OGKRC starter Paul Griffiths has written the following race report after this weekends All Stars races.
A mild but windy Saturday greeted karters for round one of Victoria’s premier series, the All Stars, run at the Oakleigh Go Kart Racing Club. Heats were completed on Saturday with pre finals and finals run on a Sunday that looked threatening to begin with, but stayed fine through to the mid afternoon finish.
The meeting turned on a fabulous two days of racing at Oakleigh. It ran pretty much without incident, the weather gods were kind to us and President Adam Bourke, the committee and other helpers deserve congratulations on a well run show. To the victors the spoils, and the rest live to fight it out at the next round.
Heat wins were shared between Jai Sparey and Jordyn Sinni, both driving through from the rear of the field in the first heat. Sparey off pole for the Pre Final and he and Sinni gapped the rest of the field early, Williams and Connor Callanan close together in 3 and 4 and that’s how they stayed until the last lap when a tangle eliminated Williams, Michael Clemente and further back Jordan Dudfield and George Gower.
Final: Jai Sparey pulled to the lead at the start with Jordyn Sinni close behind then Connor Callanan third. By half way Sinni was not letting Sparey get away, but these two drove away from the rest of the field with Callanan still third, then the thus far unlucky Dudfield (who had registered two dnf’s) and Tyler O’Leary further back. Lap after lap Sinni shadowed Sparey, never more than a couple of kart lengths behind, but just couldn’t get close enough to make a move and Sparey hung on to win from Sinni by 9/100ths, then Callanan, Dudfield and O’Leary. Sinni was later DQ’ed for a technical infringement elevating Callanan to second and Dudfield onto the podium and into third.
A field of only seven saw Vic Open pole sitter Mark Dorbolo winning heat 1 from a fast closing Leigh Nicolaou, with positions reversed in heat 2. First few laps of the Pre Final you could have thrown a blanket over the whole field with Nicolaou out front then Dorbolo and Timothy Edwards. Dorbolo took the lead with 6 to go and stayed there until the end, then Nicolaou and Edwards.
Final: Mark Dorbolo to the lead followed closely by Leigh Nicolaou then Timothy Edwards and Nathan Mitchell. By halfway very little had changed and then things livened up just slightly when Steven Gawne passed Mitchell for fourth, but otherwise the final looked like being a well spread out procession. Three to go and Nicolaou had worked his way onto the back of Dorbolo, so this was where the interest was going to be at the end. Last lap and there was nothing between the front two, and then Nicolaou pushed past into the Dipper to go ahead of Dorbolo. This is how they continued, past the grid corner and onto the straight for the last time and what had threatened to be the most uninteresting race developed into a sensational finish at Arrow corner, where Dorbolo pulled off brilliant pass around the outside, smoke streaming from between the two karts as they kissed tyres, to give him a well deserved victory.
Junior National Light
Heat 1 led at the finish by Luke Guillou with Thomas Prascevic close behind and Braydon North closing fast, then heat 2 won by Prascevic after Ashton Andaloro crossed the line first but was hit with a penalty for a starting infringement, from Todd Sparey and North again closing in third. Great pre final, North out front from Strongman, Prascevic and Guillou with Hawkes tacked on the back of this train with 5 to go. This group battled for the rest of the race, at the flag North by a tenth to Prascevic, then 5/100ths to Hawkes, then a gap to Guillou and Strongman.
Final: Pole man Braydon North to the lead and Thomas Prascevic with him, then a gap to Damon Strongman and Will Hawkes, Luke Guillou fifth, then Matt McLean and Alex Peroni. Eight to go and Prascevic into the lead from North, then Hawkes back in third setting fastest laps and gradually reeling the front two in, while Strongman dropped away a little in fourth. Six to go and North back to the lead and locked together with Prascevic and Hawkes – looks like a great last few laps coming up!! Two to go and Hawkes slides into 2nd but still nothing between the front three. Last lap and Hawkes under North into Tony Kart, then Prascevic pounces after they had been three wide into Dipper. Out of grid corner Hawkes was in second but squeezed through at MKC corner to go to the lead and win from North and then Prascevic in a fabulous race – a credit to the front three drivers.
Dylan Hollis off pole in heat 1 and was unlucky to find himself at the rear after colliding with a spinning kart in the first corner. From 14th position a great drive from Jack Bell saw him the winner from Matthew Iredale, Thomas Hughes, Mathew Steel and a recovering Hollis doing well to get back to fifth. Heat 2 with Hollis now off the back and with a fine drive he’d taken the lead with five to go, followed by Iredale and Dylan Adams. In the Pre Final Iredale led them off with Hollis second then a gaggle made up of Dylan Adams, Jack Bell, Mathew Steel, Thomas Hughes and Elijah D’Cruz. Hollis to the lead on lap 2 and pulled a gap of nearly a second to lead Iredale home with the rest well back.
Final: Dylan Hollis off pole and to the front, while Matthew Iredale in a tangle at Coffey Ford and through the cut through rejoining in fifth, behind Jack Bell, Hughes and Adams. Iredale through to third with nine to go, but out front Hollis was on a Sunday drive leading Bell. Most interest was further back in the field where Michael Smith, Elijah D‘Cruz, Simon Fallon and Brad Stewart engaged in a great battle for positions 6 though 10. Two to go and Hollis clear out front, then Bell and Iredale, with Hughes and Adams in a battle for fourth and fifth and that’s how they finished, with Smith then D’Cruz, Fallon then Stewart behind them. Hollis drove with maturity beyond his years all weekend, especially when things weren’t going his way, and thoroughly deserved his win – a great job.
Michael Carless led from lights to flag in heat 1, Hamish Leighton second and Josh King a great drive from 12th through to third place. Heat 2 with King off the front, now his turn to lead from go to whoa, then Kovacs, Jake Meyland and Timothy Edwards. Carless to the lead in the pre final and he and King drove away from the rest with Carless winning from a closing King, then a big gap back to Kovacs in 3rd
Final: Michael Carless and Josh King one and two, and broke away slightly from Kovacs – lots of spills further back in the field with karts into the dirt and tangling with each other. Meanwhile King got to the front but couldn’t shake Carless and Kovacs now right on these two. Six to go and Carless now back to the lead. Broady and Leighton in fourth and fifth tangled at Coffey Ford with four to go but rejoined in the same positions. Up front Carless had finally put a gap on King, and Kovacs further back in third and that’s how they crossed the line.
Great performance from Jack Richardson who won both heats after starting mid field in each, Stephen Bideleux second and a big gap back to Liam Galgey in heat 1, then Tyler Koelewyn and Bideleux two and three in heat 2. After dropping back as far as third, pre final pole sitter Richardson got to the lead and pulled a small gap on Bideleux with Koelewyn closing fast in third.
Final: Jack Richardson had taken all before him in the heats and had the weight of expectation that comes with winning all the heats hanging over him as the final began. After three laps the karts behind him were doing him a favour by engaging in a huge stoush that was just letting Richardson drive away. When they settled, Koelewyn was second, Bideleux third and James Macdonald in fourth, but out front it was all Richardson. Five to go and Richardson had a four second lead and needed a wheel to fall off not to win. Fittingly, his wheels remained attached, no other misfortune came his way, and he led home Koelewyn and Bideleux by over six seconds, then Macdonald, Galgey, Louis Ambelas and Ben Freeman and Alan Davison rounding out the top eight.
Reece Bloomfield took the double in Junior Clubman heats, with Kyle Rethus second and Jake Klein third in heat 1, then Klein and Rethus two / three in heat 2. Bloomfield and Klein battled for the lead in the pre final and unfortunately both ended as spectators with 4 to go after a wild ride into the catch trap at the finish line after the slightest touch of wheels through Arrow corner – neither really at fault and good to see them help each other out of their karts. This left Rethus to sail through to the win, then McLean and Strongman.
Final: Jake Klein and Reece Bloomfield off the back here after they dnf’d the pre final, but at the front Kyle Rethus and Matt Mclean. After two laps this pair were clear in front, Klein had made some progress through the field but Bloomfield had been stymied at every turn and was still stuck towards the rear. Into the Carousel second placed McLean tangled with Rethus and went out spectacularly after pirouetting over the top of him – bad luck for the promising local. While all this was going on Klein had snuck through to the lead from Rethus, then another rear of field starter Blaine Densley found himself in third with Strongman in fourth by halfway and Bloomfield finally through to fifth. Back at the front Rethus re took the lead from Klein but they were glued together for a number of laps with Densley watching from a few kart lengths back in third. Five to go and Klein back to the lead and after two more laps he had a slight gap – but only a slight one. He led the start of the last lap but Rethus squeezed through into the Dipper and Densley followed him, those two finishing one/two, and Klein third.
Lots of quality names in the Clubman Light field and heat 1 won by Sarron Caddy from James Sera who had driven to second from 15th, then Jack Wynack who led early but was overhauled by Caddy and Sera. Caddy was an unlucky dnf in heat 2, Sera winning from heat 1 dnf Andrew Mercuri then Michael Nichols and Sebastian Tolson. James Sera winning the pre final easily from Justin Francis, Nichols and Mercuri with Caddy another unlucky dnf, this time a mechanical failure halfway through the race.
Final: A cracking start to Clubman Light with James Sera to the lead and then a train led by Francis, Mercuri, Nichols then Gawne and the unlucky Caddy who started 14th now into sixth. After four laps Sera was well in the lead, then a group of three led by Francis then Mercuri and Nichols, then a gap back to Caddy who was now through to fifth ahead of Wynack and Gawne. By halfway Sera was about 4/10ths faster than anyone else out there. With five to go the hapless Caddy rolled to halt in front of the in grid with what appeared to be an electrical problem – a heartbreaking result after winning the first heat and then not finishing a race since. Three to go and Mercuri had passed Francis for second and Nichols was under pressure from Wynack for fourth. Two to go and Mercuri out at MKC corner sans chain it appeared. Sera the leader, Francis then Wynack through to third and that’s how they finished with Sera winning by over eight seconds. While not an exciting race in as much as there was little dicing or last lap heroics, it’s always good to watch James Sera in action – smooth and seemingly unhurried, but always fast. Credit to Francis, the recent graduate from juniors doing well to mix it with the big boys and come home in second.
Junior National Heavy
Damon Strongman the winner of both heats, Jordan Poxon and Will Hawkes following him home in heat 1, and Robert Titherington and Hawkes in heat 2. The pre final saw a race long battle between Poxon and Strongman for the lead with Titherington closing on these two but Strongman holding on – well done to the less experienced Poxon who hung with Strongman all race.
Final: Damon Strongman to the lead and pulled away at the green, Jordan Poxon and Will Hawkes in two and three, then Justin Carless and Robert Titherington further back. Shortly after Titherington pulled into the in grid with what appeared to be a bent axle, meanwhile Strongman still clear out front and Poxon and Hawkes locked together in second and third. Hawkes ran wide with seven to go at Coffey Ford corner and dropped well back leaving Poxon in a lonely second. In the end Strongman crossed the line first with Poxon, and then Hawkes, well behind him
Clubman Over 40’s regular Phil Smith was untouchable in the heats, winning 1 from Hamish Leighton and Andrew Yuill, then 2 from Aron Lawrence and Reece Broady. Smith led for much of the pre final but Leighton caught and passed him with 5 to go. While Leighton didn’t pull away, he held on to win from Smith and then Lawrence.
Final: Leighton led Phil Smith from Aron Lawrence then Luke Andaloro and Andrew Yuill. Three laps in, Smith to the lead and Leighton shuffled back with Andaloro into second then Lawrence third. Smith pulled away, but then bit by bit Andaloro started catching him – the Smith ribs maybe feeling the strain of two days pounding around the twisty Oakleigh circuit. With six to go Andaloro was only half a second off Smith and Lawrence not far behind these two either. Three laps later Andaloro had worked his way right onto the back of Smith and it was going to be a battle between age and cunning and youth and exuberance. Age and cunning held on in the end with Smith finding something of a second wind and pulling a small gap to win by 7/10ths, then Andaloro, Lawrence, Yuill, Broady and Leighton.
A quality field in Leopard Light was no match for CIK champion Jake Spencer, who passed thirteen other karts to drive through from last to a win in heat 1, leading home Leigh Nicolaou and Justin Francis after taking the lead on the last lap, then dicing with James Sera at the start of heat 2 before leading him and then Daniel Paronetto and Nicolaou to the chequered flag. It took three laps of the pre final for Spencer to break clear of Nicolaou and Sera, then Justin Francis and Paronetto. This group all setting lap times within a tenth of each other, Francis sneaking through to third and Paronetto getting past Nicolaou too – a great final ahead of us!! Paronetto was unfortunate to come together with Nicolaou and dnf towards the end. Spencer the winner, then Sera, Francis and Carless.
Final: Jake Spencer off pole and to the front from Justin Francis, James Sera, Jackson Evans and Michael Carless. Evans pulled in minus his chain guard after 6 laps and up front Spencer was not having it all his own way with Francis and then Sera very close behind. Sera into second with 9 to go and set his sights on the back of Spencer’s Kosmic. Two laps later Spencer responded – fastest lap by 2/10ths and pulling away. Back in fourth was Carless, then Nicolaou then a big gap to Scott Kissock, Josh King and John Reynolds. Three to go and Spencer by over a second and looking comfortable, although I’m sure there was a lot going on behind the visor. Eventually they stayed this way, Spencer winning from Sera then Francis half a second behind him. Well done to Jake Spencer – putting James Sera behind you, no mean feat at Oakleigh.