Former V8 Utes Champion, Kris Walton has led the way in two classes at the fourth round of the Rotax Pro Tour karting event being held in a rain-drenched Coffs Harbour.
The Z-Corse CompKart driver hasn’t been headed in Rotax Heavy – winning all three heats and this afternoon’s Pre-Final – staving off challenges from his closest rival for the Series win, Tony Kart’s Chris Farkas. The Queenslanders have been kept honest by New South Welshman, Zac van Leeuwestyn who qualified on the front row of the grid yesterday.
Walton has backed up his pace in the crack DD2 Masters category – where he is battling to be one of the three Australian representatives at the World Finals in Portugal in February. The Queenslander could not get underway in the first Masters heat – for drivers over the age of 32 – with a technical issue caused by the amount of water that has descended on Coffs Harbour today – that heat was won by BirelART’s Scott Howard. It didn’t take long for Walton to strike back, taking the two remaining races in the category this afternoon.
Gold Coast Kosmic kart Junior, Broc Feeney has shown the field a clean set of MOJO tyres in Junior Max. He has been without peer in the premier junior category in his PFG Group supported machine. A big talking point given the conditions has been the performance of NSW JC Kart driver Reece Cohen. A problem in qualifying saw him start in last position (24th) for each of the three heats – he converted that starting position into a third, 11th and seventh. Then in this afternoon’s Pre-Final charged from fifth to finish in second, where he’ll start tomorrow morning’s final.
Round two winner Rianna O’Meara-Hunt has been impressive again so to her fellow Kiwis Ryan Wood and Samuel Wright. Points leader, Jac Preston looks to have his kart in good shape for the final after striking some dramas during the heats.
Rotax Light has been dominated by Bradley Jenner. The Victorian FA Kart driver is looking to obtain the Rotax Rankings points lead at the completion of the weekend and tomorrow will aim to score his third final victory out of the four rounds held thus far. Former Australian Junior Max Champion, Ben Jurczak is having a terrific weekend aboard his Praga Kart in Rotax Light, finishing second in all three races held today. Others to impress include Kosmic pair Kyle Bonser and Cameron Longmore.
Harry Arnett picked up where he left off at Ipswich and has taken his Shamick Racing machine to victory throughout the three Micro Max heats and Pre-Final. Macka Hazard has been impressive despite starting at the rear of grid in all his races, finishing his heats in second, fourth and second and will start tomorrow’s final from the outside front row. Jordan Ensbey’s CRG will start the final in third.
Kiwi Josh Drysdale dominated DD2 – the wet conditions suiting the New Zealand front runner. Cody Gillis (Kosmic), Ryan Kennedy (Formula K) and Nathan Tigani (Exprit) have been among the front-runners, however a heat three DNF cruelled defending Series Champion Tigani’s Pre-Final starting position. Top two in the Series – Joshua Fife and Joshua Car have both been in the midpack throughout the heats and will have it all to do in the longer races tomorrow.
The battle in Mini Max is on between James Wharton and Jack Westbury. Westbury scored the heat one win before Wharton struck back with two wins after a fifth placing in heat one. Westbury was able to get himself back on top in the Pre-Final, meaning he will start the Final from pole position. Last round winner Hugh Barter (Praga) has been in their wheel tracks as has Adrian Haak (EvoKart).
Junior Max Trophy has provided some enthralling racing with category debutante, New South Welshman Jackson Souslin-Harlow taking the three heat races. An issue getting away from the pole position in the Pre-Final saw him drop well to the back of the field, however he fought his way back into the top five at the drop of the chequers. The Pre-Final was taken by Series Leader Russell Mayo over Jonathon Marcusson – who has battled for pace for much of the weekend.
Tomorrow, racing will start at 8am with the resumption of Pre-Finals and then the Finals for all eight classes.
The Coffs Harbour Karting Complex is located in the Coffs Harbour Sports Precinct on 211 Phil Hawthorne drive (adjacent to the Hospital). Entry to the public is free.