Race of Stars organisers have announced the return to Australia of a Dutchman with two national-level karting titles to his name for the 2018 running of the event.
Joey Hanssen lived in Australia in 2013 and 2014, winning the KZ2 class of the CIK Stars of Karting Series in each of those years.
The 27-year-old is the first international driver announcement for the annual Gold Coast 600 lead-in event.
“I spent two years living in Australia and thoroughly enjoyed it while also winning two championships, but the one thing I didn’t manage to win was the Race of Stars,” noted Hanssen, who will again race in KZ2 class.
“Hopefully that can change this year. I’m returning to Australia this year with the sole purpose of claiming the surfboard,” he added regarding the unique trophies similar to those handed out to the Supercars podium finishers.
Hanssen also had high praise for the talent he took on during his stint in Australia.
“Anyone who competes at a high level in Europe is extremely talented, but some of the Australian drivers are just as good,” he said.
“When I first raced in Australia I didn’t know what to expect but I very quickly learnt that there were some very good drivers over there and really had to push hard to win.”
Competition at the Race of Stars will be contested in the KZ2, DD2, TaG 125, KA3 Senior, KA2, KA3 Junior, KA4 Junior, and Cadet 12 classes.
Invitations to drivers to race in those eight classes were sent last month, with the field, including more internationals, to take shape as the event draws closer.
The Race of Stars will take place at the Gold Coast’s Xtreme Karting Complex on October 11-13, a week prior to the Pirtek Enduro Cup event in Surfers Paradise.