from Ross Allen
The Coffs Harbour Kart Racing Club hosted the opening round of the 2018 NSW Kart Championship over three days last weekend (Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April). Despite the challenge of the changeable weather competitors, pit crews, officials, administrators and volunteers worked together to present a smooth event for all nine Championship Classes.
On the opening day, Friday, sessions of untimed practice were held in the morning followed by timed sessions in the afternoon. On Saturday the Championship qualifying session was held in the morning with two rounds of Championship heats in the afternoon. With rain showers right throughout the day, everyone was put to the test. On Sunday, the last round of heats was followed by the opening round Championship finals – all over 22 laps.
- full results are on speedhive HERE
TaG 125 Light
Oscar Priest (Newcastle) set fastest qualifying time, but it was Kody Garland (Manning Valley) who topped the day. Garland won all three heats and the final. Toby Webb(Newcastle) finished second in the final and Chris Bergonje (North Shore) was third. Kody Garland tops the leader board with 75 points ahead of Toby Webb on 59 and Oscar Priest on 52.
TaG 125 Heavy
Daniel Fraser (Newcastle) set fastest qualifying time but struggled to back that up in the heat races and final. Michael Dorman (Newcastle) drove a patient race to win the opening heat and then Brett Robinson (Orange) struck form winning heats 2 and 3 as well as the final. Tony Bregonje (North Shore) finished second in the final and Troy Brown (Coffs Harbour) took third place. Robinson tops the leader board with 72 points ahead of Troy Brown on 59 and Tony Bregonje on 56.
KA4 Junior Light
This class was one of the most keenly contested. Samuel Christison (North Shore) set fastest qualifying time and won heat 2. But the other two heats produced different winners. Ryan Newton (Ipswich Qld) won heat 1 and Rhys Smith (Wagga Wagga) won heat three. Smith backed up his heat 3 win with another win in the final. Christison finished second in the final and Joel Strode (Wollongong) was third. Only one point separates the top two on the leader board with Smith on 69 points and Christison on 68. Newton and Strode finished the round equal on 53 points.
KA4 Junior Heavy
This was another very closely contested Class. Rhys Smith (Wagga Wagga) set fastest qualifying time, however he blotted his copy book by failing to score any points in the opening heat which was won by Jude Bargwanna (Combined Districts). Smith bounced back to win heats 2 and 3 plus the final. Bargwanna finished second in the final and Lachlan Ward (Wollongong) was third. Just nine points separate the top three on the leader board with Bargwanna on 67, Smith on 62 and Ward on 58.
KA3 Senior Medium
Nicholas Cooley (Coffs Harbour) was the stand out in this Class. He set fastest qualifying time, won heat 1, won heat 3 and won the final. His only blemish came in the wet in heat 2 which was won by Brady Buchanan (Coffs Harbour). Adam Edwards (Port Macquarie) finished second in the final and Brett Robinson (Orange) was third. Cooley is on top of the leader board with 73 points, Edwards is second on 63 and Jacque Isarin (North Shore) is third with 55 points.
KA3 Senior Light
This Class was another of the keenly contested Classes. Benito Montalbano (Wollongong) set fastest qualifying time but it was Jackson Souslin-Harlow (North Shore) won the first two heats. Montalbano bounced back to win heat 3 and then went on to win the final from Kody Garland (Manning Valley) and Souslin-Harlow. Only eight points separates the top three on the leader board – Montalbano on 71, Souslin-Harlow on 66 and Garland 63.
The results in this Class proved that consistency often wins the day. Bailey Sweeney (Grenfell) set fastest qualifying time and won heat 2 but a DQ in heat 2 proved very costly. George Mawad (North Shore)won the first heat and Josh Haynes (Canberra) took heat 3 and the final. Haynes’ two second places in heats 1 and 2 left him clear at the top of the leader board on 71 points. Thomas Hayman (Newcastle) is second with 59 points and Sweeney is in third on 51 points.
This Class was totally dominated by Cody Maynes-Rutty (Wollongong). He finished the round unbeaten setting fastest qualifying time, winning all three heats and the final. He finished with the maximum 77 points. Jack Childs (Newcastle) and Ashton Mineef (Combined Districts) battled it out behind Maynes-Rutty. Childs finished second in all three heats, but Mineef turned the tables in the final by taking second place. Childs finished second on the leader board with 63 points and Mineef close behind in third on 60 points.
This division was also totally dominated by one competitor – Jake Rutkowski (North Shore). He was unbeaten across the three days, setting fastest qualifying time, winning all three heats and winning the 22 lap final by 14 seconds. Jake Santin (Lismore) finished second in heats 2 and 3 as well as in the final. Rutkowski finished with a maximum of 77 points and Santin is second on the leader board with 62 points. Riley Blaxell (Orange)finished with three third places including the final and a total of 57 points.
The Championship now rolls on to Lincoln County Raceway, Dubbo for round 2 on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 July.