The Gold Coast Race of Stars karting extravaganza will be the focus for drivers from all across the globe this October.

Courtesy of BRP-Rotax and Australian Rotax importer International Karting Distributors (IKD), the winner of the DD2 Class at the Race of Stars will receive the final place on the grid at the 2018 Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in Brazil.

The Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals sees 360 drivers from more than 50 nations compete after qualifying through various National Series’ and events.

2018 marks the first time that the Race of Stars has been a qualifying event for the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, much to the delight of IKD Managing Director Ian Black.

“The Race of Stars is undoubtedly Australia’s highest profile stand alone event. It’s great that we can add another international element with the Rotax DD2 class and link it to the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals,” said Black.

“Normally, an opportunity like this is only available across the entire Series here in Australia and it will be the final qualifying ticket available in the World. I’m confident that the DD2 Class will produce some sensational racing.”

Event Manager Lee Hanatschek believes that the opportunity for a driver to win their way to the Grand Finals in Brazil adds another significant international element to the 2018 Race of Stars.

“Over the past five years, the international element of the Race of Stars has been significant, this new prize further compliments the event,” said Hanatschek.

“Places on the grid at the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals are extremely limited and can’t be brought, they have to be earned.  To have such a prestigious prize for the winner of the DD2 class is fantastic for the event and we look forward to welcoming drivers from wide and far to battle for it.”

The DD2 Class at the Race of Stars will compete at the minimum weight of 177kg (driver and kart combined) to attract a mix of regular DD2 and DD2 Masters Classes.

Continuing the invitational aspect of the Race of Stars, invitations will be distributed to the top ten in the Rotax Pro Tour standings for the DD2 and DD2 Masters Classes, along with the front runners in the New Zealand Rotax classes, in the coming days.  Further invitations will be distributed to suitably credentialed drivers shortly after with drivers also eligible to apply to receive an invitation.

The full list of classes that will be competing at the 2018 Race of Stars will be announced in the coming days.  Following which, invitations for qualified drivers from the respective Australian and State Championships and Series’ will be distributed.

It is expected that more than 250 drivers will be in action at the event to be contested at the Xtreme Karting Complex on October 11-13.  The Race of Stars will launch the Gold Coast into a ten-day celebration of motorsports with the Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Supercars event being contested on the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit the following weekend.