Complete stakes early claim for Race of Stars Crown

Italian star Lorenzo Camplese has laid down the gauntlet to some of the world's best kart racers in the opening day of competition for the Race of Stars at the Xtreme Karting Complex with a blistering performance.

EVO Kart Italian driver Lorenzo Camplese leading the way at the Race of Stars (Coopers Photography)

Camplese established the pole position time by over four tenths of a second, leading a triumvirate of Italians at the top of the timing board, in the process establishing the first ever KZ2 pole in Australia for the EVO Kart factory. He topped the session ahead of double World Champion, Paolo de Conto (CRG) and Giacomo Pollini (OK1).

Although crossing the line first in heat one, Camplese was later penalised for a jumped start.  With several other front running competitors also receiving a penalty, it handed the win to reigning Australian Champion Aaron Cameron.

Camplese made no such mistake in the second heat taking a dominant win over 12-time French Champion Anthony Abasse.

Cameron is the best placed Australian having recorded a fourth placing and a sixth in the fight for the Jim Morton Memorial Trophy awarded to the best placed local driver.

In Rotax DD2 - which has a place in Team Australia up for grabs at next month's Rotax Max Grand Final Challenge in Brazil - Jac Preston has been looking solid, taking heat race number one then finishing a narrow second in a nail-biting second heat race. His fellow Queenslander Scott Howard took the win on the line in the closest ever DD2 finish in Australia, getting it done by 0.008 of a second.

Gold Coaster, Taylah Agius has been super impressive among the top four all day long, as has Ryan Kennedy - who has already qualified for the World Finals through the Rotax Pro Tour.

In the elite Junior KA2 category, Gold Coast-based JC Kart driver Jai Brown set the pole time and then went on to win the first heat over Beau Pronesti (Kosmic). The second heat was the race of the day with Jay Hanson getting the win over Jonathon Marcusson who grabbed second place on the line over Brown.

Another JC Kart pilot in Oscar Targett emerged on top of the second heat in KA4 Junior. The James Courtney squad changed tyres at the last moment from wet to dry and the gamble paid off, Targett winning by over seven seconds from Christian Cowie.

Earlier in the day, South Australian Cowie took out the opening heat race from Victorian Hugh Barter and Targett.

This morning the Race of Stars saw its first female pole-sitter in Alice Buckley. Continuing the good form that JC Kart has shown at this year's event, Buckley took the second heat over Sri Lankan visitor, Yevan David. Max Walton in his maiden Cadet 12 event was third. The opening heat race went to Emerald-based Shamick Racing driver, Carter Mobbs who withstood a challenge from Alex Ninovic.

Multiple-time Australian Champion, Scott Sorensen emerged on top of both heat races in TaG 125 today. The HDR Arrow Karts pilot proved too good with Zachary Heard getting second in both, while pole-sitter James Litzow - who's been on the podium at the Race of Starts previously - has been fast, so too Jack Black and Tyler Howard, while defending Champion, Brendan Nelson has not had everything his own way in his quest for a third consecutive surfboard trophy.

Oscar Priest has taken both heat races in KA3 Senior aboard his Boost Mobile backed machine, while Tommy Harradine and Jackson Souslin-Harlow are among the front runners.

The KA3 Junior field is peaking nicely, with Thomas Cooper and Hugh Barter sharing the heat race wins. Bailey Sweeny has been among the top group throughout the day, so too Jobe Stewart with Luke Pink also looking solid in his Praga Kart.

Tomorrow will see the continuation of heat racing from 9am with Finals to come directly after.

Entry to see some of the best in the world competing as part of the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 off-track festival is free of charge.

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