The Griffiths Report August Club Day 2015
August Club Day saw us revert to the Saturday day / night format so a lazy late morning arrival for most as we got ready for qualifying and then racing. Weather was bitterly cold and rain looked like it might threaten – more of what Melbourne had been turning on for the last few weeks.
Photography this month is supplied courtesy of our usual photographer Andrew Daley of AKD Photography and Jeff’s Digital Photography – our thanks to both of them. If you want a shot of yourself or your pilot, contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeff on 0449 772 694 or find him on Facebook.
Clubman Heavy & Clubman Super Heavy
Peter Gigis off pole with Thomas French beside him and they make up the Heavy field, behind them Darren Kemp, Andrew Hocking and David Martin the 3 Super Heavys, and Gigis left French in his wake and Kemp left the pair of P Platers in his wake as they got through the first few laps. Eventually they spread out all around the track, but other than Gigis lapping the Super Heavy field there was no change to the order, so Gigis and Kemp the winners.
And here we go again – same order as the heats after 100 metres, so we got out the popcorn and sat back. As the race progressed Kemp spun a couple of times dropping him to the rear of Super Heavy and promoting Martin to the lead, but Gigis continued unabated at the front of Heavy with French trailing around behind him. Finally the chequered flag emerged to greet Gigis, then French, then Martin, then Kemp who had passed Hocking when the latter spun on the last lap.
Junior National Light
Henry Johnstone and Jai Sparey the front 2 with David Huezo and Adam Pasek behind them and Johnstone and Sparey pulled clear after a lap or 2, Sparey hovering around the back of Johnstone lap after lap but not pulling off a pass, while Huezo and Pasek were engaged in just as absorbing a battle further back on the track. Finally with 4 to go Sparey found a way past and got to the lead. Last lap and Johnstone noses up the inside of Sparey coming into the Carousel, always an awkward spot to pass – did they touch? Hard to tell from where I was, side on to the action at this point, but Sparey went around and out of the race backwards as Johnstone carried on to win followed by Pasek and Huezo.
Second heat and Johnstone away well ahead of Sparey – see if they can both make it to the finish line this time; similar gap back to Huezo and Pasek. The same sort of battle ensued; Johnstone and Sparey at it out front and Huezo and Pasek dicing away further back. Then Sparey got through on Johnstone in the Dipper on lap 5, but no gap appeared between the pair – at least not immediately, but a few laps later Sparey had edged clear and went on to atone for Heat 1 by taking the win.
Four karts looked to be one for the first few corners, but Sparey – who had started last thanks to his Heat 1 DNF – was through to the lead by the completion of the first circumnavigation, ahead of Johnstone, Huezo and Pasek. By now it was so cold that Paul the flag operator and I were considering setting fire to the starter’s box to keep warm, but we continued to grin and bear it – must have been worse for those officials out in the open. Sparey meanwhile was looking hot on track and had gone to a good lead, Johnstone quite some distance back in 2nd, then Huezo moved through to 2nd as maybe Johnstone had a spin I missed – Sparey eventually an easy winner.
TAG 125 Heavy
Justin Carless quickest in TAG 125H with Ashley Seward, Jacob Bell, Daniel Griffin and Vern Kranz lined up behind him. Seward off to the best start with J. Carless behind him and Bell unlucky to spin and go out entering the Dipper – maybe caught up in the gaggle of karts behind the leaders. A few laps later and Seward was well clear, Kranz now second and J. Carless 3rd with a flattened Nassau panel – a result of an incident I missed, and Brad Carless behind him. As Seward went away with it, a recovering J. Carless moved through to take 2nd but Seward held on for the win.
Seward again away well in Heat 2, then J. Carless, Bell, D. Griffin and Kranz. 3 laps in and J. Carless had moved to the lead, Seward and D. Griffin now 2 and 3 behind him, clear of Bell and a gap back to Kranz and B. Carless. At the flag no change and J. Carless saluted.
J. Carless away best but Seward soon underneath him and into the lead then Kranz, D. Griffin, Bell, and B. Carless. Now Seward and J. Carless looked set for battle as J. Carless ranged up behind him and these 2 streaked clear of the pack. In the end Seward was a passed by J. Carless at Grid Hairpin on the last lap and D. Griffin home in 3rd
Restricted 125 Heavy
Peter Gigis, Trevor Payne, Kim Sherlock and Rafe Todd the front 4 here in the biggest field of the day, and the biggest field saw the biggest series of spins so far as Daniel Blizzard, Liam White and Brad Parker all went off at Tony Kart on Lap 1, meanwhile Gigis streaked away to a semi-comfortable lead, Payne, Sherlock and Todd well back in his mirrors. With 4 to go Payne looked to maybe be reeling Gigis in a bit, but Gigis held on to take the win.
Gigis, Payne, Sherlock and Todd again away well – but Gigis away best and to a good lead. Another downpour mid race threw things into chaos, but Gigis continued to lead as the gloom descended and we prepared to turn on the lights. In the end Gigis victorious under difficult conditions.
Yet another downpour as they went out the gate but Gigis and Payne well versed in this and got off to a good start, a gap to Sherlock and then Todd. A report is almost impossible to write when you can’t make out about three quarters of the track because of the rain, but we battled on using the timing for the most part. Gigis, Payne, Sherlock and Todd still the lead 4 – as for the rest it was anybody’s guess. Eventually the rain cleared, so now it was just freezing cold and a wet track, and Gigis continued to lead from Payne who was narrowly ahead of Sherlock and thus they continued to the flag.
Kobi Williams ahead of Braydon Callaghan and Matthew Hillyer in Cadet 12 and Williams away ahead of Callaghan and these 2 took off and proceeded to put on a great show of dicing, but Williams always hung onto the lead. Behind them Joshua Hocking and Kai Upiter battled for 3rd and 4th, then another gap to Kristian Mastroianni and Callum Potter, but no one looked like catching Williams and Callaghan as Williams, with 2 to go, was now drawing clear and went on to record the win.
Williams again away ahead of Callaghan as the field spread out behind them; Upiter, Hocking, Joshua D’Ambrosio and Hillyer the best of the rest. Williams soon to a commanding lead as Callaghan battled with Upiter and Hocking, Upiter getting past him and into 2nd a few laps in. Then Hocking got past Callaghan as well to move into 3rd, but Williams was becoming a dot in the gloom out front. Rain poured down as the race went on and Williams’ lead was reduced somewhat, Upiter closing a little and then Hocking close behind him, but it was Williams in the end who took the win.
Hocking away best as more rain tumbled down, then Williams, Callaghan, Upiter and Hillyer. Hocking and Williams looked the likeliest pair as they shot away, both good in the slip and slide conditions, Callaghan further back with Upiter, behind them were Hillyer, Mastroianni, Bradley James, Potter, Samuel Gibson and D’Ambrosio. Hocking and Williams continued to go around nosecone to crash bar, Hocking just keeping his nose in front. With 3 to go they started lapping karts but still Hocking held sway and went on to win ahead of Williams and then well back to Upiter now in 3rd ahead of Callaghan.
Michael Carless, Matthew Lane, Dylan O’Keefe and Ben Mouritz, and at the green Carless away best with O’Keeffe following him through to 2nd, but then Mouritz took his place in 2nd with Lane now back in 4th as they settled down. These 4 drew away from the rest but Carless was quickest of them and was pulling clear. With 3 to go Carless was gone but Mouritz was coming under pressure from O’Keeffe. In the end no problem for Carless, and Mouritz just held on for 2nd, O’Keeffe then a gap back to Lane.
A slippery start to heat 2 as Carless got going ahead of Lane and O’Keeffe and a lap in he was leading well, with O’Keeffe now 2nd, Lane 3rd and Mouritz back in 4th. By lap 4 with a few karts going off and one that didn’t start, we only had 5 karts left and the first of them was still Carless and in the end he took the win.
Carless off at the green and Seward with him for a lap or so, but Carless pulled a gap within a couple of laps, Lane 3rd, Moritz 4th, then Marcus Battistella, Jordan Pasek, Lachlan Shaw and Brendan Woods. The field soon spread out all around the track, although Seward wasn’t letting Carless drive off completely, and Mouritz had Lane firmly in his sights as he endeavoured to move into 3rd, but generally speaking there wasn’t much passing looking imminent. Other than some lapped karts, there was no passing and Carless went on to greet the finisher.
Restricted 125 Light.
Hirotaka Chong the fastest in R125L with Jack Scanlan and Matthew Penn behind him and at the green Chong away well, but 2 laps in a surprise shower led to a mass exodus of karts at various suddenly slippery corners and a change in tempo came over things, but good on Chong – he continued to lead them around, Scanlan following him, then Filikotzias, Darren Wade, David Dvorak and Lucas O’Brien. The rain went away and Chong went on with it, carving through the back markers, Scanlan and Filikotzias still behind him but no threat unless something went wrong. Nothing did go wrong and Chong went on to record the win.
Chong to the lead ahead but not for long as Scanlan went to the front, then Penn, then Chong with his rear crash bar dangling off one end, so maybe a touch that I missed that dropped him back from the lead. Scanlan looked right at home in the greasy conditions and went well into the lead, Penn still 2nd then the battling pair of Chong and Filikotzias. These 4 were a mile clear of the rest and Scanlan was well out front of the quartet; then things started getting messy as karts were lapped and the field jumbled up – but Scanlan continued to lead and went on to take the win.
Filikotzias best of them here ahead of Chong and Scanlan and these 3 were a mile ahead of the rest who were led by Penn, then Wade, Dvorak and O’Brien. Filikotzias drove off into the gloom and started lapping karts and generally looking like he was going to do OK, although Scanlan and then Chong weren’t that far back – the confusion of the lapped karts making it hard to work out where they all were. Eventually they found some clear track and Filikotzias still held a good lead from Scanlan, Chong and Penn and that’s the way she finished.
Steve Tsesmelis and Damon Woods the front row and Tsesmelis got away with Woods and Jack Lawson, then a few laps in and Lawson got ahead of Woods but the 3 of them were still nose to tail, Lachlan Brady further back in a lonely 4th. Tsesmelis continued to lead but there was a cigarette paper between them; Lawson and Woods right on his hammer. Ducking, diving, pulling out and looking for a way past – the trio put on a great show and hardly a touch as they went at it, but Lawson triumphant in the end as he snuck through with 2 corners to go and Woods followed him, so Tsesmelis relegated to 3rd in the blink of an eye.
Woods away best in the greasy and slippery conditions, ahead of Tsesmelis and Lawson. Then food arrived (thanks as always Doc) so juggling dim sims, chips and Coke I wasn’t able to record much of the action, but they looked like they were having fun and Woods was victorious ahead of Tsesmelis.
Woods off P1 and held the lead at the start, but Lawson soon through on him, Tsesmelis 3rd, Austin Blanchard behind him, then Toby Dvorak and Brady. Again the front 3 were at it, all in a compact pack and going around together; then Lawson started to draw clear, Tsesmelis still right on Woods’ tail. After 10 laps these 3 were still evenly matched but Lawson was the man – across first to take the win.
Junior National Heavy
Simon Fallon and Bryce Woollard the front pair and at the green Fallon dropped back allowing Woollard and D’Alia through to take 1 and 2. Another shower of rain and things both livened up and spread out as Woollard continued to lead and Fallon got back through to 2nd ahead now of D’Alia. Then Fallon set about re taking the lead as he chased down Woollard and passed him on lap 5 in the Carousel. Within a lap he had streaked away, so the ordinary start was now a distant memory. At the chequered flag the rest of the field was a distant memory as Fallon took a comfortable win.
Quick form up, quick start and Fallon to the lead with Woollard on his tail, then D’Alia and Frencham, Riley Meens and Jack Martin, with Naomi Brady bringing up the rear. Karts would be fitting snow chains if it got any colder but Fallon had the measure of the conditions and the other competitors and slipped and slid away from the rest, although Woollard wasn’t a million miles back, but the rest of the field was nowhere to be seen and Fallon went on to win.
Again Fallon and Woollard, then D’Alia and Frencham as we got the JNH Final underway. Soon Fallon and Woollard were in a little race of their own, clear of the rest, and Fallon was winning this little race, perhaps drawing slowly away from Woollard one lap, then losing some ground the next –but still keeping the lead. All the way to the 2nd last lap when they executed an exciting cross over in the Carousel, Fallon and Woollard battled away, but somehow Fallon looked like he would hold on – tight in the Dipper last lap, same cross over in the Carousel and this time Woollard got to the front and stayed there to take the win in the dying seconds.
Shane Alabaster, Mick Fisher, Anthony Westaway, Robert Barnes and Vern Kranz the whole field of old guys this month and Alabaster off like a shot with Westaway also away well, Fisher, Barnes and Kranz all in a tight group further back until Barnes had a moment at JSKC and dropped back after he composed himself. Alabaster continued on his merry way, growing his lead and Kranz now working onto the back of Westaway in 2nd. In the end Alabaster had no trouble taking the win, Westaway and Kranz in his wake.
Fisher got the jump on the rest in Heat 2 as Kranz took 2nd and Barnes 3rd with Alabaster and Westaway bringing up the rear. Barnes had the blowtorch on Kranz (wish he’d bring it up here – I’m freezing!) but Fisher was moving clear in the lead. Barnes got the better of Kranz a few laps later and took 2nd. Now catching Fisher was Barnes’ task, but Fisher was not going to be easy to reel in and went on to greet the finisher.
Fisher got the jump on them and catastrophe for Alabaster a few laps in as he spun and went out exiting Tony Kart turn, so all over for him. Kranz provided his own brand of entertainment trailing a shower of sparks behind him as perhaps a freshly replaced floor pan bolt ground its way down to a satisfactory length. Meanwhile Fisher galloped away with now only Kranz and Westaway left – both well behind him. Whatever Kranz was dragging under the kart, it must have been made of tough stuff as sparks continued to trail behind him on the last lap (I learnt later that a front end adjustment had lowered the chassis enough that it was the frame dragging its way around the track, so I imagine Kranz ended up trialling a new type of semicircular chassis tubing), but no such troubles for Fisher who sauntered over the line a winner.
TAG 125 Light
A bit of a shambles – we had to reform the first start as karts ran all over the top of each other and all over the track just as we went green, then pole sitter Kain Kugimiya was out along with James Barnes, then at the second start Sam Millar and Daniel Frencham ended up in a pile of tyres and gravel at Arrow corner as we went green, so not the happiest of days for all these karters. Meanwhile Jamie Westaway led the race ahead of Tim Edwards, then it was Edwards through to the lead as Trent Harrison and Andrew Sotiropoulos formed the top 4, Alan Haynes the only remaining kart out there, now well back in 5th. Edwards didn’t pull miles clear, but looked like he would take a comfortable win – and he did.
Harrison this time in the lead as Kugimiya missed the start, Westaway in 2nd then Sotiropoulos, Barnes and Frencham. A few laps in and Sotiropoulos the big mover, into 2nd so Harrison now leading by a slender margin from him – a lap later and Harrison was 3rd as Sotiropoulos took the lead, then Westaway moved into P1 when Sotiropoulos went straight ahead at JSKC and DNF’d. So now Westaway, Harrison, Frencham and Barnes the lead quartet and fairly close together too, then a gap to Edwards and Kugimiya but Westaway looked up to the task and stuck in the lead right to the line.
Edwards got the best of the start from the outside, then Westaway, Sotiropoulos, Frencham and Barnes as we got down to business for the last time tonight. Halfway and Edwards had cleared out, still Westaway, Sotiropoulos and Frencham all close to each other behind him, but they just weren’t close enough to Edwards. And so it came to pass that Edwards crossed the finish line and won the race, bringing to an end one of the coldest days I can remember at Oakleigh, not particularly windy but bitterly cold. Well done again to all who stood out in it – look forward to warmer months to come.