A selection of Slideways Race Day competitors will shortly be on their way to Italy to represent Australia in the Sodi World Series finals, which are scheduled to take place on the Circuito Internazionale Venezia Giulia from June 14-16.
The 1.2km long track will host over 300 drivers, who have qualified from the 4,500 Sodi World Series races contested at over 300 tracks on five continents in 2017.
Starting in 2009, the Sodi World Series is the largest global leisure kart competition, with Slideways Go Karting World at Pimpama hosting regular public race days, which pay points in a variety of categories.
Representing Australia at the event will be Liam Hydes in the Juniors, as well as TSR and Les Femmes Kangourous in the Enduro portion.
The Slideways Race Days cover Juniors and Cadets, aged from 7 through to 15, Sprints for drivers over 15 years old, Enduro team events, and non-Sodi World Series points races in the all-new Slideways Ladies Race Series.
It’s free to sign up to the Sodi World Series, with nearly 1,000 Australian drivers and over 225 teams currently registered.
Liam Hydes – Sodi World Series Junior Cup
The 2017 season was the first year in which Sodi World Series Junior Cup races were contested in Australia, with all events taking place at Slideways Go Karting World Pimpama.
Liam Hydes was a revelation in the Slideways Junior Racing Series for 12 to 15-year olds, which utilise the venue’s fleet of unrestricted Sodi GT4 karts.
Throughout the year, Hydes picked up a total of ten race wins, including a streak of six victories to round out the season, which gave him an average finishing position of 1.4, and a worldwide ranking of 27 out of 1,203 competitors.
In the junior portion of the competition, Hydes is currently leading the Slideways and national standings, and sits 33rd worldwide following the first three events, winning four races with an average finishing position of 2.1.
The Sprint Series campaign will mean that Hydes is battle ready for the best that the world can dish up, with his weight advantage negated thanks to the introduction this season of the Sodi weight box system, which has levelled the playing field.
In the Slideways Sprint standings, Hydes is currently second while placing fifth nationally, with a race win and four podium finishes to his credit.
Meanwhile in the Enduro division, Hydes has campaigned for a variety of teams, with two podium places on the scoreboard to date.
In Italy, Hydes will be up against 38 other competitors aboard identical Sodi LR5 karts.
TSR – Sodi World Series Endurance Cup
The team that has long proven to be the benchmark on Australian shores, TSR, is embarking on their third Sodi World Series finals, having previously travelled to Paris in both 2016 and ’17.
This year the squad will be represented by Jack Hughes, Nathan Heuschele, Ryan Mount and Swiss based driver Romain Forte, who travelled to Australia in July last year to compete in a Slideways round.
Forte in particular has recent form on the board in the competitive sphere of European karting, winning a total of 11 sprint cup events over the past two seasons.
From the nine events the TSR crew contested in season 2017 at Slideways Go Karting World, they won five, putting them on top of the standings nationally and 27th worldwide out of 2,052 teams, with an average finishing position of 2.2.
In the world rankings, TSR’s best season statistically was 2016, when they were placed seventh at the end of the year.
All told, the crew have had a total of 18 Enduro victories on Australian soil since forming in 2014.
To prepare for the event, the team will take in pre-event training races at the Lignano Circuit which is hosting the finals, as well in Switzerland.
The Sodi World Series Enduro final is scheduled for 12 hours aboard a fleet of Sodi SR4 karts.
Les Femmes Kangourous – Sodi World Series Endurance Cup
Rounding out the Australian representatives in Italy will be Les Femmes Kangourous, who have qualified by virtue of being the top all-female squad in the final standings for 2017.
Representing the team on its first appearance in the World finals will be Chloe Herbison, Erin Shields, Kaz Kelly and Amy King.
Herbison has been a strong competitor in the Slideways Junior Racing Series, with a best race result of third coming at a recent round.
Shields meanwhile has been a fast competitor in both the short and long form of the sport since making her debut in 2016, while Kelly and King have both shown solid form on-track.
Since forming in July 2017, the crew have three fifth place finishes to their credit, were ranked seventh at Slideways Go Karting World last year, while placing 13th nationally.
Preparation for the all-girl team will include training in Italy and Hungary.
Upcoming Events at Slideways Go Karting World Pimpama
The schedule of Slideways Race Days features a mix of events for all age groups.
Next up on the calendar is the fourth round of the Slideways Enduro Series on Friday June 8, with all drivers officially entered by midnight on Friday June 1 eligible for a free practice session at Slideways Go Karting World Pimpama.
This event, for teams of three drivers, will run to an extended 180-minute-long duration on the normal track direction.
Following on from that, the Slideways Junior Racing Series returns for a fifth round on Sunday June 24, with classes for Cadets aged 7 to 11 years old, and Juniors aged 12 to 15 years.
Both classes will feature a three-race format, running on the normal track direction, with early bird entries cutting off at midnight on Monday June 18.
Rounding out June’s racing action will be the Slideways Sprint Series on Wednesday June 27, with an early bird cut off on midnight Friday June 22.
Running alongside the Sprints is the Slideways Ladies Racing Series, with both classes having a three-race format on the reverse track direction.