REMEMBER WHEN …
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.