When you went to bed on Saturday night (at least where I live) you would have been expecting a heavy doona of fog to be laying over the Oakleigh track on Sunday morning, but in the wee small hours things had cleared, and cool and bright conditions were the order of the day as the sun rose on our June Club Day. By the time racing began the track was bathed in sunshine and the 109 karters who had entered were in for a great day. Again this month, photos of today’s action will be available from AKD photos at akdphotos.com. Thanks to Andrew for the work he puts into taking these shots.
Sportsman Restricted Heavy
Heat 1 Paul Barlow, Paul Maruszak, Adam Gillick and Jason Sheales the first 4 and Maruszak away best as they all got around the first lap. When they spread out it was Richard Matera who worked his way through, finding himself in 2nd after 4 laps and closing fast on Maruszak, then to the lead at Grid Hairpin a lap later, behind these 2 Sheales into 3rd ahead of Barlow, Michael Maruszak, Steven Barlee and Thomas Huggan. Matera gradually pulled clear in the lead while Sheales gained on Paul Maruszak then had a big look at JSKC as they began the last lap and trailed Maruszak closely for the rest of the lap but couldn’t get around him – Matera meanwhile a comfortable winner.
Barlee away at the start and Huggan off 2, Michael Eastwood off 3 – Barlee away well and Huggan hung tough on the outside to keep ahead of Eastwood at JSKC, then Matera through to 3rd on Lap 2 , Michael Maruszak 4th and Eastwood dropped back to 5th. Matera through to 2nd on Lap 4 at Grid Hairpin going under Huggan, and then he set out after Barlee. 4 to go and Matera looking good to catch Barlee, more the half a second quicker – and next lap under him at JSKC and began to pull away, back in 3rd Huggan under pressure from Michael Maruszak – Maruszak getting through a lap later. No stopping Matera through – a comfortable lead with 2 to go from Barlee, Maruszak, Huggan and Gillick who had worked through to 5th and that’s how they finished.
Matera off pole, Barlee and Michael Maruszak behind him, and Matera away then Michael Maruszak and Paul Maruszak, Huggan and Eastwood behind them – Barlee out at JSKC lap 1. By lap 6 JSKC corner looked like a used kart lot as they piled up lap after lap. Matera however was untroubled by all this and continued to lead comfortably; the duo of Maruszak’s behind him – Michael ahead of Paul and in the end Matera an easy winner.
All Points: 1. Matera 2. Michael Maruszak 3. Huggan
TAG 125 Light & TAG 125 Heavy
Lights and Heavys combined in TAG and in Light it was Shane Kovacs and Robert Barnes off the front, Chris Dudfield and Aron Lawrence in Heavy. Heavys got away OK, but Light saw Barnes out and Shane Alabaster turned around on lap 1, so Kovacs the leader in Light and Lawrence, then Dudfield in Heavy. Kovacs streaked away in Light and Lawrence was well ahead in Heavy too – Dudfield doing well in 2nd until Martin Ritchie had an ill fated and perhaps ill considered look under him going into the Carousel, which saw them both in the catch trap and out of the race. Kovacs meanwhile well clear in Light from Alan Zammit and Ben Freeman; Lawrence then Vern Kranz and Rhys Hunt in Heavy and that’s how they finished Heat 1.
Alabaster and Freeman this time the front row in Light; Ashley Thompson and Rhys Hunt in Heavy and Alabaster away to a good start, Freeman behind him – a little more frantic in Heavy with Ritchie the lead, then Thompson then Rhys Hunt – Kranz out on Lap 2 avoiding another kart, then Smart and Dudfield. With 4 to go Kovacs had Freeman under pressure for 2nd in Light but Alabaster was well clear in the lead – Kovacs through on Freeman at JSKC next lap and Zammit followed him through so Freeman went back to 4th – Ritchie, Hunt, Thompson, Smart and Dudfield the order in Heavy and failing a catastrophe that was how they should finish. No catastrophe in Light, but Dudfield got under Smart in Heavy to take 4th – Ritchie an easy winner.
Kovacs in Light, Hunt in Heavy, and they were away – Alabaster to the lead in Light over Kovacs and Zammit, while Lawrence got the jump in Heavy over Hunt and Ritchie. Once they settled Alabaster was still in front but Kovacs not far behind in Light, and Lawrence still led Heavy while Ritchie got through to 2nd and had his sights set on the lead. With 4 to go Kovacs got under Alabaster for the lead and Ritchie was on Lawrence’s crash bar in Heavy. Kovacs looked comfortable in Light but Lawrence was going to be busy hanging onto to lead in Heavy and sure enough he and Ritchie put on a great bout as they battled for the upper hand – Lawrence a points victory in the end winning by the barest margin after they tangled in the Carousel, but both continued – Kovacs already had the job done in Light.
All Points: Light – 1. Kovacs 2. Alabaster 3. Zammit
All Points : Heavy – 1. Lawrence 2. Hunt 3. Thompson
A good size field of Junior Clubman sees Ashton Andoloro off pole, Spencer Ackermann beside him and Ackermann away best at the green and before long Damon Strongman through from 5th into 2nd, Dylan O’Keefe back in 3rd and Kyle Hunt behind him, Andaloro well back in 6th. Most interest centred on whether Strongman could catch the fast starting Ackermann and with 3 to go he did, passing but not pulling away immediately, O’Keefe then Justin Carless behind these 2, then James Mastorakis and the slowing kart of Andoloro perhaps with a problem of some sort – Strongman the winner over Ackermann in the end.
Strongman straight to the lead of Heat 2 from P3 at the start and pulled an impressive gap after 1 lap – then O’Keefe, Carless and Ackermann – Andoloro retiring on Lap 2, his problems from the first heat not gone away. Carless progressed to P2 after 5 laps and was matching Strongman for times, but the 1.5 second gap was going to stymie him, O’Keefe just as far back again in 3rd. Strongman looked like a man on a Sunday drive – which he was really – as he cruised to an easy win from Carless and O’Keefe, then Mastorakis and Ackermann.
Strongman away at the green from Ackermann and O’Keefe in Heat 3, then Andoloro, Carless and Mastorakis, but Strongman and Ackermann looked good and pulled way from the field – Strongman half a second clear in the lead after 6 laps, both he and Ackermann doing the same sort of times. 4 to go and Ackermann started to gain ever so slightly and after another lap he was breathing down Strongman’s neck – only a tenth in it. Strongman is never easy to pass or beat, so a good battle lay ahead. Ackermann bided his time but couldn’t find the opportunity, and Strongman held on by 0.097s to win
All Points: 1. Strongman 2. Ackermann 3. O’Keefe
Matt McLean the front man in Clubman Light, then Caleb Citrine, Andrew Turnbull and Ash Arora. McLean cool headed at the start and to the lead, Citrine, then Arora, who looked like he might sail straight off at JSKC but managed to pull it up in 3rd, and then through to 2nd as they began lap 2, Citrine, Matthew Lane and Andrew Turnbull behind them. By halfway McLean was leading but Arora was maybe slowly gaining – these 2 looked like providing the winner, while Lane worked his way into 3rd behind them. With 4 to go there was very little difference in lap times between McLean and Arora, so looked promising for McLean who had a lead of 7/10ths. Last lap and McLean would need to make a mistake to lose, Arora half a second behind and Lane well back on these 2. McLean made no mistakes and went on to win from Arora and Lane, then Citrine and Turnbull.
Nicholas Bates and Terry Salatas the front 2 in Heat 2, but Lane and Arora 1 & 2 after a lap – Arora’s first lap well worth watching – a lesson on how make ground on colder tyres. McLean the other big mover – into 3rd from 8th by the halfway mark. With 3 to go McLean was closing on Arora but Lane looked like he would stay clear in front. Who would finish behind him – McLean or Arora? McLean got through to 2nd with 2 to go and put the head down, but laps were going to run out and Lane held on: McLean, Arora, Bates the rest of the top 4.
McLean away at the green and Arora into P2 – Lane not far behind in 3, then Citrine and Bates. After a couple of laps McLean, Arora and Lane were honking; just like a good Clubman Light race should be – these 3 away at the front and flying. Lane putting pressure on Arora before long and into 2nd – McLean a small gap in the lead. A small gap was turning into a bigger gap and with 4 to go McLean looked the goods, and then he looked a lot more the goods when Arora rolled to a halt exiting the Dipper with a flat right rear tyre. Lane was still there in 2nd but McLean looked unstoppable and went on to record an easy win.
All Points: 1. McLean 2. Lane 3. Bates
Joshua Troiani and Kai Upiter the front Cadets and a spin by Troiani at JSKC on Lap 1 spread them well out – Upiter to the lead after a lap, Braydon Callaghan through from 5th, then Michael Horner, Troiani and Joshua Hocking – these last 3 locked together in a Titanic battle – trouble was they were 12 seconds behind the leader! With 4 to go Upiter was 4 seconds ahead of Callaghan, then 10 seconds behind him a scrum that reminded you of last night’s Wallabies / Lions clash between Horner, Hocking and Troiani, with Hocking eventually breaking a little clear of Troiani and Horner dropping back. Out front it was all Upiter, still 4 seconds ahead of Callaghan, then the rest.
Callaghan and Hocking, then Upiter and Troiani as the Cadets began Heat 2 and they maintained this order for a number laps after the start, until Upiter moved into 2nd at the Dipper on lap 4. A lap later Hocking and Troiani tangled at Tony Kart turn and both went out, leaving Callaghan in the lead and Upiter a second behind in P2 – then daylight back to Horner and Jai Stephenson the only other karts left on the track – and that’s how they crossed the line.
Callaghan the number one man, then Upiter and Horner as Cadets began Heat 3. After 2 laps Upiter and Callaghan had established a good break on the field, Upiter leading, then in 3rd Hocking, behind him Troiani, Horner and P plater Stephenson. Upiter was grinding out a small lead over Callaghan, while Hocking and Troiani were close together in 3 & 4. Two distinct races developed: Callaghan was closing on Upiter, and Hocking and Troiani were having their own battle further back. In the end Upiter was victorious, then Callaghan, then further back Hocking by a whisker over Troiani.
All Points 1. Upiter 2. Callaghan 3. Horner
Sportsman Restricted Light
Pole person Jessica Hunt, then James Humphrey and Nathan Grover, Andrew Latimer and Sameera Vithanage, and Humphrey got away to the lead from Grover and Latimer as they completed the first few laps. Sean Barnardo was the big mover by halfway, through to 3rd ahead of Latimer and Barnes, but Humphrey looked comfortable out front – Grover a second and a half behind him in 2nd. With 3 to go Barnardo looked like he might threaten for 2nd – he had a couple of tenths on the front 2 but laps might run out. Grover also looked to be closing in Humphrey and with 1 to go only a second covered the first 3 – Grover looking particularly threatening but Humphrey hung on by 2/10ths, Barnardo in 3rd another tenth back – great finish!
Zackery Cerato a good job at the start to hold the lead from Mark Barlee and Barnardo, but Barnardo was unstoppable and went to the lead on lap 3, Cerato then James Barnes behind him, Barlee and Nathan Grover tightly bunched behind them – Grover to 4th at Grid Hairpin a lap later. All Barnardo at the front, but a big battle developing behind him – Barnes, Grover, Cerato all in there. A few laps later Grover was clear in 3rd, then Cerato, Andrew Latimer and Barlee falling back a little. Last lap and Grover was on Barnes for 2nd but Barnes held on – Barnardo meanwhile already across the line to take the win.
Barnardo and Grover away at the start, then Barnes and Humphrey behind them, Vithanage unlucky to lose a nose cone and go out on Lap 1. These first 4 looked like they would put on a great race – Barnardo wasn’t going to dominate like you thought he might after the heats, Grover right on him as the laps counted down and Barnes and Humphrey close behind these 2. Then Barnardo was pushed wide (I’m told, I didn’t see what happened) at the Carousel and dropped well back, Grover into the lead and battling with Barnes; Humphrey and Cerato behind them. Grover the winner in the end, Barnes and Humphrey behind him.
All Points: 1. Grover 2. Barnes 3. Humphrey
Junior National Heavy
Eden Foik and Cody Donald the front row in Junior Heavy for Heat 1 and Donald got away best, Foik, Justin Carless and Dylan O’Keefe behind him but Foik went off coming into the Dipper on Lap 1, so Donald, O’Keefe, Carless, Hirotaka Chong and Thomas French now the order. Lap 4 and O’Keefe was right on Donald for the lead and got under him at JSKC a lap later, Carless a lonely 3rd then Lucas Filikotzias and Chong doing battle for 4th and 5th. Donald and O’Keefe kept up their duel for a number of laps – O’Keefe wasn’t getting away. 3 to go and O’Keefe’s lead was 2/10ths so nothing in it as the laps wound down and behind Carless had fallen back into the clutches of Filikotzias, so 2 battles on the go and in the end O’Keefe by a tenth from Donald, and Filikotzias got under Carless for 3rd.
Nicholas Floodstrom and William Hewett off the front row in Heat 2 but Floodstrom unlucky not to make it out the gate with some sort of problem, and so the leader was O’Keefe after a lap, then Carless and Chong, Filikotzias and Bryce Woolard behind them. Lap 3 and Filikotzias to 2nd under Carless, but O’Keefe was a little way ahead, so Filikotzias had his work in front of him. Then with 4 to go, Filikotzias’ work appeared to be keeping Carless behind him as the 3rd placed kart came on, and put him back under pressure; Donald was back in 4th and Chong now 5th. End of the straight looked to be Carless’ best chance – maybe geared a little taller than Filikotzias, he was right on him at JSKC. In the end O’Keefe the winner and Carless pulled off a very tidy last corner pass at Arrow to slip under Filikotzias and into 2nd.
O’Keefe the pole man and fouled a plug in the roll arounds – a quick change and he got going, meanwhile Carless spun trying to dodge another kart dropped a chain and bent an axle, then he also got going again – all this before the race had even started!!! Once we went green, O’Keefe to the lead, Donald, then Carless, Filikotzias then Foik once they got going. Filikotzias got ahead of Carless who would be seeing double by now with his kart vibrating badly in 4th. Donald meanwhile was ramping up the pressure on O’Keefe for the lead and with 2 to go was looking left and right to get past him but O’Keefe kept his cool until Donald went under him at Grid Hairpin on the last lap to take the lead and the win – Filikotzias in 3rd and Carless rattling around in 4th.
All Points: 1. O’Keefe 2. Donald 3. Filikotzias
Blake Kolar, Jordan Dudfield, Patrick Forrester and Benjamin D’Alia the first 4 Rookies and Dudfield away as Kolar bogged down at the start, D’Alia then Forrester and Angelo Mouzouris behind them. Dudfield and D’Alia were putting on a great show out front; like a good Rookie race – clean and close. Less than a tenth between Dudfield and D’Alia with 4 to go, and Forrester lurking in 3rd, ready to pounce if the front 2 tangled. Despite D’Alia hovering all over the back of Dudfield they remained tangle free and Dudfield went on to be a worthy winner, Forrester well back in the end in 3rd
D’Alia and Forrester away for Heat 2 and Forrester the better start and into the lead, followed by D’Alia, Kolar and Dudfield, but Kolar’s woes from Heat 1 returned and he dropped back after a Lap – meanwhile D’Alia to the lead and Forrester and Dudfield battled away for 2nd and 3rd swapping places but not paint a number of times in the early laps. Halfway there and Dudfield seemed to have gotten the upper hand in 2nd but D’Alia looked smooth out front and settled down, you would think to drive away for a win. Dudfield had other ideas though and worked away on the gap, reeling in D’Alia bit by bit, and then passing him on the last lap – a great job to keep at it and triumph in the end!
Dudfield and D’Alia at the pointy end of Rookies in Heat 3 so looked like a good race ahead of us – Forrester and Kolar behind them. They didn’t disappoint – D’Alia then Dudfield clear at the green, Forrester close behind, then Dudfield to the lead on Lap 2 coming into the Dipper and they settled in to grind out some laps. 4 laps later you could still throw a handkerchief over the first 3, but gradually Dudfield and D’Alia pulled clear of Forrester. Dudfield looked like he was running a few more teeth – sharp through the infield, but D’Alia wound him in at the end of the straight – just not quite far enough to have a look for the lead. Lap after lap they continued like this – it was absorbing to watch; Dudfield the cool head in front, D’Alia the hunter. Last lap begins – Dudfield head down, D’Alia chose not to have a look at JSKC, but stayed right on the back of Dudfield – Dudfield keeps his head – narrow for the rest of the last lap and crosses the line first – a great drive!!!!
All Points: 1. Dudfield 2. D’Alia 3. Forrester
Clubman Heavy / Clubman Super Heavy
Combined classes this month sees Chris Thomas off P1 and AKA Finance Director Phil Smith rolling out for a Club Day again off P2; Super Heavys led away by Mick Fisher and recent Over 40’s Titles star Rod Capuano in 2nd. Smith to the lead in Heavy with debutant from Juniors Dylan Slits behind him in 2nd, then Thomas; Supers saw Capuano to the lead from Fisher and Mal Hunt. Soon Thomas was right on the back of Smith and Slits back to 3rd, Lachlan Citrine close behind in 4th, then in one move Thomas through to the lead and Smith back to 4th – Supers was Capuano, Hunt and Fisher. Thomas and Slits got clear at the front and powered away, running nose to tail for a number of laps – Thomas just keeping Slits behind him. Capuano was comfortably clear in Super Heavy, Hunt then Fisher closer together behind him and in the end Thomas held off Slits – an excellent debut in Seniors for him – then Capuano in Super Heavy ahead of Hunt and Fisher.
Heat 2 was Thomas Martin and Slits in Heavy and Hunt and Capuano in Super Heavy and Martin away cleanly, Citrine through to P2 then Slits, Smith and Thomas bunched tightly behind him. Hunt in Supers, then Capuano and Fisher, but this order was soon reversed and Fisher to the lead. Martin continued to pull away but Citrine and Slits close together behind him, then another gap back to Smith and Thomas battling for 4 and 5. Eventually Slits got clear of Citrine and set to work on catching Martin – and catch him he did! With 3 to go Martin’s lead was a kart length and Slits looked like making a move at any second –and any second came soon after at JSKC when Slits went to the lead – go Boof! Thomas meanwhile into 3rd and Citrine and Smith further back. Still Fisher, Capuano and Hunt in Super Heavy. In the end Slits across the line 1st for his first win in Seniors – a great result; and Fisher victorious in Super Heavy.
Slits off pole, but back into 2nd behind Thomas at the start of Heat 3, Capuano, Hunt and Fisher in Super Heavy and once they settled, Slits had to try and catch Thomas, and keep clear of Citrine and Smith. He kept Smith and Citrine at bay, but catching Thomas was no easy job – Thomas smooth and quick in the lead. Capuano led the Super Heavys, Fisher into 2nd and Hunt back to 3rd. Thomas kept reeling off quick laps out front in Heavy and Slits couldn’t bridge the gap – this the finishing order in the end; Capuano, Fisher and Hunt in Supers
All Points – Heavy 1. Thomas 2 .Slits 3. Martin
All Points – Super Heavy 1. Capuano 2, Fisher 3. Hunt
Junior National Light
Feature Class this month so Qualifying for these guys, and Nicholas Sims off Pole then Cody Donald, Jack Bell and Calin Maclennan. A clean start and Sims was away, Bell into 2nd for a moment but Donald though and under him before the first lap was done, then a gap back to Maclennan, then P Platers Ryan Stackpole and Jack Scanlan. With half the race run (so we still had half to go) Sims had a comfortable lead from Donald then Bell, then in another race altogether it seemed, Maclennan, Stackpole and Scanlan duked it out for 4, 5 and 6. At the flag, Sims the victor, Donald then Bell, well behind them it was Maclennan, Scanlan and Stackpole.
Same starting order in Heat 2 and the same result: Sims, Donald, Bell the first 3 after a lap. For a long time this Heat looked like winning the most boring race of the day award, but Donald eventually livened things up when he cruised up to the back of Sims and started to pressure him for the lead – then suddenly upped the pressure a lot more when he braked super late at JSKC and came together with Sims, both spinning and allowing Bell through to the lead, Sims rejoining in 2nd, Donald in 3rd and that’s the way they finished – an interesting Final ahead!
Sims off to the lead as they began the Final, Iredale (who qualified but hadn’t raced either heat) into 2nd, Bell 3rd, then Donald back in 4th after a post race penalty from Heat 2 saw him start out of P5, and once they settled it was going to be these 4 that produced the winner, Scanlan, Maclennan and Stackpole further back having their own race. By halfway Sims was still leading but Iredale had a tenth on him in lap times and the Feature Class has a 12 lap final, so plenty of time for him to do it. 4 to go and Iredale was on Sims – a kart length separated them and Iredale had the scent. 2 to go and Iredale under Sims at Arrow corner – a clean pass at a tricky spot – well done. Sims wasn’t going away though and trailed around for another lap then went back under Iredale at MKC corner, then Iredale past again at JSKC – tight stuff!!! Last lap and Sims now with it all to do – then he got under Iredale at Grid Hairpin, but could he hold him? Only just, was the answer – 0.075 sec was the margin, Sims the victor, Iredale then Donald and Bell, a great dice to the line.
Final: 1. Sims 2. Iredale 3. Donald