World champ heads list for nationals in Ipswich
TWO-time world champion Bas Lammers and a string of current and former New Zealand national champions will headline a fleet of 11 international drivers contesting this weekend's Rotax Nationals in Ipswich.
The elite overseas racers will take on Australia's best for national championship victories.
The three-day series starts tomorrow at the Willowbank circuit.
Dutchman Lammers will make his first Australian appearance at the Rotax Nationals as part of the Melbourne-based Formula K Australia team.
He is looking forward to the technical layout of the Ipswich track and the forecast sunny Queensland weather.
"The lines of driving will be very important because there are some straights after a couple of tight corners, which means that you cannot miss the braking points. But also you need to keep the speed in the corners to be fast on the exits. Also the setup of chassis has to be good,'' he said.
"I haven't seen the track in reality but I saw the videos on YouTube and I rate it an eight out of 10. The asphalt is looking quite new and as drivers, we will have a good overview of the track."
Lammers said he favoured warmer weather. "I have been training and racing a lot in warm weather conditions,'' he said.
"As much as possible I try to train in all weather conditions because it's necessary to be very fit as driver.
"When you are fit, you are able to make the difference and it makes you feel good.''
The Junior Max Trophy Class's resident sister combination, Ashleigh and Madeline Stewart, continue their Australian season at the Rotax Nationals after contesting the Pro Tour season throughout 2014.
The pair will be looking to impress on the big stage under lights at Ipswich. It will be the first time they have competed at the circuit.
After his Australian debut at the 2013 Nationals in Victoria, Mathew Kinsman returns to compete as part of the strong Rotax Light field.
Kinsman, the current New Zealand National Rotax Light champion, will be joined by brother Daniel, a former New Zealand national titleholder in the same class.
While Daniel has been competing throughout the season in the Pro Tour, he will be out to go one better from his recent Rotax Nationals results after taking third in 2012 and second in 2013.
Fellow Kiwis Daniel Connor and Fraser Hart will also return to Australia at the Rotax Nationals.
Connor is competing for the first time since the 2013 Nationals.
Hart is racing for the first time since the 2012 event.
New Zealanders Dylan Drysdale and Jai Buckley will form part of the 60 strong Junior Max field.
Drysdale is no stranger to competition in Australia after competing at the Todd Road, Geelong and Coffs Harbour rounds of the 2014 Rotax Pro Tour.
Buckley will make his first National level appearance in Australia this weekend.
The Christchurch driver took third in the New Zealand Nationals for Junior Max in April this year.
Lammers will be joined in the DD2 field by fellow internationals Josh Drysdale and Ryan Urban.
Drysdale has also competed at selected rounds of the 2014 Pro Tour, including his DD2 debut at Coffs Harbour in July.