A sunny Saturday welcomed karters who had made the trek to Oakleigh for the Kingston Cup. Entry numbers were OK, but probably no more than OK, as I think stand alone meetings that aren’t part of some bigger series probably struggle to attract numbers these days. The Pro Tour round in NSW may have also contributed to numbers being a bit thin, but nevertheless, those that had turned up were presented with a magnificent day and the promise of some fun racing. We got underway with qualifying just after 9.00 a.m.
Matthew Domaschenz quickest Cadet 9 with a 46.584, followed by Will Harper with a 46.985. Domaschenz strolled around in Heat 1 leading Harper with Damon Woods following in 3rd. The arrival of some lunch (thanks Doc!) interrupted my reporting of Heat 2, but Harper took the win ahead of Domaschenz.
Pre Final and Domaschenz took the lead from Harper and Woods and these 3 pulled away. Towards the end Domaschenz and Harper pulled clear of Woods, so these 3 off the front for the Final. While Harper got the jump at the green, Domaschenz soon moved back through to the lead, Woods, then Harper behind him, then a big gap to Jack Lawson and Chloe Potter, and finally Ruby Gibson. In the end it was a super close finish, Domaschenz by 0.07 over Harper who closed right up in the final laps.
TAG R Light
Hirotaka Chong quickest here at 42.124, then Jack Scanlan with 42.606 and in Heat 1 Chong away to a good lead with Lucas Filikotzias the big mover coming through to 2nd after failing to set a Qualifying time. In the end Filikotzias almost overhauled Chong for the win, but will have to do it all again from the back in Heat 2. Do it again he did, working through to 2nd in Heat 2, but Chong held on for the win.
Filikotzias off 2nd courtesy of his good work in the Heats and got the jump on Chong at the green, a gap back to Jack Scanlan then Lachlan Hewson and Luke Stewart. Chong piled the pressure on Filikotzias as the race wore on; these 2 were putting on the best dice of the race. With 2 to go Chong got ahead of Filikotzias and held on to start the Final off pole. For the Final a five horse race turned into a four horse race when Hewson didn’t start , then we had a three horse race when Stewart pulled in after a couple of laps, so horse number one was Filikotzias followed closely by Chong, then Scanlan. Lap after lap these 3 went around nose to tail – for a small field it was a close race, Filikotzias always hanging on, until Chong got past at JSKC with 4 to go. Although Chong didn’t exactly streak away into the distance, he looked comfortable and sure enough, hung on for win.
Junior National Heavy
A more encouraging looking field of Junior National Heavy was led by Simon Fallon at 44.651 (coincidentally, Lucas Boucher’s long standing old Junior National Light lap record from the Vic Open in 2004 – new engines and a resurfaced track make a difference to the times!) then Bryce Woollard on 44.996. Sure enough Fallon and Woollard pulled away from John Doria, Benjamin D’Alia and Olivia Dalla-Zuanna, Fallon taking the Heat 1 win, Dalla-Zuanna an unfortunate DNF at JSKC corner with a couple of laps to go. Fallon again led Woollard and D’Alia around in Heat 2 – the rest stretched out well behind these 3.
Fallon took off ahead of D’Alia and Woollard back in 3rd, and that’s how it ended. Final begins with Fallon and Woollard pulling clear of D’Alia and Nicholas Carroll. Gradually Fallon and Woollard drove away, Fallon drove slightly further away to eke out a good lead. With 4 to go Woollard had worked away on reducing this lead and had Fallon under the pump, then got by him at Tony Kart Turn, so for the first time in a long time, Fallon was not the leader. Woollard has his work cut out staying there though as they dodged and dived around for the last couple of laps, then Fallon back under him at Tonk Kart – who will triumph? Fallon in the end, by a mere 0.08 so a super tight finish.
Zaiden Barry on 46.640 off pole, then local man Braydon Callaghan with a 46.721. Callaghan got the jump at the start and went away with it for a few laps. Barry worked his way back onto him, and behind them Joshua Hocking who hadn’t set a time in Qualifying, was working his way through the field, getting up to 4th. Barry meanwhile had gotten into the lead but a spin at the Carousel dropped him back and reinstated Callaghan at the front where he finished, with Ethan Wyllie and Bradley James hot on his heels. Heat 2 and Callaghan out to a substantial lead within a couple of laps, but this had happened in Heat 1 as well, so we watched to see if the pack caught him. Hocking again worked his way through; up to 5th with 5 to go, but this time Callaghan looked like he would go on with it, streaking away to a huge lead. In the end Callaghan by 8 seconds; Wyllie, Barry and Hocking.
Callaghan off to a good start, then Wyllie, and Hocking, who started 3rd after working his way up in both Heats. A few laps in and Callaghan again looked safe – Wyllie and Hocking putting on a good battle in 2 and 3, then Barry and James behind them. Hocking trying to get into 2nd was the most interesting thing to watch here – Callaghan a mile out on front. Finally, start of the last lap, Hocking through to 2nd and holds on – Callaghan already back at his trailer. Final starts and Callaghan drives away again, Hocking and Wyllie close together in 2 and 3, but well back on Callaghan, then Barry and James. For most of the race no change – Callaghan head down and pulling further away out front; Hocking and Wyllie close together in 2 and 3 and that’s the way she finished
Michael Carless the man here with a 41.108, then Justin Carless on 41.120 – so not much between the duelling brothers and in Heat 1 Carless M led them around, Carless J following, then Dylan O’Keeffe, Daniel Griffin and Daniel Frencham; with Carless M taking the win. Heat 2 and again Carless M away well, Carless J, then O’Keeffe and Griffin, and again, that’s the way they finished.
Again Carless M leads the Pre Final from Carless J, then O’Keefe and Griffin, but it looked like a Carless would greet the chequered flag. A Carless it was, as Michael streaked away, Justin next with O’Keefe and Griffin right on his crashbar. In the final Carless M was away well with his sibling Carless J, but things soon turned sour for Carless J as he pulled in with an engine problem, so all Carless M out front now, O’Keeffe in 2nd, then Tim Edwards and Frencham. As the race wore on, the gap between them all increased – Carless M a comfortable victor, followed by O’Keeffe and Frencham.
Junior National Light
Angelo Mouzouris the fastest JNL on 44.176 followed by Jonathan Cassar on 44.307 and Christian Pancione with a 44.343 and these 3 sailed away in Heat 1, then Jason Cox moved through to 3rd, and Olivia Dalla-Zuanna who hadn’t set a qualifying time was powering through, into 8th from 13th after 3 laps, Mouzouris the victor in the end. Cassar away best in Heat 2 but on Lap 5 was back in 2nd behind Mouzouris and then dropped well back after a tangle, so Mouzouris now had a lonely run out front and led Pancione, Cox and Dalla-Zuanna across the line.
As the Pre Final went green we had a huge roll over taking out a couple of karts at the Carousel, so everybody back to the grid for another go while we tended to the drivers. A complete restart a few races later saw Russell Mayo and Henry Johnstone out but relatively uninjured after the pile up, and Mouzouris away in the lead as he continued the domination he showed in the Heats, Pancione, Dalla-Zuanna and Cox behind him; Mouzouris victorious in the end. As the Final began Mouzouris drove away again, behind him Cox then Dalla-Zuanna and Pancione in a tight group, then eventually joining them was Cassar, well recovered from a DNF in the pre final. No one was catching Mouzouris though as he pulled further and further ahead. Bad luck for Dalla-Zuanna as some gremlin arrived with 3 to go and she dropped well back, Cassar a good result to now be in 2nd then Cox and Pancione and that’s how we finished – Mouzouris a great job all day.
TAG R Heavy
Peter Gigis on 43.020 (a new lap record I believe, eclipsing Luke Grech-Cumbo’s old mark of 43.069) then Kim Sherlock with a 43.067 lead the TAG R Heavy field away and these 2 streaked away once we got going, Rafe Todd the other man on the move – no Qualifying time for the Oakleigh Committee member after an engine problem, but through to 3rd after starting at the back in 10th. Heat 2 and Gigis again, while Todd moved through to 5th.
Gigis away well in the pre final and Sherlock back in 2nd, with Todd hot on his heels for most of the race. Gigis went away to win, Todd remained in 3rd, but right on the back of Sherlock for the whole race. Then Gigis off to a good start in the final with Sherlock and Todd trailing him, and this looked like it was how they would go around. Todd gained on Sherlock but Gigis looked safe – and safe he was as he took an untroubled win.
Justin Carless doing double duty today, on pole here with 41.807 followed by Ashley Seward with 41.945 and Seward away best , Carless, Vern Kranz and Shane Alabaster behind him. Seward held on for the Heat 1 win but Carless did a good job of pressuring him in the closing laps. Seward got the jump on Carless in Heat 2 and Aron Lawrence followed him through into 2nd but Carless was soon working away on them and got back through to 2nd. Lawrence came through for the win after Carless and Seward tangled and dropped back.
In the Pre Final Carless took all before him while Seward and Kranz followed, then Alabaster and Post. As we began the final, Carless not the best result at the start, Seward though to the lead, then Lawrence and Kranz and then the recovering Carless. With 9 to go Careless was right on the back of Lawrence, then the inevitable happened – they came together coming into the Carousel, Carless out and Lawrence rejoined miles back, so Seward had it cruisy out front, Kranz inheriting 2nd and Alabaster now 3rd. That’s how they finished.
Only 4 of them, and Simon Fallon off before he even completed a lap of Qualifying, so only 3 left to go around, and the quickest of them Benjamin D’Alia on 41.758 then John Doria on 41.968. Heat 1 and away we went, all the drivers very evenly matched. For a small field it was very close racing – only a second covered the four of them after 8 laps, after all sorts of position changes throughout the race Fallon was victorious ahead of Pancione; Doria and D’Alia coming together and to grief at the Grid Hairpin on the last lap, a DNF for both – D’oh! Fallon again away, D’Alia a no show for the 2nd Heat, so Doria and Pancione 2 and 3 and that’s how they went around.
All Fallon in the Pre Final ahead of Pancione, Doria and D’Alia. As the final started Fallon to the lead, but not away like he had been as Doria, Pancione and D’Alia trailed around behind him. By halfway Fallon had started to pull clear and the rest put on a huge stoush for the minors which Pancione looked like he might win, but no one was catching Fallon. At the end it was Fallon, Pancione, D’Alia and Doria.
Thanks to all the helpers and volunteers that make these meetings run, and particularly to Barry Moore who helped out a Clerk of Course today with our regular officials away. We look forward to seeing all competitors when they next visit the Oakleigh circuit.