Dutch karting star lands Down Under
Dutch karting icon Joey Hanssen landed in Australia for this weekend’s Kalgoorlie Case & Drill Dash for Cash event in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia.
Twenty one year-old Hanssen, who started his career at the age of four, is one of two internationals competing in the ever-growing event – the other being 2010 KZ2 winner Italian Roberto Toninelli.
Hanssen is one of the world’s top kart racers, and has also tried his hand at other forms of motorsport. After ten successful years of kart racing, he switched to car racing in 2007 here he was crowned champion in Formula Gloria. In 2008 he drove back in a kart, but behind the scenes he worked to get into NASCAR. In 2009 he was rookie champion in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series before returning to karting at the top level in 2010. A year later in Genk, Belgium he was victorious in the KZ2 World Cup event before graduating to the KZ2 category in 2012 where he finished third in the WSK Euro Series.
It is the first time that Hanssen has travelled to Australia with the trip coming after he spent time speaking with Lenzo Kart Australia boss John Shugg during the World Cup event in Italy earlier this year.
“I’ve never been to Australia before but it has always been one of my big dreams and hopefully one day even drive one of the famous V8 Supercars,” said Hanssen.
When asked if he knew much about Kalgoorlie, Hanssen’s answer was simple “I know enough, they have a race track and that’s enough for me.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing as much of the country that I can squeeze into my short trip and also racing against the Australian drivers,” added Hanssen.
Hanssen will be one of 28 drivers lining up on the grid in the KZ2 Feature category at this weekend’s event. Joining him and Toninelli in the field are some of the best drivers from all across the country, including Queenslanders Kyle Ensbey and Kel Treseder, who between them have finished runner-up in the Castrol EDGE CIK Stars of Karting Series across the past three years. Victoria will be well represented with the likes of Ricky Capo, Lee Mitchener and Jason Pringle entered with defending champion Daniel Currey set to lead the charge for the local Western Australian drivers.
A total of $10,000 prizemoney is up for grabs in the KZ2 category, while the Newland Associates Leopard feature race will see 16 drivers battle for the $5,000 in prizes.
A total of 209 entries across 14 categories have been received for the event with practice being held on Friday ahead of racing on Saturday and Sunday. The feature events will be held under lights on Saturday night.