next week I'll know where i stand as far as engine power.

How long is it since you raced competitively?
I last raced in October at the WA States where I finished 3rd behind fellow Kartforce drivers Bilick and Fitch, both of whom drove fantastically fast all weekend.

Have you been in a kart much since then to be ‘race fit’?
I haven't done any racing since then, but have pushed out about 100 laps at the Wundowie circuit in Perth and done a bit of fitness training, but limited due to commitments.

Is there any particular reason for making the comeback in the Leopard Heavy class?
I think  Leopard class is fantastic as it's purely a driver's class. This may or may not help me as i haven't done the miles probably required to perform, but never the less I am keen because Leopard will build up my fitness, something I seem to have let slide while having a break from racing.

And what is your plan of attack for the meeting?
Plan of attack? Simple... build the fastest engines and pass everyone down the straights - I hope anyway!!

Your Kartforce business achieved some great results with customers at this year’s AKA Nationals (fastest qualifier and 2nd in Clubman Super Heavy, plus runner-up in Junior National Light). Tell us how that all went.
My nephew Lee Foster poled and was runner up in Super Heavy and that was a fantastic result as he has not competed at national level since his junior days. Jonathon Venter (JNL) had great speed and drove sensationally well to finish 2nd and it's only a matter of time before he will win a major
event in juniors. I think Venter has a great future ahead of him in motor racing.

Above: Lee Foster heads the Super Heavy field at the Nationals
pic - Ash Budd,

Do you feel a bit ripped off that James Kovacic wasn’t able to compete in Queensland as surely he would have been a real chance for a green plate in several classes?
It was a shame James could not compete, but he is racing at the Vic Open in Clubman Light and Leopard Light and I am sure he will perform well as usual. A David Sera versus James Kovacic showdown is just what Australian karting needs and lives for. This is what all of us - myself included - line  the fence to see. Karting is about racing, not politics; everyone wants to see a close race.

Above: James Kovacic leading Clubman Light at Newcastle recently

And speaking of the Vic Open, who else is competing for Kartforce?
Jake Klarich from Perth is racing Junior National Light and I'm sure he will compete for a podium place. He has had pace at recent WA events and is on his game at the moment. Also, my son Scott Foster will compete in Junior National Light. While still learning the ropes, he had run in the top
10 at the Nationals.

Although it happened a while ago now, how was the David Brabham celebrity race in the UK?
The celebrity race to raise money for kids in Birmingham, UK, was a great event; well organized and well promoted with a bunch of the best drivers in the world. I had a great time in the company of some fantastic people like David Brabham and would do it again if ever given the chance.

Above: Kip being interviewed at The Karting Show, part of Autosport International in the UK where he teamed up with famous race drivers in the celebrity kart race, such as the most successful driver in the history of LeMans, Tom Kristensen.
pic - Chris Walker,