Australia’s top kart racers have declared The Bend karting circuit as world-class, with the venue already in preliminary discussions with organisers about the prospect of an international event down-under.
Teams from all over Australia and New Zealand have arrived in Tailem Bend to compete in the last round of the Rotax Pro Tour. The event is also the final opportunity for drivers in each category to qualify to represent Team Australia in the world finals in Brazil at the end of November.
Current World Champion Troy Woolsten summed up the circuit in one word. “Awesome.”
“I came here with a big smile on my face. It’s really unique. I think it’s the combination of mid speed, flowing corners, and fast entry, it’s hard to pick a breaking marker so it feels complex. There’s not a go kart track like this in the country. Everyone’s pretty excited about it. It’s around the size of the big European tracks that we race at when we go to World Championships. I could see worlds here, it would be pretty awesome to see everyone come down under.”
2017 Team Australia Captain, Scott Howard has raced in Portugal, Italy and the US and is hopeful of the prospect that Australia can now host a world final. “It’s awesome. When you get here you feel like you’re in Europe. There’s nothing in Australia that compares to this circuit. We talk about going to the world finals, and until now Australia could never have hosted that event, but we could 100% hold it here at The Bend.”
Howard also highlighted the impact a circuit like The Bend could have on young karters coming into the sport.
“Karting in South Australia should build from this. I’ve travelled all over the world to go to tracks like this. As a young SA kid having this track in your backyard to come and practice on is sensational.”
The Bend’s karting circuit is the only one in Australia built to CIK-FIA specifications rated by the international governing body.
Ian Black, Managing Director of IKD, tournament organisers of the Rotax Pro Tour said, “it’s hard to believe we’ve finally got a world class facility in this country. From the minute you drive in, you realise you’re somewhere special.”
Black believes it is a realistic objective to host an international karting event at The Bend, which would be an Australian first. “When we travel to Europe everyone wants to come to Australia, if we can hold the Rotax World Championship here it would be fantastic.”
Track action continues today with qualifying and heat races with Pre-Finals and Finals on Sunday. Spectator tickets are available at the gate for $15 single day, and $25 for both days. Kids 12 years and under are free.