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Kiwi Wilson Upbeat About Australian Series


Kiwi Wilson Upbeat About Australian Series

Young Wellington KartSport racer Karl Wilson heads to Geelong near Melbourne today to prepare for the second round of the 2003 Ford KartStars series this weekend (June14/15).

Despite never quite getting on top of a handling problem at the first round of the high-profile Ford-backed series at the Raleigh track near Coff's Harbour over the May 17/18 weekend, defending New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge champion Wilson remains upbeat about his Australian campaign and is looking forward to being closer to the front at the second round.

"We were there or thereabouts at the first round when we were running around in free practise on our old tyres but when we put on the control tyres they (the organisers) issued us with before official practise we lost a second to a second-and-a-half."

We tried to get them (the organisers) to swap the tyres but their attitude was that 'they all came from the same batch' so we were stuck with them," the 19-year-old explained.

The problem with the tyres manifested itself in a 'massive push' (understeer) which neither Wilson nor his father, respected New Zealand KartSport engineer Garry, could dial out.

"We didn't have it before we put the new tyres on and if anything it got worse as the tyres got some heat into them," he explained. "We tried everything we could to get rid of it but in the end Karl just had to go really hard out in the first few laps while it (the push) was manageable, then defend."

As it turned out the 2002 New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge winner was not alone in experiencing handling problems with the control tyre, some of the top names from the 2002 KartStars series also finding themselves fighting for a place in the second third of the field.

Wilson and his father were also encouraged by the fact that Karl was able to improve on his gird position in every race bar the Pre-Final, when he was taken out by one of the stars of the Aussie scene, Reif Corbett.

In fact, the best race for the young New Zealander, one of two 'internationals' in the 31-strong field, was the Final, which he started from the back row of the grid (courtesy of that dnf in the grid-determining Pre-Final) then drove through the field to cross the line 20th, just behind 2002 KartStars front-runner and race winner Taz Douglas and in front of, amongst others, HRT-backed Jack (son of Larry) Perkins, Corbett, Ben Chong Sun and Cameron Farr.

Fifteen-year-old former Junior Blitz series winner Andrew Thompson was the undoubted star of the first round of the 2003 Ford KartStars series, setting the fastest time in qualifying and winning every race.

Second overall was another youngster, Wesley May.

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