The search is on to find Australia’s next F1 driver with budding racers invited to compete in go kart time trials at the 2008 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix.
In a brand new innovation for the 13 – 16 March event, the largest temporary go kart track in Australia will be assembled at Albert Park.
Grand Prix ticket holders will have the chance to hit the track in a special “Road to F1” search designed to unearth the country’s best new racing talent.
It will be the first time that go karts have been featured at the Grand Prix as an attraction open to the public.
With kids aged 12 and under granted free admission to the GP when accompanied by a paying adult, the go-kart track will provide even more entertainment for them to enjoy on circuit – at no extra cost to parents.
The massive track infrastructure will be provided by Melbourne’s leading go kart venue, Sunshine based Ace Karts, and is the latest of a series of new features aimed at offering spectators at the Grand Prix more entertainment than ever before.
Drew Ward, CEO of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, is encouraging all budding go karters to register for the chance to showcase their talents at the country’s premier motor sport event. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
“Some of the world’s best drivers, including Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, made their start in go karting,” said Mr Ward.
“If you reckon you’ve got what it takes, we invite you to show your stuff at Albert Park from 13 – 16 March.”
The “Road to F1” promotion will feature a series of heats in a range of age brackets: 7 – 11 years; 12 – 15; 16 – 17; and 18 years +.
Participants will aim to set the fastest lap time, with winners in each age group receiving a tour of the F1 garages, entry into a special motor sport development camp and other great prizes.
In addition, a special celebrity go kart challenge will be staged on Saturday, 15 March featuring leading personalities.
The track will be erected on Aquatic Drive (the car park area leading to The Point restaurant) and will cover an area of around 4,500 square metres.
Many current and former Formula One drivers grew up racing karts, most prominent among them Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen, Lewis Hamilton, Jarno Trulli and Robert Kubica.
The search for Australia’s next Formula One driver is being run is being run in conjunction with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sports (CAMS).
Michael Smith, Manager of Motor Sports Services & Development with CAMS, believes that the Grand Prix go kart initiative is a genuine chance for up-and-coming young drivers to show what they’re made.
“It’s a terrific opportunity for these kids to be put right into the box seat in front of the motorsport industry’s leading figures,” said Mr Smith.
“Many young drivers got their start in go karts and that has paved the way for their transition into Formula Ford, Formula 3 and even Formula One. For a young person who’s looking for a break, this could really help accelerate their development into the higher levels of motor sport and on to F1. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see if you’ve got what it takes to become one of the next superstars in motor sport.”