Last Club Day of the year at Oakleigh and we move to the Saturday day / night format for November to change things up a bit and give members a chance to race under Oakleigh’s lights. Weather was fairly typical for Melbourne at this time of year – absolutely pouring with rain in the morning, clearing to bright sunshine and humid in the early afternoon, with the possibility of anybody’s guess later in the day. With a few visitors probably preparing for Top Guns or the 2014 Vic Open, we had 116 entries turn up for the last time in 2013, and just after 1.00pm we got underway.
A swarm of P Platers – 11 of them in all, followed Kai Upiter, Michael Horner, Braydon Callaghan, Jay Hanson and Joshua Hocking out the gate in Cadets and Horner got away best, then Callaghan, a gap to Upiter and Hanson, but these 4 had cleared out on the rest. A good job by all the P Platers who kept circulating and finding their feet, but the older heads out front had formed a tight group of 4 and put on a show for a number of laps, then Callaghan to the lead from Horner on lap 5 and he started to pull clear. Despite having some lapped traffic to contend with Callaghan did a good job of holding the lead and went on to win, Horner and Upiter behind him. Well done to Harrison Occhipinti, the first P Plater home and bad luck to Antonio Mastroianni – the only DNF from the race – a good job by all concerned.
Heat 2 got away after a few false starts and it was Horner then Hanson, Upiter then Callaghan after a lap or two. A lap later Callaghan spun trying to squeeze in a pass in the Carousel and rejoined back in 7th, so a battle ahead for him, while Hanson was going clear out front, Upiter and Horner working away behind him. With 4 to go Callaghan was back to 5th but the interest was in 2 and 3 where Horner and Upiter swapped spots every second corner. Finally Hanson gained on a group of lapped karts but scythed through without incident – not sure Upiter and Horner would be so lucky. In the end they were OK too, Hanson the win, Upiter then Horner, and Callaghan still recovering in 4th.
So it was Eastern Lions visitor Hanson to the lead as the final began, Callaghan 2nd then Horner and Hocking, after Upiter spun at Tony Kart and dropped well back. Soon Callaghan was through to the lead but not pulling away at all from a dogged Hanson, at least for a lap or two, while Horner and Hocking circulated in 3rd and 4th. Then Hanson back to the lead over Callaghan at Grid Hairpin with 8 to go – and for the next few laps Callaghan bided his time. He had plenty of it between he and Horner, then Hocking, and then well back Upiter who was making up the ground lost in the opening lap. 3 to go and Hanson and Callaghan started working through lapped karts, and while eventful, it didn’t result in a change of position: Hanson, Callaghan then Horner at the flag.
Final: 1. Hanson 2. Callaghan 3. Horner
Junior National Heavy
Justin Carless and Cody Donald off the front row for Heat 1 and Donald the best of them as they got away, Carless, Domenic Pancione and Dylan O’Keefe behind him. O’Keefe through to 2nd and Jamie Westaway followed him and then passed him a lap later to go to 2nd, Donald all the while driving away out front. Carless, Westaway and O’Keefe were the trio putting on a show for 2, 3 & 4, with Benjamin D’Alia and Pancione joining them to make it a 5 way battle, then Lucas Filikotzias made it 6 of them, but Donald was gornski in the lead and went on to a win, Westaway 2nd and O’Keefe held on from D’Alia for 3rd.
D’Alia off the front for Heat 2 and off to a good start from Filikotzias, O’Keefe and Westaway – a lap later it was O’Keefe, Westaway, D’Alia and Filikotzias, 2 laps later it was Westaway, O’Keefe, Filikotzias and D’Alia – nothing so constant as change in this race. Finally they sort of settled in this order, but little in it margin wise, all 4 close together. With 2 to go O’Keefe went under Westaway at Arrow for the lead but they remained closely bunched – Westaway and Filikotzias right on him. Last lap, same order, same gap, then BOOM! Westaway under O’Keefe at Tony Kart for the lead and from there he held on; O’Keeffe found himself holding off Filikotzias who was holding off D’Alia who had Carless right on him in the end – a great race!!
Westaway and O’Keefe off the front – watch out for Donald coming through from 8th after a Heat 2 DNF, but he was baulked at every turn on Lap 1 while the front 2 drove away, Carless 3rd then Nicholas Flodstrom and then Donald who started to make some progress, going to 4th on Lap 3 then 3rd a lap later. Meanwhile Westaway to the lead at MKC but his duelling with O’Keefe was playing into Donald’s hands as he caught and then passed the 2 of them to go to the lead as they began lap 5 – great drive by Donald so far. He then drove off into the gloom while Westaway and O’Keefe battled for 2 and 3, and Filikotzias then Carless trailed around behind them. 2 to go and Westaway and O’Keefe were rubbing pods allowing Filikotzias into 3rd as O’Keefe dropped to 4th. All Donald out front; behind him a close tussle eventually won by Westaway from Filikotzias, O’Keefe 4th
All Points: 1. Westaway 2. O’Keefe 3. Filikotzias
Patrick Forrester and Blake Kolar, Henry Johnstone and Braydon Hanson, then Angelo Mouzouris and Jordan Dudfield the whole field in Rookies, and away goes Kolar then Hanson, then a gap back to Forrester, Dudfield and Mouzouris after a couple of laps. While Kolar moved away in the lead, Dudfield, Eastern Lions visitor Hanson (brother of the Cadet Hanson), Forrester and Mouzouris engaged in a very entertaining battle behind him. Forrester led them with 3 to go, but Dudfield all over him like a cheap suit and Hanson observing not much further back – then Dudfield through to 2nd and just as he made his move Forrester dropped a chain coming out of the Dipper, so then there were 3 in this battle, but Kolar way ahead in the lead. He went on to win, Dudfield getting the best of the next contest, followed by Mouzouris and Hanson.
Dudfield this time to the lead from Hanson, then Mouzouris, Kolar, Forrester and Johnstone as they circulated the first few times. On Lap 3 Kolar’s nosecone found the crashbar of Mouzouris coming into Tony Kart turn and dropped them both back to the rear, out front still Dudfield and Hanson locked together, Hanson getting past a lap later and going to the lead. 3 laps later Hanson had managed to pull only a very slight gap – these 2 were well matched. Then with 3 to go Dudfield was right back on him and got under Hanson going through MKC when Hanson didn’t get the best exit from the Grid Hairpin – critical in any class at Oakleigh to get a good run on the straight. At the flag Dudfield by a kart length from Hanson, then Forrester, Kolar, Mouzouris and Johnstone.
Dudfield and Kolar the lead pair for Heat 3 and Kolar away and away well, Dudfield fell back into the clutches of Hanson, then Forrester in 4th as they settled into the groove. Hanson soon got out of the groove though, dropping back to 4th with maybe a tuning issue, then dropping further back and eventually retiring – a shame since he had been going well. No issues though for Kolar who zoomed around as darkness really started to close in, Dudfield not miles behind, then Forrester, Mouzouris and Johnstone and that’s the way they crossed the line.
All Points: 1. Dudfield 2. Kolar 3. Mouzouris
Clubman Heavy / Clubman Super Heavy
Only 2 Heavys, James Mastorakis and Anthony Westaway, and in Supers only 3: Darren Kemp, Mick Fisher and Malcolm Hunt. Mastorakis away best in Heavy and Fisher in Supers, and then we waited for something happen. Eventually Westaway closed right up on Mastorakis in the 2 horse race that was Clubman Heavy, but Supers were well spread out; Fisher then Hunt and Kemp. Westaway had a few looks at the lead but Mastorakis held him at bay and then slowly pulled clear. With 3 to go Westaway was slowly reeling him back in and was right on him as they began the last lap. In the end Mastorakis went narrow and held him out – nothing had changed in Supers: Fisher, Hunt and Kemp.
Mastorakis and Westaway in Heavy, then Hunt, Fisher and Kemp in Super Heavy as Heat 2 went green. Lap 2 and Fisher slides under Hunt at MKC for the Super Heavy lead – and from there on it looked like we might be in for a very uninspiring race. Then on Lap 5 a small bird crossed the track in front of the starter’s box. A couple of laps later I noticed that a cloud over the canteen looked a bit like an elephant. At the flag, no change in the order: Mastorakis and Westaway in Heavy, in Super Heavy it was Fisher, Hunt, and then Kemp.
So, the exciting 3rd Heat all set to begin in Clubman Heavy / Super Heavy – Mastorakis and Westaway in Heavy; Fisher, Hunt and Kemp in Super Heavy. Green we go, and away goes Mastorakis, then Westaway, then Fisher, then Hunt, then Kemp – where have I read this before? Did I mention that I have a two kart trailer for sale? Ring me on 0407.337.317 to find out more. 10 laps later they crossed the finish line with no change to the order. No disrespect to the drivers that raced today, but something has to change with CH/CSH. We need to find some more competitors to bring back the great racing these classes provided a few years ago, or offer something else.
All Points – Heavy 1. Mastorakis 2 . Westaway 3. –
All Points – Super Heavy 1. Fisher 2. Hunt 3. Kemp
Junior National Light
Benjamin D’Alia and Kyle Frencham off the front in Heat 1 but Cody Donald the leader after a lap – a sensational job considering he started in 10th – ahead of D’Alia, then a big gap back to Frencham, Matthew Iredale and Jack Bell. By halfway Donald was well clear from D’Alia then Bell, Iredale and Lachlan Fitchett, and Donald went on to record a comfortable win. What would Heat 2 be like when he started off the front row?
Donald to the lead, Iredale 2nd, Bell 3rd as pole man Jack Scanlan dropped to 4th, then Fitchett and Bryce Woolard. After 3 laps it was Donald and Iredale, a gap to Bell and then another gap to Scanlan, Fitchett and D’Alia. Donald pulled well clear as the laps counted down and nothing should stop him – and in the end nothing did; Iredale 2nd, Bell 3rd.
Donald off pole, then Iredale, D’Alia and Bell. As they rolled around, from nowhere a downpour hits the Oakleigh facility. Karts everywhere as the track was instantly streaming with water. Who would believe it? Melbourne weather strikes again. So JNL gets sent back in – karts spinning everywhere does not a good start make. 5 minutes later, re-shod and re-suited, they re-entered the track. After a lap it was Westaway then Bell, D’Alia then Fitchett, then finally Donald back in 5th, but soon Donald had recovered to 3rd, while Westaway had slipped away to a good lead. Bell’s lack of height was costing him a bit in 2nd, the kart struggling for drive, and Donald got past him too with 8 to go. That said, Bell was still ahead of 5 other karts, so he wasn’t going too badly. With 6 to go Westaway still leading as Donald pirouetted at canteen corner, but rejoined without losing a spot, Bell still 3rd and Fitchett well back in 4th. Then disaster for Westaway, going around and into the grass coming out of JSKC, so Donald inherits the lead, Bell now 2nd and that’s how they finished with Fitchett home in 3rd .
All Points: 1.Donald 2. Bell 3. D’Alia
Sportsman Restricted Heavy
Jarrod Paydon, Joshua Muis, Chris Watt and Paul Maruszak the first 4 in R125 Heavy and Paydon away best as the big field of 16 snaked around behind him, Paul Maruszak 2nd, then Luke Grech-Cumbo and Jason Sheales 3 and 4, Sheales through from P8 so a good start for him. On Lap 3 Paul Maruszak under Paydon at JSKC for the lead but went too deep and the switch back was on as they exited the corner, Paydon back to the front. This brought the rest of them up to the front 2 and soon Grech-Cumbo found himself in the lead, then Paydon, Sheales, Paul Maruszak and Trevor Payne close behind. With a lap to go Sheales made it through to the lead and Grech-Cumbo and Paul Maruszak close behind. They would have held this order to the flag but Sheales slid wide at MKC corner and allowed Grech-Cumbo to sneak through for the win – D’oh!
Payne a good start off pole then Sheales, Shane McCutcheon and Grech-Cumbo as Duane Evans and Wayne Deluca found the trap at JSKC on Lap 1. A few laps later still Payne, but McCutcheon through to 2nd, Sheales and Grech-Cumbo close behind. Lap 5 and Sheales through at the Dipper to retake 2nd from McCutcheon, who was now under pressure from Paul Maruszak; Grech-Cumbo still in 5th, then 4th as he got under Paul Maruszak at Grid Hairpin, but Maruszak back under him a few corners later. Meanwhile, all Payne out front. None of this boxing on for him as he comfortably led Sheales and McCutcheon, and over the line they went in that order.
Still a wet track as R125 Heavy rolled out – get ready for action! Sheales off pole, then Grech-Cumbo, Paul Maruszak, McCutcheon and Paydon. Green goes the light, away goes Grech-Cumbo. Sheales in 2nd, then McCutcheon, Muis and Paul Barlow as various others spun, tangled and went off, struggling with the slippery track. No struggling for Grech-Cumbo though, nice wide line through the corners, off the race line and away from the rubber. Lap after lap they continued in this order, Grech-Cumbo the rain-master on this damp evening, Sheales doing well behind him and McCutcheon not far back in 3rd. At the flag Grech-Cumbo still the leader, strolling across the line ahead of Sheales and then Paul Maruszak, after McCutcheon disappeared somewhere while I wasn’t looking – having been distracted by a gaggle of JNH competitors who invaded the starter’s box.
All Points: 1. Sheales 2. Grech-Cumbo 3. Paul Maruszak
TAG 125 Light & TAG 125 Heavy
Timothy Edwards away best in TAG Light and Travis Millar out for a spin at an Oakleigh Club Day took the lead in Heavy after a lap, Vern Kranz, Rhys Hunt and Martin Ritchie behind him. Edwards powered away from the small Light field, Shane Alabaster 2nd and Ben Freeman 3rd, and Heavy stayed unchanged behind them; Millar then Kranz. Then Ritchie and Kranz got engaged in a stoush with a couple to go and Hunt joined in too, but in the end Edwards an easy win in Light; Millar, Kranz, Hunt then Ritchie in Heavy.
Alabaster to the lead in Light and Ritchie the jump on Griffin in Heavy after Steven Barlee lost a wheel in the roll arounds and caused some chaos. Lap 2 and Edwards now the Light leader from Alabaster, Ritchie still ahead in Heavy but Millar was looming and soon right on Ritchie, then under him at Grid Hairpin for the lead. In Light it was Edwards, although not dominating like Heat 1, while Millar and Ritchie were reeling in and passing some of the slower Lights in Heavy. No change from then until the flag: Edwards in a canter, Millar maybe half a dozen kart lengths from Ritchie.
Edwards in Light and Millar in Heavy as the combined TAG classes came out, and both away cleanly at the front of their fields, Alabaster 2nd in Light and Millar though to 3rd overall as Freeman dropped back to 3rd in Light but 4th overall, then Hunt the 2nd Heavy in 5th overall (still with me?). Dark and wet with combined classes out there, this was getting really hard to follow, but Edwards and Millar were clearly leading their classes because they were 1 and 2 on the track, behind them Hunt, Alabaster, Freemen then Shane Kovacs. As the track dried no problem for Edwards in Light, but Millar dropped back to 2nd in Heavy as Hunt went to the lead. Try as he might Millar couldn’t get the lead back and Hunt held on for well deserved win, Edwards already home in Light.
All Points Light: – 1. Edwards 2. Alabaster 3. Freeman
All Points Heavy: – 1. Millar 2. Hunt 3. Kranz
Dylan Slits and Matthew Lane the front row in Clubman Light and Slits to the lead, Lane, Fred Kahn and the other half of Team Millar, Samantha, behind them, then Nicholas Bates as they settled. By Lap 2 we had Slits and Lane well clear, then Bates and Matthew McLean who was coming through from the rear into 4th, Millar on his crashbar in 5th. Lane under Slits and into the lead on lap 4 and McLean through on Bates for 3rd further back, Millar following him through to take 4th. Now they seemed to settle a bit and it looked like McLean and Millar might be the movers, both closing on Slits, Lane still clear out front. Last lap and Lane should be OK for the win, but Slits had a few concerns as McLean and Millar zeroed in. In the end Lane the win and Slits kept it narrow to hold 2nd, Mc Lean and Millar right on him in 3 and 4.
McLean and Bates, then Millar and Khan for Heat 2 and McLean and Millar to the lead as we went green, with Lane and Bates tangling in the Dipper on Lap 1 and Lane out. By Lap 3 it was McLean well clear, then Millar, then another gap back to Slits, Khan and the recovering Bates and finally lone P Plater Geoff O’Connell. From here on, no change looked to be the most likely result – sure enough, no change was the result we got: McLean, Millar, Slits it was.
McLean, Slits, Millar and Khan the front 4 in Heat 3 Clubman Light and Slits the best getaway leaving McLean behind, then Khan and Millar. The track was drying but these guys all still on wets – not sure, I might have taken a chance on slicks. Anyway, Slits still leads, McLean, Khan out at JSKC, Millar 3rd, Lane right on her, then Bates. Soon after Lane was through to 3rd, but Slits enjoying the slippery conditions still clear in the lead, McLean working hard to catch him. Slits started to look behind – McLean was catching him, but if Slits looked forward and put his head down he might have enough laps to hang on, Lane and Millar well behind in 3 and 4, so all interest out front. 2 to go and McLean closing and he continued to close but Slits held on – just, Millar home in 3rd.
All Points: 1. Slits 2. McLean 3. Millar
Great to see a good field of Junior Clubman – 8 of them this month – as a few C Graders made the graduation ready for 2014. Nicholas Steel and Kyle Hunt the front pair in Heat 1 and away we went – Steel to the lead but then Justin Carless and he tangled into the Dipper, Carless off and rejoined at MKC, while Steel dropped back and O’Keefe moved to the lead. Carless then went off and out of the race at Tony Kart turn – lots happening in a few laps! After all this, O’Keefe was well clear in the lead, then Steel, Matthew Iredale, Ashton Andoloro then Kyle Hunt, Daniel Griffin and Lachlan Fitchett. With 2 to go O’Keefe a mile in front but Iredale right on Steel, so a battle for 2nd, but a battle that Steel won in the end, following O’Keefe across the line but leading Iredale, Iredale later found to be under weight, so all for nought for him.
Andoloro away at the start from Carless and led for a lap or 2 until O’Keefe snuck into the lead and began to pull away, behind him Carless, Andoloro, Griffin and Fitchett, then Steel and Hunt. By halfway no change in the order, but good racing as they were all still close together – although O’Keefe was drawing clear out front. Then Steel got past Fitchett for 5th and set sail after Griffin, who was doing a great job after a long time out of the seat. Meanwhile, disaster for Carless as he dropped a chain exiting the Dipper with 1 to go. So it was O’Keefe well clear in front, but Andoloro, Griffin and Steel set to put on a show for 2nd – 4th. They did – no change in the order, O’Keefe 1st, but then 0.036 from Andoloro to Griffin and 0.052 from Griffin to Steel – three wide across the track as they crossed the line.
O’Keefe and Andoloro the front pair and O’Keefe to the front, but Steel through from 3 to 2, Andoloro the opposite going from 2 to 3, behind them Griffin and Hunt. From here the front 2 pulled away, Hunt into 3rd and Iredale 4th as Andoloro dropped back. Hunt then retired with a flat tyre (bugger!) but O’Keefe and Steel continued to drive away, Iredale now a clear 3rd and Griffin 4th and that’s the way it ended. Ended that is, until Iredale was pinged for no transponder, so Griffin elevated to 3rd.
All Points: 1.O’Keefe 2. Steel 3. Griffin
Sportsman Restricted Light
Sean Barnardo off to a good start here, from Nathan Grover and Brett Finnigan as they all got around the first few laps. Zackery Cerato the only big mover after a few laps, going into 3rd ahead of Finnigan, while Barnardo and Grover continued to drive off out front. Very little changed from then on as the laps wound down and Barnardo cruised to an easy win, Grover and Cerato behind him.
A frantic few laps further back, but in the lead Barnardo was doing it easy as karts spun and collided behind him in Heat 2. Once they settled it was Grover, James Barnes, Darren Trott, Cerato and Finnigan in a fight for positions 2 through 6, and fight they did, although mostly pretty clean: Grover getting clear, Trott into 3rd, Barnes 4th then Cerato and Finnigan, all the while Barnardo disappearing into the setting sun out front.
Half the field on slicks and half on wets – anything could happen! Barnardo and Grover side by side through the first few corners but a huge pile up at One Tree Hill saw the red flag pulled out while we attended to a couple of sore karters, so they returned to the grid for another go. Barnardo led the single file restart ahead of Grover, Cerato, Trott and Barnes, with Trott soon into 3rd and Finnigan in 5th as Barnes went off at MKC 2nd time around. Barnardo was still leading but not streaking away from Grover – in fact after 3 laps Grover was right on him, but the 2 of them had pulled a big gap on Trott in 3rd, so it was the duel for the lead were the interest lay. By halfway Barnardo had established a comfortable lead so things now looked settled. Settled that is until Barnardo started to close on some lapped karts, but he whipped through these too, as did Grover and soon the chequered flag was in sight – Barnardo, Grover then Trott well back in 3rd.
Final: 1.Barnardo 2. Grover 3. Trott
And so it’s all over for another year. Some great racing, some super performances, some great highs and not so great lows; hopefully a drink and a laugh at the end, that’s what it’s all about. See you in 2014!!!