2012 Junior Top Guns Round 2 Race Report as submitted by OGKRC race starter and life member Paul Griffiths.
Saturday was sunny and warmer than the preceding Friday and karters had a chance to practice through the afternoon before we got down to the serious business of Saturday night’s racing.
Saturday Night Top Guns – Race Report
Cadets – Final starting order was Jai Sparey, Jordyn Sinni, Benito Montalbano, and then Connor Callanan. Sinni shot to the lead at the start with Sparey back to 4th, between them Montalbano and Callanan. Sparey soon into second with Sargent in 5th followed by a trio of Justin Dixon, Jordan Dudfield and George Gower. By halfway Sparey was onto the lead pair and passed Sinni into Coffey Ford then applied pressure to Montalbano. Four laps to go and Sparey into the lead, second Sinni, then Montalbano. Two to go and Sinni back in front – what a great race. Sparey and Montalbano dicing gave Sinni a break. Then on the last lap Sparey appeared to throw a chain and rolled into the in grid, giving Montalbano 2nd , and Callanan 3rd , both behind the victorious Sinni.
Junior National Heavy – The Pre Final finished with Damon Strongman first then Jesse Elliott, Zachary Phillips and Matthew Lane. Strongman started well but with Zachary Phillips right on his tail, then Matt Lane, Michael Potter, Jesse Elliott and Jordan Poxon. A Pre Final DNF saw Nicholas Rowe off 17th but in four laps he had moved up to 9th. Meanwhile back at the front Strongman was pulling away from Phillips with Lane a lonely 3rd . Elliott then led Edward Brown while Robert Titherington had worked his way into 6th. Eventually both Titherington and Brown got past Elliott but Brown was passed back with 3 to go and Rowe now right behind them in 7th. Strongman and Phillips were very close at the front and looked to be set for a great battle to the line. At Arrow corner starting the last lap Phillips got past, but Strongman charged back under him at Tony Kart Turn and pulled a gap that he held to the line to win, Phillips then Lane and Nicholas Rowe a great job to get into 4th .
Junior National Light C&P – Final Starting order Troy Alger, Jack Bentley, Todd Sparey then Brayden Flood. At the green it was Bentley into the lead followed by Alger, Flood, and then Daniel Zandt. After 4 laps Sparey joined the group at the lead and going into the Dipper Alger passed Bentley for the lead. Two laps later Bentley went over the back of another kart, again in Oakleigh’s famous Dipper and was left to watch the rest of the race from the sidelines. Meanwhile Zandt was working his way forward, taking the lead with 5 to go, followed by Alger, Flood, Sparey and Nicholas Steel joining the battle at the back of this group. Flood DNF’d going into the Dipper with 3 to go and after a number of lead changes and some good dicing Alger took the lead and held it to the finish, followed by Sparey, Zandt and Steel.
Junior Max – Final Starting order was Thomas Randle, Joseph Burton-Harris, Callum Walker then Reece Bloomfield with Bloomfield the only one from the top 4 of Friday night. The field was sent in twice before they got a start in the finals, both times because of karts crashing out in the roll arounds and mayhem that ensued. Eventually they got a go and Bloomfield shot to the lead from 4th , with Randle, Boys and Burton-Harris close behind. After 4 laps Boys moved into second passing Randle but at the front Bloomfield had checked out and pulled a big lead. At the chequered flag Bloomfield still held a commanding lead and Randle and Boys followed him home.
Rookies – Final starting was order Dylan Hollis, Thomas Bennet, Liam Ford then Jordan Caruso. In what was to prove an action packed race, the first lap saw Hollis lead, then Caruso, local Jack Bell, Bennett then another local Mathew Steel in 5th . By lap 5 Reece Sidebottom had joined the rear of this group with Liam Ford who had dropped back after starting 3rd. With 4 to go Friday’s second place getter Bennet was in the lead, then Caruso, Hollis, Bell, Ford and Sidebottom in 6th. A three wide bump and grind into the Dipper (that corner again!) saw a six kart freight train emerge and with 2 to go Bennet had pulled a lead, but the race was not run yet. With half a lap to go Hollis and Bennett came together in the Carousel in front of the Canteen allowing the karts behind to pounce. Best of the pouncers was Sidebottom who came from the clouds to win, followed by Friday’s winner Caruso, then Ford, Bell and a recovering Hollis.
Junior National Light – Final starting order Darwin’s Bryce Fullwood, Liam McLellan, Braydon North then Matthew McLean 4th after qualifying 8th, with fastest qualifier Damon Strongman in 5th . After a lap the first three were McLellan, Fullwood and North, then Strongman, Jayden Sharrad and McLean who dropped to 6th at the go. At halfway it was still McLellan but a lap or two later Fullwood was rubbing on his crashbar while North was still in 3rd but a way back. By Lap 9 though these three were bunched right up and Damon Strongman had joined them in 4th. As the last lap began this was the order, then Fullwood went to the lead into the Dipper, but McLellan straight back at him into the Carousel then Strongman went past Fullwood into Grid Corner putting Friday’s winner back to third – so we had the winner McLellan, Strongman then Fullwood and North home in 4th.
Junior National Heavy C&P – Final starting order Adam Capek, Edward Brown, then James Mastorakis and Ryan Blakis. Friday’s big winner Robert Titherington was an unlucky first corner dnf in the Pre Final so started the Final from 9th. After 2 laps of the final it was Brown then Mastorakis, Blakis and guess who – Robert Titherington who had made his way to 4th in two circuits of the track. On Lap 4 Titherington made a pass for the lead at Coffey Ford corner and was never headed for the rest of the race. A great dice developed for positions 2 to 6 between Brown, Blakis, local Jordan Poxon, Adam Capek and Mastorakis. In the end it was Titherington the winner, then a tangle of karts in the Carousel saw Brown home 2nd, followed by Blakis and the improving Poxon.
Junior Clubman – After one lap it was last night’s winner Strongman in the lead followed again by Thomas Randle then Luke Marquis, National Champion Jesse Elliott who seemed to be getting the hang of the demanding Oakleigh circuit, and local rising star Matthew McLean. Mclean got past Elliott by mid race but then these two were involved in a spectacular coming together at Canteen corner. Elliott had a look up the inside of McLean going into the left hander – the two karts appeared to come together and Elliott went up on two wheels seemingly stuck to McLean’s kart and hung at a 45 degree angle on two wheels until the right hander at Grid Corner where he returned to earth and the two continued racing, both unfortunately losing a number of places in the meantime. Long time Oakleigh members said they had never seen anything like it – Top Guns serves up the action yet again!! Meanwhile at the front Strongman and Randle had driven away and finished in that order, with Marquis, Bloomfield and Rowe behind them.
Oakleigh looks forward to hosting this season opening meeting again in 2013 and welcoming back the familiar faces and some new ones for yet another Top Guns – mark it in your diary now!!