OGKRC’s Paul Griffiths has filed the following race report after this weekends 2011 Class Titles.
Saturday Qualifying and Heats were conducted in cool but dry conditions after a wet morning.
Sunday Pre Finals were run in wet conditions early on with Clubman Heavy / Super Heavy / Over 35′s going out on slicks and Sportsman 125 Light following them on slicks too, but finding rain during the race. From then on Pre Finals stayed dry.
Rookies – Sent in first time out as it started raining during roll arounds and two karts fouled plugs. Second time out in the dry, Guillou led Sims into Coffey Ford with Filikotzias, Steel and Torcasio behind them. After 3 laps Guillou, Sims and Filikotzias were bunched at the front, well clear of the other two. With 8 to go it began raining again and soon the heavens opened. This didn’t slow Guillou who got faster as it got wetter, gapping Sims and Filikotzias. With 2 to go it was absolutely pouring but Guillou maintained a 4 second lead and went on to win over Sims with Filikotzias in third, Steel fourth and Torcasio rounding them out.
Clubman Light – Ash Arora off pole after dominating all weekend and Adam Hughes off 2 after qualifying 12th and working his way up during the heats, followed by Nichols, Allen & Martin. Arora and Hughes soon pulled a gap over Allen with another gap back to Martin. With 9 to go Martin had caught Allen and they began battling while Hughes and Arora were engaged in an absorbing tussle at the front. Renshaw was in a lonely fifth followed by Appleby, Citrine and D’Ettorre. With 7 to go Hughes passed Arora in the Dipper and on a drying track set about pulling a lead on Arora. With 4 to go Hughes is half a second faster than Arora and drives to an easy win, Thomas Martin coming home third.
Sportsman 125 Restricted – Only 3 non P Platers in R125 and Luke Medley had dominated up to the finals. Medley shot away at the rain drenched start from Griffin and Freeman. Best of the P Platers early on was Stumpf, followed by Cerato and Phillips. While Medley drove away and Griffin put a gap on the pack too, Freeman and Stumpf battled for 3rd, then a foursome of Cerato, Phillips, Clarke and O’Connor battled it out for the minors. With 11 to go Freeman dropped way back and Stumpf slid into third, but Medley and Griffin were unstoppable out front. With 6 left Medley was lapping slower karts on a soaking wet track in bright sunshine – ahh Melbourne! Griffin joined in the lapping with Stumpf still in 3rd but 30 seconds adrift of the leader. Finally it was Medley the win, Griffin, Stumpf and then a tight bunch consisting of Cerato, Clarke and Phillips, then Freeman with Morgan the last finisher.
Junior National Light – Jordan Poxon off pole following a wet Pre Final and fastest Qualifier Justin Francis off 5th after a fuel issue in the Pre Final. Poxon led at the start with Sparey, Morina, McLean and Francis close behind. Poxon ran wide at MKC corner on the second lap and surrendered the lead to Sparey. With 10 to go Sparey had established a comfortable lead, Francis had moved to second from Morina, then Mclean and Poxon, then Andaloro, Steel and Westaway. Seven to go and Francis was closing in on Sparey, but he ended up following Sparey until with 2 to go he passed at Coffey, but Sparey straight back under him. Nose to tail as they began the last lap, Francis under Sparey at Arrow corner, Sparey back under Francis into the Dipper, Sparey led into grid corner and pulled away to a well deserved win with Morina third. Well done to Todd Sparey, the C Grader taking a well deserved win over an experienced campaigner in Justin Francis.
Clubman Super Heavy – Mick Fisher led Mal Hunt and David Gibcus early on in the race – anyone who didn’t get a trophy in this class would be unlucky. Sure enough Hunt dnf’d with 10 to go! Fisher way out in front of Gibcus and took an easy win.
Clubman Over 35 – Rod Capuano established and early lead from Peter Gooch and Pole sitter Anthony Westaway, then continued to drive away. He too had a comfortable victory with Westaway passing Gooch on the last corner for second.
Clubman Heavy – Former Clubman Super Heavy National Champion Josh Brooker now just a shadow of his former self, fronted up to run Clubman Heavy and took all before him, with Ghoukassian off second, Citrine and Thomas making up the field. Brooker surrendered the lead to Thomas with 12 to go and found him hard to catch – the wet suiting Thomas. Another race finishing on a soaking track in bright sunshine, some day for the mechanics! Thomas victorious over Brooker then Ghoukassian and Citrine.
Sportsman 125 Light – Carless, King and Mayer the top 3 with fastest qualifier and heat winner Edwards dnf’ing the wet Pre Final. Early on the race split into two groups with Carless, King and Edwards breaking away from the rest. These three were getting quicker on a drying track. With 9 to go King went into the lead and Edwards second, Carless seemed to be dropping off in third. Just as quickly he was back on the leaders and these three delivered some close racing with positions changing every lap. With 4 remaining Carless in the lead, King and Edwards following and Carless proceeded to pull a gap on the other two. Edwards passed King for second into the Dipper but Carless still a comfortable lead with 2 laps remaining and that’s how they crossed the line and greeted the chequered flag. Barnes 4th then Mayer and Winter made up the field.
Sportsman 125 Heavy – Andaloro off pole, Andrew Yuill, Rhys Hunt and Vern Kranz made up the first two rows. Andaloro into the lead with Hunt second but Yuill passed him into Coffey Ford on the second lap, then back to Cullis who lost a wheel in the Pre Final. Yuill had a look at the lead on lap 3 but Andaloro straight back at him. Hunt ran wide at Tony Kart turn and let Cullis through to 3rd, then Jackson, Mal Hunt and Greg Smart with Vern Kranz dropping back to last with a problem of some sort. With 9 to go Yuill into the lead, Andaloro second and Cullis gaining all the time in 3rd. A great three way battle for the lead over the last few laps. When Cullis passed Andaloro for second it gave Yuill a gap that Cullis had 3 laps to close and close he did. Andaloro dropped well back into the clutches of Rhys Hunt who came through to third. One to go Yuill had a kart length on Cullis, Rhys Hunt in third. Yuill held on to win by a couple of tenths from Cullis and Rhys Hunt in 3rd.
Midgets – Tyler O’Leary off pole, Jai Sparey and Blake Kolar followed by Jake Harewood, Jay Di Virgilio and Benjamin D’Alia. Sparey straight to the front at the start with O’Leary and Kolar battling for second and third. With 8 to go Kolar got into third over O’Leary. Immediately after this Jay Di Virgilio lost a wheel at MKC corner and had an exciting time as the rest of the field worked their way around his stranded kart. Sparey led by a comfortable margin with 3 to go but second and third was up for grabs between Kolar and O’Leary with O’Leary getting through for second on the last lap at Arrow. Well done to Jai Sparey on a comfortable win.
Junior National Heavy – Matt Lane had won everything up to the Final and started off pole with Justin Carless second and Matt McLean third. Aaron Jackson off fourth, Kyle Hunt and Edward Brown both had a DNF in the Pre Final off the back. Carless jumped into the lead at the start and pulled a gap on Lane and Mclean. After 5 laps these three were locked together at the front, Brown in a lonely fourth and Hunt and Jackson further back. Lane into the lead with 9 to go but Carless and Mclean weren’t surrendering without a fight. This brought Brown onto the back of them, so a four way battle began. With 4 to go Carless looped it going into the Carousel and although he kept going he handed the battle for the lead to Lane, McLean and Brown. Lane and McLean locked together with McLean taking the lead at Tony Kart with 2 to go. Lane back into the lead at Coffey Ford corner with one to go and held on to win from Mclean and a fast closing Brown. Junior National Heavy saved the best to last – a great race and a great drive to win from Matt Lane.