Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
Jake Klarich

Western Australian Jake Klarich was victorious in Pro Junior (KF3) at Round Two in South Australia Pic: AF Images

Four of Western Australia’s elite karting drivers are in a race against the elements to arrive in Melbourne in time for this weekend’s round of the CIK Stars of Karting Series presented by Castrol EDGE.

With multiple ash clouds from the erupting Chilean volcano moving across the Southern Ocean, grounding flights and causing travel chaos, the quartet of West Aussies have ‘hedged their bets’ with their travel arrangements.

Not willing to risk the potential of missing the round Jake Klarich, who currently sits second in the championship standings, and his father Alan have joined up with fellow Pro Junior (KF3) driver Anthony Martin and his father Mike for a 40 hour road trip from Perth to Melbourne this afternoon.

“When we found out that Perth airport was potentially going to close we looked at all sorts of options and in the end the only guaranteed way the boys would get there would be to drive,” said Leanne Martin, mother of Anthony.

“Jake and Alan left Perth just after lunch today, they’ve picked up Anthony and Mike here in Kalgoorlie tonight and are on their way.

“All things going well they should arrive in Melbourne early Friday morning. While it’s not the ideal preparation, at least they will be there.”

Patrizi Corse Pro Gearbox (KZ2) pair Daniel Currey and Hayden Patrizi are waiting with every news bulletin on their travel fortunes.

The pair were due to fly to Melbourne tomorrow (Thursday) morning, but with Virgin Australia not flying from Perth until at least midday tomorrow Patrizi Corse Team Manager Michael Patrizi went to work.

The pair were originally rescheduled on a Friday afternoon flight meaning they would miss out on valuable practice time on a circuit they have both never competed at. However, earlier this evening both drivers have had their flights changed to now be flying to Sydney tomorrow evening before jetting to Melbourne on the first flight Friday morning.

“It has been a very stressful 24 hours working out how the guys are going to get to Melbourne but it looks like we might, fingers crossed, get them there in time,” said Patrizi.

“Both Dan and Hayden have never raced at Port Melbourne before so missing Friday would have been a huge disadvantage. Dan is coming off his first podium in the series and really starting to make some big inroads on the big names in the category, so it would have been really disappointing to be behind the eight-ball before the weekend even started.

“This weekend will also be Hayden’s last round for the year as he has got cricket commitments overseas for the next couple of months. So it would be good to finish off on a high.

“Logistically we’ve now done everything we can to get the guys to Melbourne. The karts will already be there thanks to Kart One and I’ll be flat out tomorrow and Friday making sure everything is in readiness.”

Practice for this weekend’s round of the CIK Stars of Karting Series presented by Castrol EDGE begins at 11am Friday. Qualifying and heat races will be contested on Saturday ahead of a pair of main events from 9am on Sunday.

The Port Melbourne Karting Complex is located on the corner of Cook Street and Todd Road, Port Melbourne. Admission is free for spectators.