OGKRC’s starter Paul Griffiths shoes were filled by Steve Griffin for the first two heats, however Paul was able to attend the finals, and has filed this somewhat more concise report following the 2013 February Club Day.
Oakleigh’s 2013 Club Day calendar kicked off with the traditional February Saturday Day / Night fixture under warm & sunny skies in the afternoon. Your correspondent had an engagement during the afternoon and missed the first two Heats, so the report for this month will be on the Final Heat only. As the sun slowly set and the Oakleigh lights took over, Cadets got set to hit the track.
Braydon Callaghan off pole for Heat 3, Kai Upiter beside him, then Joshua Hocking. The front 2 side by side but Callaghan eventually pulls clear, Upiter 2nd then Hocking, but Hocking past Upiter after Lap 1. After 3 laps Callaghan was half a second clear while behind him Hocking, Upiter and Joshua Troiani battled it out for 2nd. They progressed in this order for a number of laps with Callaghan’s lead growing to 2 seconds after 7 laps, Troiani getting ahead of Upiter in the meantime. P Platers Matthew Stanic and Mason Kelly were caught and lapped with 2 to go, the pair of them running into each other while the leaders passed them – then sorting themselves out and continuing, Callaghan pulling away for an easy win in the end, much closer behind him: Upiter, Hocking, Troiani the order for positions 2 through 4.
Sportsman 125 Restricted Light
Nathan Grover leads away German Coombes, Zackery Cerato and Ashan Perera in R125 Light. At the green Coombes got to the lead, but only briefly as Grover claimed it back at Tony Kart turn, behind them Cerato, Perera, Simon Byrne and Nicholas Clarke. After 4 laps Grover a half second lead from Coombes and right on his crashbar Cerato, P Plater Byrne a second behind them in 4th. Perera caught Byrne, but an ill fated passing attempt at JSKC resulted in Perera pulling in, Byrne dropping another spot behind Clarke who was ready and pounced at the right time, then Jason Sheales and James Raditsis gaining on this group. Meanwhile out front it was all Grover, nearly a second clear of Coombes, then Cerato as they greeted the chequered flag.
Junior National Heavy
Justin Carless, Jamie Westaway, James Barnes then Kyle Hunt the front 2 rows of Junior Heavy and after a couple of very orderly roll arounds they got the green – but things were soon much less orderly with a nasty spin on the start line which saw Thomas French, Dylan O’Keefe and Jason Kay all out, while Carless went to the front, then Westaway. After a couple, these 2 had pulled a gap on Hunt and Barnes who in turn were clear of Hirotaka Chong and Nicholas Floodstrom, with Eden Foik and Bryce Woolard bringing up the rear. Out front Westaway had gotten under Carless but nothing between them while Hunt had pulled clear in 3rd. By halfway there was only a tenth between Westaway and Carless and as the laps wound down the gap didn’t get any bigger – 2 to go and nothing in it. Start of the last lap and Carless has half a look at Arrow corner but didn’t go on with it and lost some time in the end. This took some of the pressure off Westaway who hung on by 2 tenths – so twice the gap he had held most of the race – then Hunt in 3rd.
Rookies front row made up of Jay Di Virgilio and Maximmo Torcasio; behind them Jordan Dudfield and Benjamin D’Alia and away they go: Di Virgilio, Torcasio, D’Alia, and Dudfield dropped back to 4th at the start, but regained 3rd in the Dipper a lap later. Di Virgilio clear out front as Torcasio dropped back to 3rd and Dudfield through to 2nd on lap 3. By lap 5 Dudfield was gaining pace and Di Virgilio was soon going to have some company if he kept going this way – and keep going this way he did, with 5 to go there was less than half a tenth in it – Dudfield right on his crashbar half a lap later in the Dipper. Then on lap 8 Dudfield swooped under Di Virgilio into MKC corner and put the head down to try and pull away. Further back Torcasio and D’Alia were fighting it out for 3 and 4. Out front, after holding a lead but not clearing out, Dudfield was passed by Di Virgilio at JSKC with 1 to go, Di Virgilio going defensive from there on but Dudfield a beautiful pass out of Tony Kart turn, and then he ran wide in the Dipper but held it together as Di Virgilio applied the blowtorch. Dudfield out of the Grid Hairpin, narrow at MKC – would he hold on? No!! Di Virgilio snuck under him at Arrow and crossed the line first by a whisker. A great finish to a great race – pity they couldn’t both win.
Clubman Heavy / Clubman Super Heavy
Combined again this year, the 2 Clubman classes saw Thomas Martin and Chad Lidsey off the front in Heavy, and the familiar names of Mal Hunt and Steve Polak in Super Heavy. Martin led them away then Lidsey and Anthony Westaway; Supers had Polak ahead of Mark Hunt then Mal Hunt. After 3 laps no change in the Heavy order and no prospect of any change either as they spread further and further apart – Martin doing it easy. Back in Supers the two Hunts had passed Polak – Mark the leader, Mal 2nd. By Halfway Martin was being slowly reeled in by Lidsey, the gap now less than a second – the Hunts in Super Heavy also less than a second apart, but still Mark in the lead. With 2 to go Martin had come back to life and looked in no danger, the excitement back in Super Heavy where only a tenth separated Mark and Mal Hunt. At the flag Martin in a canter in Heavy, Lidsey then Westaway, and Mark Hunt held on by that tenth to claim victory over Mal Hunt in Super Heavy, with Polak 3rd .
Junior National Light
Nicholas Sims the Pole sitter in Junior Light and recent graduate from Rookies Jack Bell doing well to be beside him in 2nd. After a number of roll arounds they got the green and Sims led them off, Bell behind him, but not for long – through to the lead into the Dipper. Goodbye Rookies for Bell – mixing it with the Junior Lights no problem. He and Sims pulled away from Lucas Filikotzias and Luis Leeds, then another Rookie graduate Kain Kugimiya and Lachlan Fitchett. Disaster for Leeds on Lap 2 as he threw a chain going into the Dipper, elevating Kugimiya to 3rd. Out front Bell and Sims pulled away but nothing between the 2 of them – as the laps rolled on Bell’s lead grew marginally, out to half a second at one stage, but then Sims reeled him in again and with 4 to go he was on Bell, Kugimiya a lonely 3rd ahead of Fitchett and Filikotzias. 2 to go and Bell a tenth in front – nothing in it as they wound around to begin the last lap and all credit to Bell as he kept his head and held on by 2 tenths to lead Sims across the line – a great debut in Juniors.
Sportsman 125 Restricted Heavy
Adam Jenkinson off Pole, Richard Matera 2nd, then Paul Barlow and Cameron Burton, but as they got a start a tangle at Tony Kart turn on Lap 1 brought out the red flag and Matthew Allen in his first club day found himself in the medical room nursing a sore set of ribs where another kart went over him. Karters returned to the grid to try again. At the restart Jenkinson away, Matera, Sheales then Barlow and they settled much better than the previous time and away. The front 3 pulled clear leaving Barlow on his own in 4th , and he was pulling away from Michael Eastwood and Paul Maruszak. Meanwhile out front Matera got to the lead on lap 5, Sheales also sneaking through to 2nd, relegating Jenkinson to 3rd. Matera and Sheales then pulled a small gap and conducted a boxing match all at the same time – Matera persisting and eventually getting ever so slightly clear of Sheales and Jenkinson – with 2 to go half a second separated all 3 of them, so not much in it. Start of the last lap and Matera half a second and looked the goods and held on to win, Sheales and Jenkinson putting on an exhibition for 2nd and 3rd, Jenkinson the victor in the end getting under Sheales at Grid Hairpin.
TAG 125 Light
Shane Alabaster leads away TAG Light with R125 graduate Stephen Bidleleux beside him, then Imran Khan and Wayne Morgan. Robert Barnes through on Morgan for 4th but otherwise no change at the green – Alabaster to the lead and away. After 3 laps the field of 8 karts was covered by 5 seconds but at the same time none of them were close together – Alabaster the biggest gap out front. Then things started to liven up mid pack as Barnes closed on Bideleux looking to go to 2nd , Khan not far away in 4th , then Morgan and Ben Freeman were hard at it for 5th and 6th. All the time Alabaster was going away out front, now 3 seconds clear. Excitement with 2 to go when Khan ran wide at MKC corner and enveloped the starters box in a dust cloud, bringing a temporary halt to race reporting. When the dust cleared, Alabaster was still out front in the lead, Bideleux, Barnes and Freeman now 4th. Freeman had a go for 3rd with a late braking move into JSKC which looked like it might end in disaster, but he managed to remain in 4th place and that’s how they finished.
Adam Capek, visiting from GKCV showed the locals how it’s done polling Junior Clubman ahead of Justin Carless and Ashton Andoloro and as the green lit up Capek got to the front, then Carless, but Andoloro got through on both of them at JSKC corner to lead, Carless 2nd then Capek, then Dylan Slits and James Mastorakis. After 4 laps Andoloro still led, but not by much as Carless closed in and Capek watching not far behind too, Slits only a whisker behind them in turn, Mastorakis dropping a back a bit. As they began Lap 6 we had 4 karts covered by a mere 7 tenths with Andoloro still in front, but into Tony Kart turn Capek and Slits got under Carless relegating him to 4th and handing Andoloro a gap at the same time. Capek was finding some pace now, fastest lap of the race with 3 to go – and a lap later he was right on the back of Andoloro, and Slits wasn’t going away either, half a second behind these 2. The 3 of them began the last lap separated by 3 tenths and went around nose to tail – would there be a move from someone? No, after a lap of looking like a train going around the track, in the end they finished in the same order they started the lap: Andoloro, Capek, Slits, with Carless well back in 4th
TAG 125 Heavy
Vern Kranz, Luke Andoloro, Mark Hunt then Rhys Hunt, Adrian Sarkadi and Greg Smart the whole field in TAG 125 Heavy. First of the 2 feature classes so 15 laps for these guys and Kranz set about leading as many of them as he could by getting a good jump on the field, Andoloro and Mark Hunt the next 2, but over second behind Kranz after a couple of laps, then Sarkadi, Rhys Hunt and Smart. Kranz was well out front with 9 to go, but 2nd and 3rd was much less settled as Mark Hunt got under Andoloro at JSKC allowing Sarkadi to close up too, so these 3 looked like putting on the entertainment. Mark Hunt slowly established a gap in 2nd as Andoloro dropped back, Sarkadi also dropping into the clutches of Rhys Hunt further back, but out front it was all Kranz with 5 to go – a lead of nearly 3 seconds. Next lap Andoloro had found some pace and was right back on Mark Hunt again, and Rhys Hunt was pressuring Sarkadi. Andoloro looked so close to having a go at JSKC with 2 laps left, but thought better of it, then got the job done next lap to go into 2nd , then Hunt back under him at Grid Hairpin and found a little gap. In the end Kranz was victorious, Mark Hunt 2nd then Andoloro, Rhys Hunt and Sarkadi the rest after a wild last lap where it looked like anything could happen, but thankfully didn’t.
Matt McLean in his first Club Day as a senior, then John Reynolds, Trevor Allen and Matt Lane the first 4 in Clubman Light. Mclean away in the Final, Reynolds, Lane and Allen behind him, while further back Wayne Bourke was charging through after starting 11th. Lap 3 and Reynolds has a look at MKC corner and he and McLean go side by side across the start line, then both hold their breath as they go two wide through the fast Arrow corner, behind them Bourke and Allen pouncing, Lane sliding wide and dropping back and Nichols coming through too. Bourke was the big winner from all this and Reynolds the loser, Bourke gaining on McLean and now the 2 of them pulled clear and looked like they might put on a good show – both karts looked quick under the lights. Bourke to the lead at JSKC at the halfway mark and now to see if he can pull away from McLean, these 2 well clear of Allen, then Nichols and Reynolds further back. 5 laps later there was still only 2 tenths between Bourke and McLean – all eyes on the 2 out front. Bourke looked like he would hold on as they began the Last lap, only a kart length lead from Mclean, but it might be enough. McLean willed his kart on, desperately trying to catch Bourke but it was not to be and Bourke crossed the line a tenth clear of McLean, then Allen, Reynolds and Mark Appleby.