A bright and sunny Saturday unfolded as Oakleigh members prepared for the last day/night Club Day until later in the year when Daylight Savings starts again. The Feb Club Day seems yonks ago with all the action of the VKS round and the Victorian Open having happened in between; a return to Club Day racing seemed almost relaxing.
Sportsman Restricted Light
Jimmy Baker and James Westaway the front row in Heat 1 and Westaway away best followed by Edward Moreno through from 4th, then Baker, then Stan Goryachev, Travis Bird slicing through from way back and Justin Carless. Westaway went further away as Moreno and Baker boxed on, eventually touching and dropping back, allowing Carless through to 2nd while Bird was 3rd. with 3 to go Westaway looked to have it in the bag, a handy lead from Carless and Bird, and that’s the way they finished.
Anthony Westaway and Blair Brydon the front row for Heat 2 and Brydon to the lead and Andrew Latimer through to 2nd after a lap, J Westaway, Carless and Moreno the next group. Latimer it was that eventually worked through to the lead of a tight bunch ahead of J Westaway and Carless, and J Westaway went to the lead, then Latimer retired with an exhaust issue and Carless seemed to lose it coming into the Dipper and took a trip through the grass, leaving J Westaway all alone in the lead, well behind him Moreno, Brydon and Carless. At the flag this is how they finished, so a potentially exciting race reduced to a bit of a procession as one by one they fell.
Moreno off pole after J Westaway didn’t start Heat 3, then Carless and Bird and Carless away ahead of Moreno and Bird, then Baker closing fast in 4th, then a gap back to Goryachev, Gokhan Resit and Brydon. Carless had the track all to himself, but much busier behind him as Moreno, Bird and Baker fought it out for the minors. Bird took 2nd and pulled away in the end, Baker also getting past Moreno for 3rd, while Carless motored away to a win.
All Points: 1. Carless 2. Bird 3. Moreno
Sean Larkin, Joshua Hocking, Harrison Occhipinti and Kobi Williams the front 4 as Heat 1 went green, Larkin’s shiny new blue plate glistening in the afternoon sun as he went to the lead, Hocking hot on his tail and under him Lap 2 into the Dipper, behind them Braydon Callaghan through from 7th, then Williams. Larkin re took the lead from Hocking a lap later and Callaghan was gaining on the front pair too, so some good racing ahead. In the end Larkin cruised away, while Callaghan and Hocking diced, further back it was Jai Stephenson, Michael Horner and Williams in 6th. Last lap and Larkin well clear but who would get 2nd? Hocking and Callaghan hard at it and finally Callaghan crossed 2nd, ahead of Hocking.
Kai Allen and Kristian Mastroianni the front pair and these 2 away at the front, a lap in and Larkin was doing a great job, through to 3rd from 12th, then Stephenson and Callaghan. A lap later and Larkin through to the lead, Allan and Callaghan with him, but a gap back to a tight bunch of karts led by Stephenson, then Mastroianni, Hocking and Horner. 4 to go and Larkin had pulled clear and was driving away, Callaghan 2nd and Allen right on his tail. The gap behind these 2 had grown and the man at the head of the next group was now Horner followed by Hocking and Stephenson, but out front Larkin all the way, Callaghan and Allen locked together behind him, Callaghan across ahead of Allen, but Larkin an easy winner.
Having won both heats, Larkin naturally off pole, then Callaghan and Hocking and Callaghan got the jump but Larkin back under him a lap later to retake the lead, while Hocking and Allen were close behind in 3 and 4. This group cleared out on the field – Horner, Williams, Occhipinti and Mastroianni the next gathering, but a way back. Larkin was pulling clear, Callaghan had his hands full with Hocking, and Allen was dropping off a bit in 4th. With 3 to go Larkin had stopped pulling clear and Callaghan and Hocking were maybe gaining, but in the end Larkin held on pretty comfortably ahead of Callaghan and Hocking.
All Points: 1. Larkin 2. Callaghan 3. Hocking
Junior National Heavy
Eden Foik and Jacob Bell 1 and 2 as we got a start and Foik swamped a bit as Bell to the lead, Foik recovered to 2nd, then Lucas Filikotzias and Bryce Woolard and Benjamin D’Alia through to 5th from well back. 2 laps later D’Alia was through to 3rd and threatening to go to 2nd, Bell still well clear in the lead. With 2 to go D’Alia did go to 2nd at JSKC, leading Woolard, Filikotzias and Daniel Frencham who was also through from the rear and that’s how they finished, with Bell well ahead taking the win.
William Hewitt and Daniel Frencham 1 and 2 in Heat 2 and Frencham away well with D’Alia through to 2nd, Kain Kugimiya and Filikotzias 4th. D’Alia had Frencham under pressure and they had a gap on the rest, Kugimiya pulling in a lap or 2 later minus a chain, leaving Filikotzias all alone in 3rd, then Jayden Adolph, Foik and Woollard, but sure enough Foik and Adolph got caught up with each other at the Carousel, so Woollard now had a lonely drive too. Not so lonely out front, but Frencham still held D’Alia at bay and pulled a small gap by the chequered flag to take the win, Filikotzias 3rd.
D’Alia and Frencham the front pair for Heat 3 and D’Alia to the front, Frencham with him, then a break to Bell, Adolph and Foik. By lap 3 it was quite a gap – D’Alia and Frencham away, and Frencham to the lead a few corners later. As the race unfolded he held the lead until D’Alia again went to the front at JSKC with 4 to go – Frencham back to the lead at Arrow a lap later; this was turning into a good 2 horse race! D’Alia again to the lead at JSKC – he’s got some mumbo down the straight, but then Frencham makes a fool of me by retaking the lead at JSKC a lap later, so he’s also got some mumbo – they both have! Finally Frencham has the bigger dose of mumbo and holds out D’Alia to take the win, Woollard moving through to 3rd.
All Points: 1. Frencham 2. D’Alia 3. Bell
Only 4 Rookies this month: Henry Johnstone, Angelo Mouzouris, Mitchell McGovern and Antonio Mastroianni the order and Mouzouris to the front then Johnstone, a gap back to Mastroianni in 3rd and another gap back to McGovern; Mastroianni taking the opportunity to wave to the photographer on one lap – so not a lot of pressure out there! In the end Mouzouris a comfortable winner ahead of Johnstone, but further back something had happened (too much waving?) and Mastroianni had been caught by McGovern – these 2 put on a great show for the last few laps with Mastroianni holding on for 3rd ahead of McGovern.
Mouzouris away well and into the lead, Johnstone, McGovern, then Mastroianni 4th, but he moved ahead of McGovern on Lap 2. Mouzouris cruised off into the distance and Johnstone was untroubled in 2nd, so it looked like things might fizzle out into a bit of a procession. It did – Mouzouris won, Johnstone 2nd.
Like Larkin in Cadets, Mouzouris the pole man for Heat 3 in Rookies with 2 heat wins in the bank, but Johnstone to the lead at the green and held it for a lap or 2 until Mouzouris gathered himself up and caught onto to the back of Johnstone, then past him at JSKC as they began lap 3 – further back McGovern led Mastroianni as karts went around in 2 pairs. Unlike the earlier heats Mouzouris didn’t just drive away, Johnstone was there, about 5 kart lengths back, but probably not going to threaten unless Mouzouris made a mistake. Gradually Johnstone seemed to be catching Mouzouris – was it too much to hope for some excitement? In the end it was exciting, but Mouzouris went on to win from Johnstone, while McGovern held Mastroianni out for 3rd.
All Points: 1. Mouzouris 2. Johnstone 3. McGovern
Clubman Heavy / Clubman Super Heavy
In Heavy it was Thomas Martin and Jason Sidwell; Super Heavy Darren Kemp and Steve Polak as we got underway – Martin and Sidwell glued together in Heavy, Polak then Kemp in Supers as Mick Fisher went out at JSKC on Lap 1 after tangling with P Plater in Heavy Bryan Poon. Martin and Sidwell continued around as though they were one kart, but Martin held the lead; Polak continued to lead in Supers but was under attack from Heavy P Plater Jack Cruttenden, Kemp further back. At the flag Martin held on ahead of Sidwell, as did Polak in Super Heavy.
Kevin Nicholls and Sidwell the front row in Heavy, Fisher and Polak the first pair in Super Heavy as we began Heat 2 and first lap Poon and Kemp tangled – Poon not having a great day – and retired, Kemp pulled in sans exhaust. Out front it was Martin and Sidwell again in Heavy, and Fisher and Polak in Super Heavy. Martin this time pulled well clear, Sidwell was not going to threaten unless something went wrong, and Fisher was doing it easy in Supers – a shame about the first heat. Martin in a canter at the end, Sidwell hung on for 2nd with something wrong with the kart (a carbie or jet problem maybe?) as Nicholls closes up in 3rd; Fisher and Polak the only 2 in Supers.
Martin and Sidwell in Heavy; Polak and Fisher in Super Heavy and Martin away well with Sidwell, while Fisher took the lead in Supers. A lap or 2 in and Sidwell’s problems had returned with maybe a carbie issue seeing him drop back, leaving Martin all on his own in the lead, then Nicholls in 2nd and Poon rounding them out in 3rd as Sidwell dropped back and out of contention. Fisher, who on track was pressuring Nicholls for 2nd in Heavy, was well and truly leading Super Heavy, Polak and Kemp further back. Martin did it easy in the finish, as did Fisher in Super Heavy
All Points – Heavy 1. Martin 2 .Sidwell 3. Nicholls
All Points – Super Heavy 1. Polak 2. Fisher 3. Kemp
Sportsman Restricted Heavy
Trevor Payne off pole ahead of Rafe Todd, Simon Chase and David Gibcus and Payne away well, Todd behind him and these 2 pulled a gap, Shane McCutcheon through to 3rd from 8th so good job there, and Chase back in 4th until he ran wide out of the grid Hairpin and in a cloud of dust went back to 11th, so into 4th went Joshua Muis, then Daniel Blizzard and Peter Gigis, a P Plater in 6th. With 4 to go, showing great pace, McCutcheon had closed right up on Payne and looked like going to the lead sometime soon. Despite McCutcheon catching Payne pretty quickly, Payne was smart enough to hang on for the win; Todd 3rd, Muis 4th.
Heat 2 and Jarryd Hoad the pole man, Sem Patrzalek then McCutcheon, and as we went green a wild 1st lap as unfortunately Hoad went off under the lap scorers, then Chase off at Tony Kart with a side pod bent at 90 degrees, then a few laps later Muis and David Gibcus a wild ride into the Carousel and both of them out, but as far as the racing went it was McCutcheon in the lead from Jesse Royston, P plater Gigis 3rd and Todd 4th. As the dust settled this ended up being the finishing order – for all the excitement off track, it was a pretty unexciting race on track.
McCutcheon and Payne then Todd and Royston as Heat 3 began and that’s how they went around for a lap or 2. McCutcheon was probably going to clear out if he kept going like the earlier heats, and after a few laps he did, Payne the best of the rest, then Todd, Royston and Muis, Blizzard, Chase, Gigis and Daniel Lucas behind this group. McCutcheon just kept driving away – no timing this month but he looked to have several tenths on the field. Payne was doing OK in 2nd, but behind these 2 it was fresh air until we got to a gaggle of karts led by Todd, and that’s how they finished.
All Points: 1. McCutcheon 2. Payne 3. Todd
Junior National Light
Jack Scanlan and Oscar Piastri, then Patrick Forrester and Bryce Woolard as Junior Light got away for the first Heat. Piastri away best and D’Alia quickly through to 2nd while Scanlan went back to 3rd ahead of Blake Kolar and Christian Pancione. D’Alia not going to let Piastri drive away, going under him for the lead at Arrow on Lap 2 and then set about building a lead – certainly the 2 of them pulled clear of the rest of the field, but Piastri hung right on D’Alia’s crashbar and back past him on Lap 4 – Kolar the other big mover now clear in 3rd. A lap later D’Alia back to the front at JSKC as Kolar continued to gain on the front pair. Piastri back under D’Alia at MKC with 3 to go and Kolar now right on the lead pair, so this trio were going to put on a show – D’Alia monster top end to go to 1st at JSKC with 2 to go – Piastri back to the lead at the Dipper half a lap later – hard to keep up with the changes!! Start of the last Lap and could Piastri hold on? Yes was the answer as he put a little gap on them and led D’Alia and Kolar across the line.
Pancione and Jordan Dudfield the front row for Heat 2 and Dudfield away best but Kolar through to the lead at Tony Kart lap 1, then Pancione, Scanlan, D’Alia, Piastri, as Dudfield dropped back, Forrester and Woollard behind him. Kolar was doing well, but behind him Piastri was working through and was into 2nd and going to threaten soon after – Pancione under pressure from D’Alia behind these 2, meanwhile Forrester out minus a chain. Piastri to the lead by halfway and now Pancione and D’Alia started to close on Kolar too, so a good battle for the minors coming up. 2 to go and Piastri all alone, D’Alia 2nd then Kolar and Pancione, as Scanlan ended up in the trap at Arrow corner, then Dudfield and Woollard, and Piastri did it easy in the end, D’Alia and Pancione behind him.
Piastri and D’Alia here, so look out for a good race – Piastri off to the lead and pulled a break on D’Alia who had Kolar not far behind him, then Pancione and a gap back to Dudfield, Scanlan, Woollard and Forrester. 3 down and Piastri was well ahead out front – D’Alia had some work to do to catch him. By halfway D’Alia had work to do just to stay in 2nd – Piastri was gornski, Kolar closing in 3rd and Pancione not a million miles back either. 2 to go and Kolar went under D’Alia at JSKC, but straight back at him at Tony Kart, so D’Alia still 2nd and fighting to hang in there – Piastri over the line first in the end, well ahead of D’Alia who held out Kolar and Pancione 4th .
All Points: 1.Piastri 2. D’Alia 3. Kolar
TAG 125 Light & TAG O40
Vern Kranz and Zackery Cerato the front row in Light, and El Presidente Adam Bourke and Adam Gillick 1 and 2 in Over 40’s. Cerato away well at the green but Sean Barnardo to the lead a lap in, Bourke doing well coming out of semi retirement to lead Over 40’s from Gillick – a few Lights in between them – then Mal Hunt and Alabaster. Back at the front of Lights it was Barnardo, Cerato, Shane Kovacs, then Dylan Slits and Kranz. Last lap and Barnardo had to regain the lead from Cerato and did so with a late move at Grid Hairpin that took Cerato by surprise, but no touch so all good; Kranz through to 3rd after Slits and Kovacs came together and dropped back while they untangled themselves. In Over 40’s it was Bourke, with the cobwebs by now mostly blown off his kart, taking the win from Gillick.
Heat 2 in Light sees Andrew Sotiropolous and Slits off the front, and Shane Alabaster and Mal Hunt the front 2 in Over 40’s and at the green Sotiropoulos got away but fell well back at the Dipper on Lap 1, Slits moving into the lead ahead of Barnardo and Kovacs. Sotiropoulos gone a few laps later and out at JSKC, Over 40’s had a high attrition rate too with half the field out – Bourke & Gillick both off in separate incidents. More trouble in Light as Kovacs and Barnardo became conjoined at one stage then untangled and continued but both I think DNF’d after assistance – a bit of a shambles all round this race! Slits the winner in Light in the end, and Alabaster in Over 40’s
Cerato and Slits the front row in Lights, Hunt and Alabaster ahead of the twin DNF’s in Over 40’s of Bourke and Gillick, and at the green Slits went ahead of Cerato, Barnardo moved through to 3rd and Kranz 4th. In Over 40’s the high attrition continued, Gillick out on Lap one and Bourke retiring a lap later. This could have been an exhaustion issue for Bourke, the strain of racing again maybe too much for the Prez? (Seriously, I think it was an engine issue – later I was told a throttle cable). This left Mal Hunt leading Alabaster in the old guys, but Slits was shooting clear of Cerato in Light and he was well clear of Kovacs and Kranz in 3 and 4. At the chequered this was the order: Slits and Cerato; Hunt and Alabaster.
All Points – TAG Light 1. Cerato 2 .Slits 3. Kranz
All Points – TAG O40’s 1. Hunt 2. Alabaster 3. Bourke
Dylan O’Keefe off pole with Piastri beside him and Piastri to the lead at the green but O’Keefe right on him after a lap, Kyle Hunt and Jordan Lewis (the rest of the field) back in 3 and 4. As the laps wound down they spread out – no change in the order, so not much to write about. At the flag that’s how they finished – look forward to more excitement in Heat 2.
Heat 2 was Lewis, Hunt, Piastri and O’Keefe, and away we went – a complete reversal of order after a lap: O’Keefe, Piastri, Hunt and Lewis. Piastri regained the lead a few laps later and this was the most exciting thing that happened as we saw another procession of a race, Piastri the man in the end.
Piastri again off the front, this time paired with O’Keefe and O’Keefe got him at the Dipper after Piastri led through the first few corners, so we settled down to see whose FA would get to the front – Piastri nailed to the back of O’Keefe with 4 to go, a gap back to Hunt and another gap to Lewis. O’Keefe and Piastri looked like they were driving a tandem kart until Piastri went under at JSKC with 2 to go – could he hold on? He did for one lap, then maybe a small gap appeared, a few corners later he was a little bit further ahead, out if the Grid Hairpin he had 3 kart lengths and at the line he was across by the same margin – a well thought out race by Piastri, O’Keefe 2nd, then Hunt and Lewis
All Points: 1. Piastri 2. O’Keefe 3. Hunt
Matthew Lane, Fred Khan, Nicholas Ingham and Richard Dickie, and Lane away OK until JSKC were he got shuffled back as Khan went to the front, then Ingham, Dickie, Angelo D’Ettorre and the recovering Lane who moved into 4th on Lap 2. Khan and Ingham well clear out front but Dickie up into 2nd as Ingham dropped back, Lane pulled in minus a nosecone a few laps later – Ingham in a lap later with a loose axle, so that explained the drop back through the field. All this going on left Khan miles clear out front, Dickie, 2nd and P Plater Barbara Anagnostiadis through to 3rd – so good on her, returning to the caper I believe, and certainly didn’t look like her first time in a kart. Khan took the win in the end, ahead of Dickie.
Lane again, and Khan beside him and away we go – Khan to the lead as Lane was run wide at JSKC and went back to 5th, Dickie through to 2nd, Ingham 3rd then D’Ettorre and Lane, as Anagnostiadis closed in on Lane in 6th. The first 3 were a tight bunch after a couple of laps – Khan, Dickie and Ingham all glued together, but as Lane came back through the field, the group was split up a bit and Khan found himself comfortably out front, Lane now 2nd and Ingham behind him. 4 to go and Lane was on the job, looking to reel Khan in. 2 to go and he was right on him having shaken off Ingham and Dickie – had a look start of the last lap at JSKC but no go. Finally he had a look a MKC, but Khan was narrow and they touched, Lane pulling out and Khan went on to win, Ingham coming through to take 2nd as Lane regained momentum for 3rd.
Khan and D’Ettorre (after Dickie who was to be off 2 called it a day), then Ingham and Lane as we began the final. Lots of passing on lap one – Khan, then Lane, then D’Ettorre all looked like going to the lead at various stages. The boxing continued in Lap 2 but Khan was up to it and continued to lead, until lap 3 when Lane got to the front and Ingham came through with him, then these 2 pulled clear and Khan dropped back. This is how things stayed as the laps wound down and in the end Lane a cruisy win to make up for a bit of a torrid time in the heats.
Final: 1. Lane 2. Ingham 3. Khan
TAG 125 Heavy
Fastest Qualifier Vern Kranz, then Leigh Bowler and Richard Matera, and Kranz was the big winner at the start as he got the lead from Bowler, Sheales in 3rd then Rhys Hunt and Matera in 5th. For a number of laps this is how things stayed although Bowler was reeling Kranz in and with 5 to go he had a sniff – meanwhile Hunt and Matera tangled at canteen corner and both rejoined well back in the field. Kranz was a kart length clear of Bowler with 2 to go, Sheales now a lonely 3rd. Bowler was throwing everything at Kranz as he tried to get him before the flag, but Kranz had the goodies and held on.
Kranz and Bowler again off the front for Heat 2 and Bowler away best, Kranz 2nd and Sheales 3rd. Behind them Rhys and Mal Hunt then Steve Barlee and Matera. On lap 3 Kranz went through at the Dipper for the lead and pulled a small gap from Bowler, Sheales looming behind them, but these 3 clear of the pack and eventually clear of each other as Kranz drove off into the setting sun. At the end Kranz the winner although Bowler closed up, then Sheales further back in 3rd.
Kranz, Bowler, Sheales, Hunt your first 4 for the final of Tag Heavy and Bowler away best as Kranz went a bit wide at Arrow but recovered to hang on to 2nd, Sheales and R Hunt dropping back behind him, so the job ahead of Kranz to catch and pass Bowler. Ever so slowly Kranz seemed to be reeling Bowler in, further back Sheales had Barlee hot on his tail while R Hunt and Matera engaged in their own little battle until the battle went sour and Matera was the only one to continue. 4 to go and Kranz was there – now to get past – and MKC corner a lap later was the spot to go for it, so away he went, under Bowler and pulled a small gap. Any gap was a good gap at this end of the race, further back Barlee and Sheales were having a dice but all Kranz at the flag, Bowler, Sheales held on, then Barlee and Matera behind him,
Final: – 1. Kranz 2. Bowler 3. Sheales