Australian karting icons Dave Sera and Remo Luciani added a New Zealand Championship to their lengthy resumes at the New Zealand National Sprint Championships in Hamilton on the weekend.
Competing in the Rotax Light category, in which he is a six-time Australian champion, Sera’s victory was one of the finest of his illustrious career.
After being sidelined in the pre-final due to a mechanical issue, Sera started the final from 25th position with little chance of victory. However, one thing his competitors have come to know over time is that you can never discount Dave Sera.
Somehow, Sera managed to make up nine places under braking for the first turn, then four more out of the second, when a gaggle of drivers in front of him clashed.
"I knew I had picked up quite a lot of karts and by the third lap I could see the guy in the lead so I counted myself back into about seventh place. Then the red flag came out and when the race started again I think I just had a little bit better speed than the guys at the front and I got the lead with seven laps to go which I wasn't expecting. In fact once I hit the front I was thinking, 'I've done a lot of work to get here I hope nothing falls off!'” said Sera.
"It's probably not the most spectacular win that I’ve had, but it definitely had its moments. For a while there I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea. If you played that race out again 100 times I don't think it would go the same way it did that time."
Luciani, 51, claimed the 100cc Yamaha Heavy title on Saturday after a three-way battle with Zack Zaloum and one of the other Australian drivers in the field, Lane Moore from the Gold Coast.
Luciani, a seven-time Australian National champion and 55-time State champion, had to use all his guile and racecraft to beat his two younger opponents and afterwards was full of praise for the level of competition in New Zealand.
"It feels good to be able to win in New Zealand," said Luciani.
"I very much appreciate this win and it didn’t come easy as there were many talented drivers in the class including the current NZ champion."
A total of six Australians competed at this year's New Zealand National Sprint Championships. Along with the wins by Sera and Luciani, both Lane Moore and James Sera finished second in the Rotax Heavy and Yamaha Light categories. Moore also finished third in the Yamaha Heavy category, one place ahead of Melbourne’s Mark Dorbolo.
Melbourne’s Ricky Capo mixed it with New Zealand’s top drivers near the front of the KZ2 category before crossing the line in seventh place.