Queensland kart racer Kyle Ensbey (Sunshine Coast) will line up against the world’s top kart racers when he competes in the World Cup at the Sarno circuit in Italy on the first weekend in September.
Ensbey, the current CIK Stars of Karting Series points leader in the Pro Gearbox (KZ2) category, will be the first Australian to compete at the prestigious event aboard a KZ2-specification kart.
It will be the second time Ensbey has competed in Italy, his previous start coming at the WSK Nations Cup event during 2010. He will be joining with the highly respected Birel Motorsport Factory team for next month’s event.
It is expected that well in excess of 100 competitors will feature on the entry list for the KZ2 category at the event, and with only 34 places on the grid for the final - the action will be intense.
“There could be up to 160 entries, so it’s going to be tough over there just to make the final but hopefully I can come away from the event with a strong result, and you never know I could come back as the champion,” said Ensbey.
“To be joining with the Birel factory team is a very exciting opportunity and I’m hopeful that this will lead to more opportunities in the future if I can do well next month.”
Ensbey will fly out to Italy on August 24 to begin his preparations for the event, which kicks off with practice on August 29. He will be accompanied on the trip by Patrizicorse Pro Gearbox team-mate Hayden Patrizi.
“Michael Patrizi has been a great supporter of my career and he was planning on coming over with me but unfortunately his V8 commitments will keep him here in Australia, so I’ve got the next best thing – his younger brother – coming with me,” said Ensbey.
“One of the toughest things faced by us Aussies when we go over to Europe is the language barrier, so by having Hayden there it will certainly help me speed up the interpretations for changes in the set-up etc.”
Michael Patrizi, who drives for the Tekno Autosports V8 Supercar team, is delighted to be assisting Ensbey with the opportunity of competing at the highest level of karting in the world.
“Kyle is what I call a super talent, I don’t say that about many people but I have said it before about someone before and he’s now in the elite form of motorsport,” said Patrizi.
“With Kyle it’s different, we know he can race at the highest level of cars in Australia and I have no doubt that if he drove in the V8 Development series next year he would be a contender, but our aim for Kyle is to succeed as a professional karter in Europe, it’s a serious job and not too many people get that opportunity. This World Cup drive with the best team in the Factory Birel Motorsport Team is the first step towards this.
“The way Kyle drove two years ago in Europe was exceptional, he was in ninth place in the final with a handful of laps to go only to be crashed off, we had the best of the best in that field, so I have no doubt he will surprise a few if everything goes his way in Italy.
“The pleasure and proudness I have in having a Patrizicorse driver compete in the World Cup is just surreal, I have done it as a driver but now having a driver do it is just cool.
“I’m confident that the experience Kyle will gain while at the World Cup will aid him in focusing on his Australian commitments where he’s in the box seat to win the Pro Gearbox championship.
“Kyle has already started to gain some great commercial support with Dave Violi from V8 Nights, Brett Murray from Speedcafe and Etihad Airways already providing Kyle with assistance for the event.”