Kalgoorlie Miner - - SPORT -

Af­ter five months and a drawn-out ap­peals process, lo­cal go-karter An­thony Martin can fi­nally call him­self an Aus­tralian cham­pion.

Martin was this week of­fi­cially el­e­vated to the num­ber one po­si­tion in amended na­tional club­man light stand­ings re­leased by the Aus­tralian Kart­ing As­so­ci­a­tion.

The 17-year-old had orig­i­nally fin­ished out­right se­cond in Dar­win, but the of­fi­cial re­sult went to ap­peal af­ter a post-race in­spec­tion of the top five ve­hi­cles found fault with the kart of win­ner James Sera.

Af­ter Sera then counter-ap­pealed, Martin spent the en­su­ing months on tenterhooks while the mat­ter was ad­ju­di­cated by the AKA.

Any ap­peals process is not lodged by the driver, but rather the of­fi­cial race stew­ards af­ter all karts are im­pounded and the en­gines checked for anom­alies.

The amended stand­ings put Martin on top from Queens­lan­der Cian Fothergill and New Zealand’s Aaron Marr.

Not sur­pris­ingly, Martin — who on Box­ing Day is mov­ing to Perth with his fam­ily — is re­lieved the is­sue has fi­nally been set­tled.

“The first cou­ple of months, ap­peals were be­ing thrown about ev­ery­where and I was get­ting a bit an­noyed be­cause there was no de­ci­sion on whether I was first or se­cond,” he said.

“But the next cou­ple of months, I for­got about it I sup­pose and Sun­day was the first time ev­ery­thing clicked — when I got a text mes­sage (from an AKA of­fi­cial) to say I’d won the na­tional cham­pi­onship.”

Martin now har­bours ma­jor am­bi­tions to fol­low in the foot­steps of an­other for­mer Gold­fields kart­ing star, Michael Pa­trizi, and even­tu­ally grad­u­ate to the pres­ti­gious V8 Su­per­cars.

“That’s the ul­ti­mate goal for me — and I re­ally look up to peo­ple like Jamie Whin­cup, who started off in karts,” he said.

“To me, he (Whin­cup) ex­ceeds a lot of other driv­ers and I’d like to fol­low in sim­i­lar foot­steps.”

Martin’s el­e­va­tion to Aus­tralian cham­pion caps an out­stand­ing year which in­cluded gain­ing valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence in Italy and last month’s Gold­fields Sports Star of the Year Award.

Martin is now ready to pur­sue a Bach­e­lor of Mo­tor­sports at Perth’s Edith Cowan Univer­sity.

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