MR DAVID ASHTON
Justin Francis (Year 11) competed in the 2012 Victorian state go kart championships during Term 1 in his first major kart event as a senior driver. Justin is 16 years old, and contested both the ultra-competitive clubman light and super-fast leopard light classes.
Justin Francis in Kart 3 at the Victorian Open
Justin (right) on the podium
He was very quick all weekend, and finished seventh in clubman light from 20th on the grid after a technical problem with the spark plug lead in the pre-final. In the championships’ quickest class, leopard light, he started from third position for the final and finished third behind two multiple Australian kart champions many years his senior, which was a quality podium in a big field of drivers. It was a great weekend for Justin.
Justin started go karting late in 2007 at the age of 12. He won the Oakleigh club championships in his first full year as a rookie.
Justin has won several major open events, including the hotly-contested Junior Sprint Classic, and in 2011, his last year as a junior driver, he won the prestigious City of Melbourne Championships in junior clubman, and followed it up with a second place at the NSW Open, again in the ultra-competitive junior clubman class.
At the end of 2011 Justin had an opportunity to test the 2011 championship-winning Formula Ford at Winton, and was immediately quick and impressive.
In 2012, at the tender age of 16, Justin moved up to race seniors, and decided to contest the 2012 Victorian Open Sprint Kart Championships in one of karting’s fastest classes, leopard light. In a field of quality drivers many years his senior, Justin raced well all weekend and took third place in the final – a great achievement. To cap off a great start to the year, at Easter Justin won the Australasian Kart Titles in the clubman light class.
After completing VCE Justin hopes to race open wheel cars, and is always seeking sponsors and support, which is an integral part of success in motor sport.
At the 2012 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Justin was a guest of the Red Bull F1 team and also had the opportunity to meet one of his racing heroes, Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 F1 world champion.
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