Sunday dawns bright and sunny but with a chilly wind as we get ready for the Final day of racing at the Vic Kart Championship. An update on Coady Gorringe from KA3 Junior who left the track in an ambulance yesterday; I am told he has a broken arm and some soft tissue injuries to his leg, but he was well enough to return to the track today to watch what might have been. Sponsors are believed to be queuing up to take advantage of vacant advertising space on the underside of his floor pan and the bottom of his seat – in the meantime all at the Club wish him a speedy recovery.
We begin with the 3rd Heats of KA3 Senior Light and Cadet 9 which we didn’t get finished yesterday, then into the 4th Heats from there.
TAG 125 Masters
Start of the 4th Heats now and Riddell off pole but dropswell back as we get going and Wyhoon through to the lead ahead of Kranz and Smith, recovering from a couple of DNF’s in the Heats, then Riddell finds his feet and gets back to 3rd while Wyhoon runs wide at Page Bros but hangs on to the lead – but now has Kranz closing in on him fast. A few laps later Riddell has joined these 3 so we might see some changes up front soon. Kranz starts to look racy on Wyhoon, but has to be wary of Riddell hot on his hammer, while Smith sits back in 4th watching on. 3 to go and it all happens at JSKC as they come out 3 wide and Kranz goes to the lead at Tony Kart turn, Riddell behind him and now Smith moves up on them to take 3rd as Wyhoon drops well back in an incident I didn’t see. Last lap and Smith makes the move to take 2nd at Grid Hairpin relegating Riddell to 3rd while Kranz victorious.
Let the Finals begin: Riddell and Kranz the front row here and away they go, Riddell away best but before we even finish a lap it’s over for Kranz as he pulls into the in grid with a mystery ailment, so Barnes inherits 2nd place and Smith moves through to 3rd, but Riddell already has quite a gap. 5 laps in and Smith is through to 2nd, but has nearly 3 seconds to make up on Riddell, so we settle back to see what will happen. In the end what happens is that Riddell maintains his lead and takes the chequered flag ahead of Smith, then Barnes and Wyhoon as they spread all around the track.
KA4 Junior Light
Hanson and Webster the front pair but Stephenson through to the lead at JSKC then a disaster for Hanson at Tony Kart as he gets turned around and re-joins well back in the field, Webster also dropped back to 3rd, with our leader now McCarthy, followed by Mann, Stephenson now 3rd then Webster, Johnstone, Herbertson, Collins and the recovering Hanson back in 7th. McCarthy has built an enormous lead ahead of Mann, over 3 seconds clear with 8 to go. Mann has Stephenson on his bumper while Hanson is picking them off behind them, moving into 4th at JSKC with 6 laps left. Half a lap later Hanson has made it to 2nd with a big move at the Grid Hairpin so a great recovery by him, McCarthy still well clear in the lead. Not for long though as with 3 to go Hanson catches him and moves through to the lead! Fair dinkum unbelievable! Then Webster and Stephenson move through on McCarthy too to go to 2nd and 3rd and that’s how they look like finishing – and that’s how they do, great job by Hanson.
The familiar trio of Hanson, Webster and Stephenson off the front here and they are the 3 that lead them around for the first lap or 2, behind them we find Mann, McCarthy, Stewart, Herbertson, Collins, Harvey, Williams, Pennacchia and D’Ambrosio eventually spread out quite a bit around the track, but not so much up front where Hanson holds a half a second lead ahead of Webster, with Stephenson another 3/10ths behind him. By halfway Webster has reeled Hanson in and takes the lead in a smooth move at JSKC – these 2 having dropped Stephenson off a bit. From here we look for Webster to pull away but Hanson has other ideas and with 5 to go Hanson has the lead back. So now we see if Hanson pulls away, but no, Webster stays right on him, then gets under him, so a tight finish ahead. For 3 very entertaining laps we watch the 2 of them go around, Webster just defensive enough to stop Hanson getting past, but not so much that he lost any momentum and Webster holds on in a grandstand finish, Stephenson 3rd.
TAG 125 Light
Feast and Sera the front row and Feast away best to take the lead with Fenech hot on his heels and Sera slotting into 3rd. A few laps in and Fenech has taken the lead and now Sera right behind him, Feast a little way back in 3rd, then Jenner moves through to 3rd as Feast drops back another spot and might come under pressure from Thomas shortly. Meanwhile back at the front Sera has taken command and now leads by 7/10ths from now Jenner, then Fenech and Feast. Fenech through the cut through at JSKC I think after he overcooks the corner – then re-joins but loses 2 spots to Feast and Thomas on the next lap. Sera and Jenner now clear out front, Jenner 8/10ths adrift, so not making any inroads with 2 to go – and Sera takes it in the end.
Feast and Sera, Fenech and Jenner as away we go and Feast leads the first lap or 2, then a huge off at JSKC sees Fenech backwards, sideways and off – out of action, so Sera now leads, Feast 2nd, Francis through to 3rd from 7th in all this confusion, then Thomas and Griffin, Scanlan and Beninca – and for those wondering where Jenner is, he follows this group after riding over the back of another kart leaving the Dipper a few laps earlier. Back at the front it’s Sera, but Francis the big mover here now through to 2nd and a shade quicker than Sera, but with nearly a second to make up – still, 10 laps to do it in, so we’ll see. A few laps later Francis is within half a second, so excitement ahead – Francis doing well considering he had 2 DNF’s, then a win and a 2nd place so far. For a while the gap settles at about half a second and with 6 to go it is still Sera, Francis, Thomas and Feast, but the interest in the gap between 1 and 2 – a lap later it’s a tenth less, but Francis needs to find a bit more – and quickly! He finds a tenth – now 3 to go and Sera well and truly in Francis’ sights. Another tenth a lap later and Francis wills the kart on. Despite his best efforts, Sera does the job and takes the chequered flag, Francis 2/10ths behind then 5 seconds back to Thomas, then Feast and the recovering Jenner
KA3 Senior Medium
Luciani leads away a conga line of karts with Janev, Jackson, Ribarits and Aitken lined up behind him, but Luciani draws clear after a couple of laps and sets about building a big lead. By halfway Luciani leads well, but Janev has not exactly let him drive off with it, trailing by half a second, with Ribarits a similar distance back in 3rd. with 5 to go Janev has made ground on Luciani and Ribarits is also closing up as well. Then as often seems to happen, the charge from behind seems to stop and Luciani maintains a 4/10ths lead for the next few laps – then sure enough Ribarits and Janev start boxing on and Luciani the beneficiary as a 3/10ths lead is suddenly out to over a second and he cruises around for the final laps to take the win, Ribarits, Janev and Aitken behind him.
Luciani leads them away here but Janev the big loser as he runs wide at Arrow on lap 1 and drops to 5th, Ribarits 2nd then Aitken and Jackson. Once they settle down, we see a sort of a procession, with Luciani holding sway, Ribarits only a couple of tenths behind him, and Aitken the same behind him, but no one looked like making a move – further back Janev is trying to claw back lost ground, but has almost 3 seconds of it to find. Then Janev finds it courtesy of some dicing between Aitken and Ribarits, with Aitken trying to get through to 2nd, but all he really succeeds in doing is handing Luciani a big lead – now out to a second and a half. A few laps later Ribarits has untangled himself from Aitken but now has quite a gap to reel in to catch Luciani and while Ribarits might be a shade quicker, he has a lot of ground to make up. After a number of carbon copy laps, Ribarits is not much closer and the indefatigable Luciani holds on to take a well-deserved win, Ribarits, Aitken and Janev strung out behind him.
Joshua Smith gets away well ahead of Pancione and Sinni but it all goes wrong at JSKC as Smith finds himself pushed wide and has to escape through the cut through leaving Pancione to lead them around to where Smith re-joins, but a lap later Pancione has taken over the lead, Hillyer in 3rd then Sinni, O’Leary, Thomas Smith then Kao, McNaught and Potter. Halfway and Pancione still leads Joshua Smith with Sinni and Hillyer close behind them. With 3 to go Joshua Smith is right on Pancione and makes a move that sticks at JSKC to take over the lead. A lap later Smith has created a gap and Sinni now threatens Pancione for 2nd with Hillyer and O’Leary looking on from behind them – and that’s the way it ended up.
Joshua Smith and Pancione the front row for our Final here, and trouble for Downing out of 5th, who doesn’t see the start, expiring in the roll arounds, so as we go away it’s Smith, Sinni through from 3rd, Pancione, O’Leary, Thomas Smith, Frost and McNaught and we settle in for the race. Joshua Smith and Sinni with Pancione in 3rd have all pulled away from the crowd and these 3 look like they will produce the winner. With 7 laps down O’Leary and Thomas Smith tangle exiting Tony Kart turn and both end up facing the wrong way on the track – hearts in mouths for a minute until the rest of the field streams by and Smith and O’Leary re-join at the rear. Out front and it’s still Joshua Smith, but Pancione now into 2nd ahead of Sinni – and Joshua Smith is starting to look hard to catch as he is now over a second and a half clear in the lead. Sure enough, he was very hard to catch – no one managed to do it and Joshua Smith took the win ahead of Pancione and Sinni.
TAG 125 Heavy
Ribarits the Pole man but Hindle gets the better start and Carless goes through with him, so Ribarits 3rd, behind him Jackson and Scott King. Halfway and Hindle is doing OK out front and Ribarits has made ground on Carless – and these 3 well clear of the rest. From there on they settled and Hindle went on to take the win from Ribarits and Carless, Scott King well back in 4th.
Hindle and Ribarits resume hostilities here and lead Carless and Scott King, then Carter and Aaron King, but the first 4 have soon pulled clear and left the rest behind. Once they settled down, not much happened here; Hindle was a kart length clear of Ribarits, a small gap back to Carless and Scott King, but no change in position. 9 to go and Ribarits was trying everything to bridge the gap to Hindle but he couldn’t make a dent in the small lead Hindle held; Carless had put a gap on Scott King, then the rest were well and truly spread out behind them. Then 5 to go and Ribarits finally bridges the gap and gets to a position where he can have a look – and he does at JSKC, but pulls back in and reloads. For a few laps they are going around as one, Ribarits looking for a spot to make a move. Now 2 to go – he needs to act soon. No spot appears to allow him to act and Ribarits follows Hindle across the line by less than a tenth – a great last few laps, Carless 3rd and Scott King 4th.
Wharton gets a great start and pulls away while the others dice – the others made up of Simpson, Harris, Sacco, Harper and Domaschenz, then Simpson gores off at Tony Kart and re-joins in 4th , so Harris now 2nd but well adrift of Wharton, who leads by nearly 2 seconds. Eventually the front 3 spread right out: Wharton, Harris and Sacco, then a loose bunch led by Simpson, Flack and Domaschenz, Harper Woods and O’Donnell behind them, but out front Wharton goes on with the job and takes the win.
Harris gets the best of Wharton at the start and Sacco goes through as well, so Wharton 3rd ahead of Simpson, Harper, Flack, Domaschenz, Lawson, Lacey, Woods, Gibson, Barter and O’Donnell and they settle down. Wharton works back to 2nd and sets out after Harris, but has a second and a half to make up – he has some work to do. With 6 to go he has a second to find to catch Harris, so gaining slowly, Sacco now a lonely 3rd, then a gap back to Simpson and Harper. Out front Harris looks safe as Wharton’s charge stalls with a gap of around a second and that’s how they cross the line.
KA4 Junior Heavy
Hookway gets it done at the start and leads Smith away, and Sinni gets into 2nd, then a lap later Sinni takes over the lead, Hookway, Smith, Williams and Skelton behind him, then Regan Somers, Rice, Conor Somers and Hall. Then Williams working through from 7th, goes to go under Hookway at JSKC but they tangle and Hookway rolls to a halt, then a red flag is called to allow us to attend to Hookway who is nursing his arm (he was later well enough to compete in the Final). Things will resume in due course. As it turns out, they go straight back out again to complete the remaining laps, Sinni leading away Smith, Williams, Skelton and Regan Somers. Sinni continues to lead Smith and Williams, and these 3 have dropped the rest off, Sinni with a slight gap on the other 2. With the last lap underway Williams rolls to a stop at JSKC, so what looked like 3rd turns into a DNF and Sinni takes the win just ahead of Smith.
Sinni gets the best of it here and leads Rice and Pole man Smith , then Conor Somers, Skelton, Regan Somers, Bishop, Hall, Hookway recovering from a poor start, Hall and Moss for a few laps. We then have a pile up at JSKC between Bishop, Regan Somers and Hookway that leads to another red flag for this class as we need to attend to Regan Somers (who I was later told had a badly bruised leg), so all back to the Grid for a breather and a restart. At the restart Sinni gets away to the lead again followed by Thomas Smith, but Rice not so lucky fouling a plug and not catching the pack before the green, so Conor Somers into 3rd, then Skelton, Hall and Moss. From here Sinni drives away but behind him Conor Somers moves into 2nd ahead of Smith. Then in an about face, Smith gets back under Somers, but Sinni has disappeared in the distance and goes on to take the win
KA3 Senior Light
Bell the best of the start in Heat 3 and gets well clear of Sera who has McLean and Carless filling his mirrors, then a gap back to Woollard and Cameron McLean. 3 laps later and Bell must have made a blooper somewhere as we suddenly find McLean in the lead with Sera now in 3rd and Carless right behind him in 4th. McLean now rockets clear of the rest as Sera gets under Bell, Careless still lurking in 4th. Finally they settle into a rhythm and McLean pulls away, Sera clear in 2nd and Bell fighting off Carless for 3rd – and that’s the way she ended.
Sera and Bell off the front row and Sera at the start but Bell soon under him and then we get a gaggle of karts snaking around the circuit as they try and settle: Bell, Sera, Carless, Mouritz, McLean all line astern, then Woollard, Nicolaou, Cameron Mclean behind them, but no clear leader emerges, just Bell continuing to lead them around. Lap after lap this continues with Sera looking here and there, but Bell holding steady in the lead – Carless close behind in 3rd. 3 to go and Sera takes the lead at the Dipper but then a big shuffle at the Grid Hairpin sees Carless emerge in front followed by Sera, Mouritz, Woollard and then Bell, then with so much going on it’s all I can do to keep track of Carless take the win ahead of Sera, a recovering Bell, Woollard and Nicolaou.
Sera, Bell, Carless, Mouritz, Nicolaou, Woollard, Venables then McLean as we get the Final underway and Sera, Bell and Carless get a little gap after a lap, Mouritz heading the rest. The front 3 are like one kart, behind them Mouritz moves through to 4th, Nicolaou and Woollard behind him. Bell has a half look at Arrow for the lead, but perhaps wisely pulls back and allows Sera to continue on – another time perhaps? Another different 4th place man in Nicolaou now, still Mouritz behind him, then McLean up to 6th. So halfway and still the first 3 are as one, two and a half seconds back to Nicolaou and now McLean 5th, but a long was to the leaders for them. So lap after lap the first 3 go around, but no moves do they make – 5 to go and a cigarette paper between the 3 of them. Unbelievably that’s the way they stayed for the next 5 laps – Sera took the win from Bell and Carless, not a half a second covered the 3 of them. Great close racing!
A few roll arounds to get things right on a damp track and then we get away with Ambrose getting the best start and leading Dvorak who then drops well back in an incident at JSKC, so Francis into 2nd with Schmidt, Spence and Ponting behind them, and then comes Dvorak. Ambrose then goes to a huge lead ahead of Francis who in turn is well clear of Schmidt. Further back Spence goes around through Page Bros and off in front of the starter’s box, Ambrose continues to dominate out front. With 2 to go Dvorak has worked his way back through to 3rd but Francis well in the distance in 2nd and Ambrose equally far ahead in 1st and that’s the way they cross the line.
Ambrose and Dvorak off the front and Dvorak holds it around the outside at JSKC to lead Ambrose and then Ponting, Francis, Schmidt, Spence and Janev around. From here, Dvorak and Ambrose drive away with it, turning on a race in 2, a big gap back to Schmidt in 3rd, then Ponting and Spence. By the last lap Dvorak had extended his lead and took a comfortable win ahead of Ambrose.
Dvorak leads them off with Ambrose 2nd, but Francis pounces to grab this spot on Lap 1, so Ambrose now 3rd, Schmidt, Spence, Ponting, Artho, Bouzinelos and Janev the rest of them lined up behind the leaders. Dvorak, Francis and Ambrose soon pulled away into a little race of their own. Ambrose is gaining on Francis but Dvorak had a gap – them Ambrose gets the deed done at the Dipper to go to 2nd. So now he has the job in front of him, Dvorak 8/10ths up the road, but Ambrose has 6 laps to catch him. A few laps later there is a bigger gap, so things going the wrong way for Ambrose, but the right way for Dvorak. Last lap and Dvorak holds a commanding lead which he carries on to greet the finisher, Ambrose and Francis behind him.
So that’s all, she wrote. The weather was absolutely bitterly cold all day, but as usual the officials braved it all and the karters for the most part did their bit. Never does everyone leave happy, but the 10 Class Winners will be celebrating tonight as they should. I enjoyed the weekends racing and look forward to the next meeting.