Kiwi karters Ryan Grant, Graeme Smyth and Liam Sceats will be in Dubbo in inland New South Wales this weekend contesting the opening round of this year’s Australian Kart Championship presented by Jayco and Castrol Edge.
Grant, 31, and Smyth, 24, are entered in the KZ2 class while Sceats, 10, is competing in the Cadet 12 class.
Long-time teammates Grant and Smyth are both multi-time New Zealand and/or Island Sprint class and ProKart Series champions in the 6-speed gearbox/125cc KZ2 class. Grant also dominated the one-off Horsepower Heaven meeting at Geelong the last time he crossed the Tasman (back in 2009).
Entrant Danny Olla, the man who imports the TM-powered Mad Croc karts Grant and Smyth race, says he and his drivers have been keen to return to Australia to race since then, and the new multi-round format of the (now five-round) Australia championship provided the opportunity.
“For us,” he said before leaving for Dubbo,” it is just something different, something we have been meaning to, and now have the opportunity, to do.”
For young gun Liam Sceats, who will line up in a Sodi kart in the Cadet 12 class, competing in Australia is all about experience.
“It gives him a chance to compete in bigger fields for a start,” says his father Simon, a former New Zealand Production Car champion, of the capacity 44-strong entry in the Cadet 12 class this weekend.
Sceats will be run this weekend by expat Kiwi kart champ and now Queensland-based team owner Dale Verrall, with the assistance of Mathew Kinsman of New Zealand Sodi kart importer International Kart Supplies.
The first round of the Australian championship has attracted 250 entries across a total of nine classes. The second round will be held at Puckapunyal in Victoria over the March 25-27 Easter weekend with subsequent rounds in South Australia in May, Queensland in July and the final at Todd Rd in Melbourne in September