Alongside the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) at Wakefield Park, this weekend, will be the opening round of the GP Juniors Cup for the youngest bracket of rising star riders, aged from 11-15 years.
It is the second year of the GP Juniors Cup where all competitors ride the dynamic Yamaha YZF-R15 150cc machine, all using the very same Bridgestone BT38 treaded road tyres to ensure a level playing field and to allow the individual’s talent to shine through.
The class has already shown its merits in unearthing new talent, as two of the stars from last year will be competing overseas in 2018. The 2017 GP Juniors Cup Champion, Tommy Edwards has secured a ride in the Supersport 300cc World Championship, that is held alongside the European rounds of the Superbike World Championship.14-year-old Joel Kelso, who is a definite star on the rise, will be competing in the talent stacked Italian Moto3 Championship for Grand Prix specification machines.
While the pair may have vacated the series, it has opened up the way for others to shine, most notably 13-year-old John Lytras, who hails from Caboolture on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.
Lytras finished second in the six round series last year, and as he displayed on numerous times last year, he has no time for reputations, going wheel-to-wheel and elbow-to-elbow with the much older, and more experienced, Edwards, at every outing
Lytras will be one of the favourites for GP Juniors Cup glory, but he will have to be on his game as there are many others nipping at his heels, the most notable another 13-year-old in Harry Khouri from Richmond and Max Stauffer from the Hunter Valley.
Unlike many in the class, Khouri has proven that you don’t need experience in dirt track racing to make an impact, as last year was his first year of actually racing, bypassing the somewhat traditional path of dirt track. He has proven to be a very fast learner and will be right in the thick of it this weekend, around the technical Wakefield Park layout.
Stauffer is a rider from the dirt track ranks and is another on the rise as he improves at every outing. The son of multi Australina champion, Jamie Stauffer he certainly has the genes to go a long way and will no doubt be another ready to rub elbows out on track.
There will be many others aiming to make a name for themselves with Zylas Bunting from the NSW North Coast. Bunting is one that will be battling the leaders every lap of the three races over the weekend.
Additionally, there will be a number of debutants in the class with dreams of carving out a career in road racing, to follow in the tracks of many notables like Casey Stoner and Jack Miller.
Practice for the GP Juniors Cup will take place on Friday with qualifying and a race on Saturday with two races for the Junior rising stars on Sunday. Tickets for the first round of the GP Juniors Cup can be found at asbk.com.au.