OGKRC’s resident starter and life member Paul Griffiths has sent in the following race report after this Sunday’s August Club Day Races. Thank’s Paul.
A magnificent sunny August morning greeted the 108 karters who turned up for Oakleigh’s Club Day this month, and good entries in a number of classes meant a good day of racing was in store for us. While the clouds came over later in the day, there was no sign of any of the rain that had been forecast.
Heat 1 saw Mark Hunt lead them away and after 1 lap pull a good break from Andrew Yuill then Rhys Hunt, Vern Kranz, Luke Andoloro and Greg Smart. Bit by bit Yuill worked his way up to the back of Mark Hunt and by half way he was 3 tenths off him. Behind them Rhys Hunt a lonely race in 3rd while Smart and Kranz boxed on for 4th and 5th. Try as he might Yuill could not seem to bridge those last few tenths and Mark Hunt held on for the win.
Kranz the pole sitter unlucky to drop back then go over the back of another kart and off at Arrow corner at the start, so Andoloro to the lead from Rhys Hunt, who then got under him at JSKC corner on Lap 2, Yuill hovering in 3rd and Smart back in 4th. Hunt continued to lead and pull a slight gap on Andoloro, who made a small error into the Dipper on Lap 6 allowing Yuill past and into 2nd. Rhys Hunt in the end comfortably from Yuill and Andoloro, then Mark Hunt the only other finisher.
Rhys Hunt, Yuill, then Mal Hunt in a closely fought first lap or two of Sportsman Heavy with Kranz and Andoloro right on them too. Yuill to the lead after lap 2 but still nothing between 1st and 5th. After 4 laps Yuill pulled clear by 8 tenths, a big gap by the standards of this race: the rest of the field still nose to tail until Andoloro pulled into the pits, so then there were 4. Mark Hunt worked his way back up to Yuill with 4 to go, had half a look at JSKC corner as they began lap 7, then thought better of it – they remained as they were. Starting the last lap and Yuill in front by a tenth – what could Hunt do? As it turned out, what he could not do was get past Yuill – following him across the line in 2nd with Mal Hunt 3rd and Kranz 4th, only a few kart lengths back. Not many of them, but what a cracking race.
All points result for the day: 1. Yuill 2. Mark Hunt 3. Rhys Hunt
A good field of 7 Junior Clubmans faced the starter and Dylan Slits to the lead at the green then Jordan Holowell, Matt McLean and Justin Carless back to 4th after starting on pole. After 3 laps Holowell through to the lead and “Boof” Slits was under pressure from McLean who got passed him coming out of the Dipper on Lap 4. Meanwhile Holowell was slowly pulling away out front and with 2 to go held a 2 second lead from McLean, Slits, Ashton Andoloro, Matt Lane, then Carless and Jordan Poxon rounded them out and that’s how they finished.
Lane off the front in Heat 2, then Andoloro, Poxon and McLean. Lane and Poxon to the lead with Andoloro shuffled well back, Holowell in 3rd and McLean 4th. Poxon had found some pace from Heat 1 but not enough to hold out Holowell who was through to 2nd and after Lane on Lap 4 – and a brave pass soon after at MKC corner saw Holowell take the lead from Lane and pull away. Back in the pack McLean was through to 3rd with Carless’ race ending coming out of the Dipper leaving Poxon in 4th. In the end it was Holowell 1st, then McLean who got under Lane into the Carousel on the last lap, then Poxon 4th.
Holowell then McLean, Lane then Slits, then Poxon, Carless and Andoloro after Lap 1 of Junior Clubman Heat 3. McLean was looking strong in 2nd but Holowell continued to lead as the laps counted down. Further back Slits and Lane were very close together and looking racy too. By halfway Holowell had a small break on McLean but Lane and Slits were glued together in 3rd and 4th, Slits having a look more than once into JSKC corner. Eventually Slits through to 3rd and Carless now right on the back of these two as well, getting past Lane with 2 to go. Out front it was all Holowell, then McLean and a gap back to Slits who finished 3rd, hanging on by a tenth from Carless after Lane had pulled in with 2 to go, and Poxon and Andoloro who dnf’d at Grid Corner
All points result for the day: 1. Holowell 2. McLean 3. Slits
Josh King headed a quartet of FA karts away with Michael Carless, Corey Patterson and Shane Alabaster behind him, then the Arrow of Timothy Edwards, with Robert Barnes and Imran Kahn well behind him. King looked strong out front but Carless wasn’t losing sight of him while Edwards was working his way through to 4th behind them. With 4 to go Carless was right on King and Edwards was pressuring Paterson for 3rd. Last lap – it’s all about to happen: Carless had a look at King through the Dipper but King held on. Grid corner: Edwards went under a narrow Paterson and through to 3rd, while King held on for the win.
Edwards off pole and into the lead in Heat 2, then Carless, King and Alabaster. Carless under Edwards at JSKC Lap 1 and King was right on the back of them. Carless proceeded to pull away and King got under Edwards for 2nd on Lap 3. As the laps wound down King slowly closed on Carless for the lead and Edwards seemed to be dropping back to Alabaster who was in 4th but eventually they settled into these positions and finished in this order.
Carless the leader, then Edwards and King as Sportsman Light completed their first few laps of Heat 3. Alabaster in 4th then Paterson and Barnes as they spread out after 3 laps. King under Edwards at MKC corner and into 2nd on Lap 4, but Carless was disappearing into the distance out front and winning comfortably in the end, from King, Edwards and Alabaster.
All points result for the day: 1. Carless 2. King 3. Edwards
Trevor Allen the leader at the start from Mark Appleby then Wayne Bourke, through from 8th to 3rd and then 2nd, and then the lead on Lap2 so a great job from Bourke – out of the blocks like a bullet. Back in 4th was Caleb Citrine, then Nicholas Ingham and Andrew Turnbull. Bourke was comfortable out front and went on to win from Appleby then Allen.
First heat winner Bourke off pole this time with Turnbull, Ben Creed and Citrine behind him. As in Heat 1, Bourke out like a rocket and after 1 lap had nearly a second on Turnbull in P2 then Creed, Ingham and Terry Salatas. By Halfway Bourke was still comfortable out front and Turnbull, back in a kart after a long break, was doing well in 2nd. Back in the pack Appleby had worked through to 5th and had Creed and Ingham under pressure, eventually getting through to 4th, while Bourke led them across the line by over 6 seconds.
They started Heat 3, and as he had done all day, Bourke to the lead and Turnbull a worthy 2nd, followed by Appleby and Allen, then Citrine, Salatas and Creed. While Bourke drove off, Turnbull, Appleby and Allen were as one after 3 laps and looked like providing the entertainment in this race. Less than 2 tenths covered these three karts and Citrine only a couple more behind them in 5th with 4 to go. Turnbull, Appleby and Allen still looked like one big kart with 3 to go – Appleby threatening to go under Turnbull at any minute, but he just couldn’t find the pace or the spot to do it. Finally Allen spun going into the Dipper on the last lap and Turnbull found a slight gap and to held on for 2nd from Appleby, both of them a long way behind the winner Bourke.
All points result for the day: 1. Bourke 2. Turnbull 3. Appleby
Thirty Sportsman Restricted – that’s right 30, took to the track for Heat 1. Andrew Thomas off pole, German Coombes, then Kevin Coombes, Alex Limon and Richard Matera your front 5 with no less than 14 P Platers bringing up the rear – good to see so many new karters at an Oakleigh Club Day. Kevin Coombes shot to the lead and Stephen Bideleux soon joined him – Robert Baldacchino the one unlucky DNF on Lap 1, going off at Tony Kart turn. Coombes and Bideleux a great dice out front – both former Oakleigh members returning to the sport, so no surprise they knew their way around. Alex Limon back in 3rd then German Coombes, Alan Zammit and Ben Freeman. Not surprisingly lapped karts loomed as a problem with 3 to go but Coombes and Bideleux proved equal to the task, scything through them if not with ease, at least with minimal damage. Limon too worked his way through in 3rd. In the end Kevin Coombes had his header pipe break just as he crossed the line (the best place for it to happen), then Bideleux and Limon.
Wayne Morgan the leader after 1 lap followed by Ben Freeman (so out front it’s Morgan, Freeman ), Alan Zammit and Alan Davison. After a few more, Freeman through to the lead, but just as quickly back to 3rd as Zammit came through to lead Morgan, and then Kevin Coombes through from 14th to 3rd. With 6 to go Bideleux also through to 3rd as Coombes moved further ahead – the experience of these two showing through. Coombes to the lead then Morgan and Bideleux 3rd with 3 to go, then the lapped karts started again. No dramas however as Coombes across the line from Morgan and Bideleux – with half a dozen DNF’s dotted around the circuit, Coombes and Bideleux did well to come through from so far back.
Coombes and Bideleux, the pair who had dominated the heats, shot to a handy lead at the start of Heat 3, as the remaining 28 competitors all tried to get into 3rd place at the first corner, but the whole field survived at least one lap, so a promising beginning! Coombes looked smooth out front, Zammit through to 3rd, then Limon, Davison, Morgan and Freeman (again) after 3 laps, with Chris Piastri the first of the P Platers in 11th – a good job by him. With 4 to go only 2 tenths separated Kevin Coombes from Bideleux out front and with 2 to go the lapped karts started to come into play again but Coombes and Bideleux were up to the task, Coombes holding on, then Bideleux, Zammit, Limon and Richard Matera, then Piastri the first P Plater in 9th and Brenton Kaitler the next in 12th.
All points result for the day: 1. Kevin Coombes 2. Bideleux 3. Zammit
After some confusing roll up laps, Braydon Callaghan to the lead followed by George Gower and the Blue Plate of Jai Sparey close behind in 3rd. Sparey seemed to sit back for a couple of laps watching Callaghan and Gower jockey, but he could afford to with Joshua Troiani well back in 4th. P Platers Michael Horner, Kai Upiter and Christian Pancione all did a good job, staying on track despite the occasional spin. With 4 to go Sparey moved into 2nd, then into the Dipper took the lead from Callaghan and pulled slowly but surely away as Callaghan and Gower began some dicing behind him. Sparey, Gower and Callaghan the order as they greeted the chequered flag.
Sparey off pole and to the front from Gower, Callaghan and Troiani – looking a lot like Heat 1! Several laps later, nothing had changed – and that’s how they greeted the finisher.
Sparey led them away at the start of Heat 3, then Gower, Upiter and Callaghan after a couple of laps. Callaghan through to 3rd on Lap 4 but no one was getting close to Sparey out front and he motored off into the late afternoon sun, Gower still 2nd and Callaghan 3rd followed by Upiter, Horner, Pancione, and Joshua Troiani at the flag.
All points result for the day: 1. Sparey 2. Gower 3. Callaghan
Junior National Heavy
Pole man Matthew Rhodes swamped at the start as Jordan Poxon, Matthew Lane and Dylan O’Keefe came through to be the top 3 after Lap 1, Rhodes retiring soon after with a problem of some sort – a shame after starting off P1. Poxon meanwhile was leading from now O’Keefe, and Justin Carless was through to 3rd ahead of Lane and James Mastorakis. By halfway O’Keefe had reeled Poxon in and got past him at JSKC corner for the lead with Carless closing in 3rd. Carless made his move with 2 to go going past Poxon for 2nd, while O’Keefe was comfortable out front. Then bad luck for Carless when a lapped kart got in his way, allowing Poxon back through to 2nd, O’Keefe the winner.
Kyle Hunt off the front, but not for long as Carless got through with Mastorakis then Lane under him too into the first corner. By halfway Carless had pulled well clear, Poxon, Mastorakis, Lane and O’Keefe in a fierce battle behind him. Mastorakis out at JSKC corner with a chain dangling off the axle, as the remaining three boxed on, but no one was getting near Carless. Eventually O’Keefe pulled clear in 2nd then Lane and Poxon locked together until Poxon went off at Tony Kart handing 3rd to Lane, but Carless an easy victory.
O’Keefe hung tough at the start and saw off challenges from Carless and Lane in the first few corners to put a gap on the field, Rhodes in 4th, Mastorakis in 5th. By halfway this was still the order and O’Keefe was doing a good job, 4 tenths clear. Mastorakis got past Rhodes for 4th, but otherwise little change and O’Keefe greeted the chequered flag ahead of Carless and Lane.
All points result for the day: 1. O’Keefe 2. Carless 3. Lane
Clubman Heavy / Clubman Super Heavy
The combined Clubman classes had Marcel Ghoukassian at the front of Heavy, followed by Wayne Bourke, Chris Thomas, Lachlan Citrine and Timothy Edwards, with Bourke going to the lead on Lap 3. In Super Heavy it was Mark Hunt, Malcolm Hunt then Steve Polak. Halfway and Bourke was gone, Thomas through to 2nd, then Ghoukassian and Edwards. Ghoukassian lost his rear crashbar with 3 to go and spun off, handing 2nd to Edwards, then Thomas then Citrine. Thomas then got through to 2nd but went too deep at JSKC corner allowing Edwards back, then Citrine also got under him – unfortunately Edwards was later DQ’d for no transponder, so Bourke, Citrine and Thomas your top 3. In Supers it was Mark Hunt, Mal Hunt and Polak.
Heat 2 and Thomas to the lead from Edwards and Bourke, Super Heavys saw Mal Hunt, then Mark Hunt then Polak behind them. Thomas, Edwards and Bourke looked like a train out front until Edwards to the lead and Bourke through to 2nd at JSKC corner, then Bourke to the front a few corners later, with Citrine and Ghoukassian closing in 4th and 5th. In Supers Mark Hunt was through to the lead from Mal, and Polak still in 3rd. Bourke cleared out in Heavy, Edwards was untroubled in 2nd, but Thomas, Citrine and Ghoukassian now bunched up behind then, with Citrine off going into the Carousel with 3 to go, leaving Ghoukassian 3rd, but no one was catching Bourke out front, Edwards a comfortable 2nd. Mark Hunt, Mal Hunt and Polak the order in Super Heavy.
All Bourke at the start of Heat 3 in Clubman Heavy, Thomas and Edwards, then Anthony Westaway and Ghoukassian, and in Super Heavy the usual suspects: Mal Hunt, Mark Hunt and Polak, 1, 2 and 3. Bourke still the leader after 3 but not dominating as he had in earlier heats while Edwards got under Thomas for 2nd exiting the Dipper and they pulled clear of Westaway in 4th. Ghoukassian got through under Westaway with 6 to go for 4th and by now Bourke had warmed to the task and was pulling away out front. Mark Hunt had passed Mal Hunt in Super Heavys while Polak remained in 3rd. Thomas and Edwards all the interest in Heavy, Thomas back to P2 with 4 to go. Edwards right on the back of Thomas as they began the last lap – Bourke gone out front. Thomas still in second as they went through grid hairpin and hung on well, Edwards 3rd and Ghoukassian 4th. Supers Mark Hunt, Mal Hunt and Polak.
All points result for the day Clubman Heavy: 1. Bourke 2. Westaway 3. Nicholls
All points result for the day Clubman Super Heavy: 1. Mark Hunt 2. Mal Hunt 3. Polak
Junior National Light
Damon Strongman and Luke Guillou the front two after half a lap, from Nicholas Steel, Todd Sparey and Cody Donald. This was the order for a number of laps as the karts spread a little further apart, Strongman just having a tenth on the next two. Guillou got quicker as the race went on, but was going to have to work hard to catch Strongman, and Steel was not out of sight in 3rd either, but behind him Donald, Sparey and James Barnes were well back. Guillou within 3/10ths as they crossed the line to start the last lap but it would take a mistake from Strongman for him to lose it and he was not about to make one, going narrow through Arrow corner to take the win: Strongman, Guillou and Steel the top 3.
Strongman, Nicholas Sims, Steel and Guillou the first 4 in Heat 2, then Guillou went off coming out of the Dipper so Steel into 3rd. With 4 to go Steel got past Sims, Donald back in 4th then Lucas Filikotzias and Jamie Westaway, but Strongman was well clear in the lead. A couple of laps later Steel and Sims weer swapping places and paint which was bringing Donald onto them and he was through to 3rd on the 2nd last lap as Sims went around in the Dipper. Strongman an easy win then Donald just through on Steel for 2nd at MKC corner on the last lap.
Strongman, Steel, Donald and Sims as things got underway in Heat 3 of JNL, and after 1 lap these four were spread well apart with Guillou 5th then Sparey, Filikotzias, Barnes, Westaway and P Plater Dominic Pancione. Strongman lonely out front and Steel just as lonely in 2nd, then Donald, then Guillou passing Sims for 4th to liven things up a bit, then passing Donald to move into 3rd. Eventually Sims got past Donald, but meanwhile at the front it was all Strongman, doing it easy from Steel then Guillou at the flag.
All points result for the day: 1. Strongman 2. Steel 3. Donald
Feature Class qualifying had Oscar Piastri on pole with a 46.982 followed by Jack Bell 47.130 then Mathew Steel 47.615; Jake Harewood, Patrick Forrester, Devan Nicholls and Kain Kugimiya making up the field. After 3 laps this was exactly the order they found themselves in but for Kugimiya overtaking Nicholls for 6th spot. Piastri looked smooth out front but the experienced Bell (if you can be an experienced Rookie) was not losing sight of him, while Steel hung on in 3rd. At the back Nicholls had overtaken Kugimiya so they were now in the same order they started in and proceeded this way to greet the flag – Piastri, Bell then Steel the top 3.
At the start of Heat 2 it was Piastri, Bell, Steel – something sound familiar here? These three pulled away to a comfortable lead, Piastri over a second clear with 4 to go, from Bell who was 6 seconds clear of Steel. Forrester followed them, then Harewood, Nicholls and Kugimiya made up the rest, and other than Harewood who expired on the last lap, that’s how they finished many laps later.
Will the final of Rookies be any more exciting than the heats? It’s hard to imagine how it couldn’t be – but after one lap it was Piastri, Bell, Steel, then Forrester, Nicholls and Kugimiya. Kugimiya passed Nicholls on Lap 2 for 5th adding immeasurably to the tension, but out front Piastri, while not a mile in front of Bell, was comfortable nonetheless, Steel 3 seconds back in 3rd and 7 seconds ahead of Forrester in 4th. For the whole of the remaining race not one position change took place until Kugimiya and Nicholls swapped for 5th and 6th with 2 to go, then Kugimiya took Forrester for 4th as they began the last lap. Well done to Piastri for his dominant performance all day and Bell and Steel for filling the podium.