V8 Supercar steerer Jamie Whincup reckons his days as a young karting star featured some of the best races of his entire competitive career, and with the karts racing bumper to bumper at speeds over 100km/h, it?s no surprise.
This weekend, over 400 competitors will make their way to the Hume International Raceway, where they?ll battle for victory in the Victorian Karting Championships, a three-day event that begins with qualifying on Friday.
The Championships, one of the largest karting meets in Australia this year, are usually held in February, but in the face of the tragic bushfires that swept through the region, the event was postponed to this weekend.
Some well-known names in the Karting world will compete at the Championships, including Cairns? Chelsea Holman and home-state National Champions David Sera and Matthew Wall, along with Ryan Sanderson, Adam Hughes and Bart Price.
Sanderson, who won the opening round of the Victorian All Stars Series recently, is looking to make this weekend?s event his second State Championship, in the 100cc Clubman Light and 125cc Leopard Light categories.
?For the last few years I?ve played the bridesmaid to Dave (Sera) or his cousin James at major events across the country, I think I?ve finished second on five or six occasions, I?m hoping to be able to break this trend at the weekend,? said Sanderson.
?When I first started my career Jamie (Whincup) was the star of the show at Puckapunyal and everyone looked up to him. I?ve won a couple of major events at the track but never a State or National Championship, hopefully this year is my year.?
Friday?s qualifying will be followed on Saturday by Heat Races, before the Championship Finals on Sunday.