Melbourne’s unusually fine and mild weather was continuing right through to the end of May and Oakleigh’s Club Day this month began with a spectacular sunrise and the promise of a good day ahead.
Well, what would I know about weather! As we began the carbie session half an hour after I wrote the intro above, it was peeing down with rain and gloomy and overcast. Don’t you love Melbourne? So heavy was the rain that carbie session had to be stopped for a while so flooded parts of the track could be cleared. Then, unbelievably, by 9.30 the rain had gone, the sky was clear and the sun was shining! Once carbie session concluded we got racing underway
Only two today; Oscar Piastri and Jordan Lewis
and very hard to write anything exciting about a 2 horse race: Piastri to the front after about 3 laps and drove away to win, Lewis 2nd – that’s all folks.
Not much different from Heat 1 – Piastri to the lead, Lewis 2nd. After a few minutes sleep up here in the starer’s box, that’s how they finished. Actually it wasn’t that boring – Lewis gave a good account of himself – Piastri didn’t just clear off into the distance, although he had what you would say was a comfortable lead by the flag.
Heat 3 and guess what? Piastri to the lead, Lewis into 2nd, ZZZzzzzz. All over!
All Points: 1. Piastri 2. Lewis
Sportsman Restricted Light
Nicholas Clarke and James Barnes off the front for Heat 1 and Clarke swamped a bit at the start as Jamie Westaway went away to the lead and to a good lead too, ahead of Justin Carless who was closely followed by Robert Barnes then Travis Bird. Carless and Barnes were putting on a show fighting for 2 and 3 but Westaway was a mile clear out front. Barnes eventually got through to 2nd and pulled away but Westaway was already back in the scales shed by the time Barnes crossed, then Bird who had gotten by Carless for 3rd.
Heat 2 saw Bruce Smith and Rory Spencer 1 and 2, but Carless straight through from 3rd to lead, Smith then Westaway and Barnes as they settled down for the run. The longer it went, the further away Carless went, Smith doing well behind him in 2nd with Westaway on his hammer, then a gap back to Edward Moreno, Barnes and Bird. Carless an untroubled victor and Westaway got under Smith for 2nd.
Westaway then Carless for Heat 3 and Carless the jump and got away for a lap, but then Westaway was back on him, Bird 3rd, Smith 4th and these 4 were well clear of the field. After 3 laps Carless and Westaway were not separated by much but had broken clear of Bird who had Smith closing on him ever so slightly. 3 to go and Carless was now well in command having left Westaway in his wake and they went on to cross the line in this order, Bird and Smith holding on for 3 & 4.
All Points: 1. Westaway 2. Carless 3. Bird
TAG 125 Heavy
Vern Kranz and Steve Barlee then Mal Hunt and Cameron Birt, and Kranz away well ahead of Mal Hunt and Rhys Hunt through to 3rd and these 3 pulled clear of the rest who were led by Ashley Thompson, Barlee and Cameron Birt. The pair of Hunts were not letting Kranz get away easily, but as the laps wound down he did pull something of a gap from Rhys Hunt who in turn was well clear of Mal Hunt and that’s how they finished – Rhys right Kranz’s crash bar at the end.
Mick Fisher off pole in Heat 2 but Rhys Hunt shot straight to the lead while back in the pack Kranz and Mal Hunt tangled in the Dipper and both rejoined at the rear. A lap or 2 later Rhys Hunt was gone, Fisher in 2nd and behind him Birt, Thompson and Barlee. The battle in the end was for 2nd with Birt chasing Fisher around, looking this way and that to try and get past – eventually Fisher sent him an invitation when he ran wide at Tony Kart turn and Birt went by, Fisher then had to hold off Barlee which he did to keep 3rd – Carless already back at the scales.
Rhys Hunt and Kranz off the front row for the last heat and at the green it was Hunt to the lead, Kranz, Mal Hunt, Thompson, Barlee, Birt and Fisher the rest of the field strung out behind him. From this point on things were a bit of a procession – Rhys Hunt pulled clear, then Kranz was ahead of Mal Hunt who was pulling away from Barlee, and so on back through the pack. Chequered flag and nothing had changed, Rhys Hunt a comfy winner.
All Points: – 1. R. Hunt 2. Kranz 3. M. Hunt
Junior National Heavy
Pole man Ryan Stackpole and beside him Benjamin D’Alia and D’Alia away best with Hirotaka Chong following him through to 2nd and Lucas Filikotzias behind him in 3rd. The track was still declared wet despite being bathed in sunshine, and Chong was one of a few still running wets which started to cost him as things wore on; he dropped to 3rd and then 4th as his slick tyred rivals gobbled him up – meanwhile D’Alia drove off into the sunshine out front followed by Filikotzias and Kain Kugimiya as they crossed the line.
Jayden Adolph off pole with Kain Kugimiya beside him, but Adolph swamped at the start and dropped well back, Kugimiya to the lead, then Bryce Woolard, Scanlan, Chong and D’Alia behind them. Lap 3 and Woolard through to the front then Scanlan through to 2nd a lap later and Chong with him as Kugimiya dropped back. D’Alia also moved through to be 4th with 3 to go, then 3rd as he got under Chong at JSKC but Woollard was getting further away while all this was happening. D’Alia now through to 2nd but not going to catch Woollard unless disaster came his way – which it did not, Woollard a comfortable winner in the end.
D’Alia and Woollard the front row in Junior National Heavy and as we go green D’Alia goes to the lead, Woollard, Chong, Filikotzias and Scanlan queued up behind him. Woollard was looking like he wanted to jump the queue but D’Alia was not so keen on this idea and held on gamely while Chong hovered in 3rd. Lap 4 and Woollard went to the lead at JSKC but D’Alia back under him one corner later. 2 laps later the same thing, but Woollard didn’t leave D’Alia any room to get back past him at Tony kart this time and held onto the lead for a lap until D’Alia went again at JSKC – this was as much excitement as we had seen all day! Start of the last lap and Woollard again under D’Alia at JSKC and stayed narrow for the lap to hold him at bay while Chong was all over them by now with all this dicing – at the flag it was Woollard who held on by 1/100th to take the win – best race of the day!
All Points: 1. D’Alia 2. Woollard 3. Chong
Cadets & Rookies
Combined again this month, a good field of Cadets was led away by Braydon Callaghan and Joshua Hocking, while Mitchell McGovern was the only non P Plate Rookie, Hamish Allan and Callum Potter the other 2 starting off the back. At the green McGovern had some trouble in Rookies, with the field of Cadets swarming around him as he got off to a slow start on his own, Hocking, Callaghan and Jai Stephenson the front group of Cadets and a very tight group too as they wound around the track. By halfway McGovern had pulled away to a comfortable lead in Rookies and Callaghan led the Cadets, then Hocking the leader as Callaghan dropped to 3rd – Stephenson between these 2. One lap to go and disaster strikes Hocking as he throws a chain exiting Tony Kart, always a painful way to go out, but especially so when you’re leading. This hands Callaghan the win ahead of Stephenson while McGovern was victorious in Rookies.
McGovern away well this time, then Matthew Stanic and Michael Horner in Cadets, but Hocking and Stephenson soon through to lead this class, Horner and Callaghan behind them. Bad luck for Stanic, off under the lap scorer’s box, otherwise Cadets continued mostly untroubled with Hocking now enjoying a substantial lead and starting to close on the Rookie McGovern. Further back Stephenson and Horner were dicing for 2 and 3 with Callaghan lurking just further back in 4th. In then end McGovern the Rookie, then Hocking in Cadets followed by Horner then Stephenson.
McGovern of course the Rookie, with Cadets led by Callaghan and Stephenson and that was the order they pulled away in. A lap or 2 in and Callaghan went to the overall lead, McGovern a buffer between him and Stephenson, then Hocking and Horner. Halfway and Hocking moved into 2nd in Cadets but no one looked like catching Callaghan. With 3 to go Hocking put a move on McGovern but eventually settled back behind him, then finished it off properly a lap later to go to 2nd overall. At the line it was Callaghan then Hocking with McGovern next – the Rookie winner – and Horner right on his tail as they crossed the line.
All Points Cadets: 1. Callaghan 2. Stephenson 3. Occhipinti
All Points Rookies: 1. McGovern 2. Allan 3. Potter
Three old guys this month led by Shane Alabaster, and as we went green Alabaster went to the lead and there he stayed as Mal Hunt and Adam Gillick spread out behind him. Not much more to say about this race as the order didn’t change – just the distance between the karts, Alabaster in a canter in the end.
Mal Hunt led them away in Heat 2 but Alabaster passed him for the lead at the end of Lap 1 and they looked like they might settle down in this order for the journey. They did – Alabaster, Hunt then Gillick, in something of a snooze fest.
Alabaster, Hunt and Gillick and away we go – for a second Hunt looked like he might challenge for the lead at JSKC, but he didn’t, so we settled down to another procession. That’s what we got as nothing changed in the order on track for the whole race – well done Alabaster.
All Points: 1. Alabaster 2. Hunt 3. Gillick
Clubman Light / Clubman Heavy / Clubman Super Heavy
The 3 Clubman classes all together this month; Fred Khan and Geoff O’Connell the front row in Light, James Mastorakis and Thomas Martin the only 2 Heavys, and Rod Capuano, Steve Polak and Darren Kemp the Supers as we got a start. Khan a shocker as he fouled up at the green and dropped back, McLean soon through to the lead, then Caleb Citrine and O’Connell. Martin led Mastorakis in Heavy and Polak led Capuano and then Kemp in Supers. While Kahn was working his way back through the heavier fields, McLean was streaking off into the distance out front and Mastorakis had overhauled Martin in Heavy. At the flag McLean in Light, Mastorakis in Heavy and Capuano who got past Polak in Supers.
Lachlan Shaw beside McLean here and Mclean away well with Citrine behind him, Mastorakis in Heavy ahead of Martin, then Polak in Supers ahead of Kemp, as Capuano found the sand trap on lap 1 at Arrow corner, then dragged his kart across the track and stumbled into a huge puddle on the infield – all very entertaining, but maybe not for Capuano. McLean disappeared out front, Citrine was also well clear in 2nd, 3 to go and Mastorakis led Martin in Heavy, and Kemp led Polak in Supers and that’s the way they finished.
Citrine got the jump on McLean at the start, Khan close behind. In Heavy Martin led over Mastorakis while in Supers it was Capuano, Polak and Kemp. Lap 3 and McLean got through at Tony Kart to get to the lead, Khan followed him through to go to 2nd. Mastorakis had moved ahead of Martin in Heavy while Capuano drove away in Super Heavy. In the end McLean by a mile, Mastorakis and Martin in a drag to the flag which Mastorakis won by a nose, and Capuano in Super Heavy.
All Points – Light 1. McLean 2 .Citrine 3. Khan
All Points – Heavy 1. Mastorakis 2 .Martin 3. –
All Points – Super Heavy 1. Polak 2. Kemp 3.Capuano
Junior National Light
Kyle Frencham and Benjamin D’Alia, then Oscar Piastri and Jack Scanlan in the class that should provide the best racing today, and D’Alia off to a good start with Piastri following him through then Scanlan, Frencham and Patrick Forrester. Lap 3 and Piastri went to the lead and then pulled a small gap on D’Alia as these 2 were now well clear of the rest of the field. The rest of the field is where the action was though, as Forrester moved into 3rd, behind him was Scanlan and then a gap back to Frencham and Kolar who boxed on for 5th and 6th, Frencham holding on in the end, but Piastri already well across the line to take the win.
Woollard off pole with Stackpole beside him and Woollard a good start – Stackpole not so and dropped back, Piastri into 2nd, then D’Alia, Scanlan, Forrester as they got through the first lap. A lap later and Piastri was the leader and D’Alia into 2nd and these 2 drove off with it – Piastri well clear a few laps later. The action was back in 3rd where Scanlan, Forrester and Kolar were battling it out, Forrester through to 3rd with 2 to go. All Piastri in the lead though and he went on to record a victory.
The familiar names of Piastri and D’Alia formed the front row and went away in that order, behind them Scanlan and Forrester, Kolar and Frencham. Lap 4 and Forrester goes under Scanlan for 3rd but 2 corners later he was 5th then moved back to 4th again, so as you were. As you were too with Piastri and D’Alia, both well clear in 1 and 2 – Piastri doing it comfortably out front and that continued all the way to the flag.
All Points: 1.Piastri 2. D’Alia 3. Forrester
Sportsman Restricted Heavy
Trevor Payne and Rafe Todd the lead pair here and Payne away well from Todd and the aptly named (for a guy in 3rd place) Simon Chase, then Shane McCutcheon. With 2 to go Payne was all alone in the lead and went on to take the win.
Jason Lucas and Wayne Deluca the front row here in heat 2 and away we go – Lucas the best of them, then McCutcheon and Gigis, but before long Gigis through to the lead with McCutcheon right behind him – Todd unfortunate to tangle with a P Plater and go out at Tony Kart turn. Back in 3 and 4 Lucas and Chase were doing battle, behind them Payne. At the chequered it was Gigis just ahead of McCutcheon.
Gigis and McCutcheon off the front here and McCutcheon away well from Gigis, then Payne caught up in a tangle and dropped back, Chase into 3rd then Lucas behind him. This was the order they settled into, although Gigis was closing on McCutcheon with 4 to go. At the flag McCutcheon just held on from Gigis who was all over the back of him for the last 2 laps but couldn’t find a way past.
All Points: 1. Gigis 2. McCutcheon 3. Chase
TAG 125 Light
Feature class this month and Dylan Slits fastest qualifier ahead of Shane Kovacs and Nicholas Flodstrom. Slits to the front and after 2 laps had pulled quite a gap from Kovacs and Flodstrom, then Vern Kranz and Zackery Cerato, with Robert Baldacchino bringing up the rear. Lap 4 and Flodstrom spins all on his own coming into Tony Kart Turn, so Kranz inherits 3rd but Slits still clear out front although Kovacs was maybe making some ground on him. 3 to go and the close battle was between Kranz and Cerato with Kranz holding on in the end, Slits the victor ahead of him and Kovacs 2nd.
Slits and Kovacs again off the front and Slits away well again and off into the distance with Flodstrom 2nd then Kovacs and Cerato. Eventually Kovacs got back past Flodstrom and Cerato dropped back with a shower of sparks issuing from under the kart at one stage – a problem of some sort; Slits off into the distance and took the win.
Slits, Kovacs, Kranz Cerato, Flodstrom and Baldacchino the order and Slits away well, with Kovacs right on his tail and a gap back to Kranz who was holding Cerato at bay – just – until Cerato got under him at JSKC and Flodstrom followed him through. Out front Slits was only a kart length ahead of Kovacs so needed to keep his head down. With 5 to go Slits was maybe 2 kart lengths ahead but Kovacs wasn’t going away. Back in 3rd it was Flodstrom who had worked his way past Cerato; Kranz and Baldacchino behind them. With 2 to go Slits had pulled clear and looked like he would record a comfortable win – which he did, Kovacs in 2nd, Flodstrom 3rd.
Final – 1. Slits 2. Kovacs 3. Flodstrom