ENGINE problems and poor preparation have cost local boy Kel Treseder the ultimate prize in Australian karting.
A sixth place in the final round of the CIK Stars of Karting series in Melbourne on Sunday meant Treseder relinquished his championship lead and with it a free ticket to race alongside Michael Schumacher in Las Vegas.
The Australian champion needed to place third at worst to hold off nearest rival Matthew Wall, but the kart was never at its best and he could only watch as the title slipped from his grasp at the final hurdle.
Treseder, who has just turned 26, had been leading the series heading into the final round, but his dreams were shattered when his engine overheated while on the grid in the first race.
Being awarded the Driver’s Driver of the Year award later that night was some consolation, but Treseder could not hide his disappointment.
“We didn’t get our stuff together all weekend,” he lamented.
“I’m devastated and I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet.”
There is still a spot reserved on the grid in Las Vegas for Treseder providing he funds the $18,000 trip himself.
Also expected to race in the one-off event is Formula One stars Jarno Trulli and Robert Kubica.
“It’d be a fairytale to be on the grid with those guys and I’ll find a way to make it,” Treseder said.
“Coming from Bundy it’s not something you’d get to do every day.”
While Bundaberg Red Racing sponsor V8 Supercars driven by Andrew Thompson and Fabian Coulthard, Treseder relies on personal backers and runs out of his Kel’s Karts and Parts shop on Walla Street.
“It’s a bit of a strange one that (not backing the local talent),” Treseder said. “I guess we’ve got to prove our point and show them how good we are.”