report by Vas Filips
photos by www.blake-curtis.com
2018 Oceania Titles at Eastern Creek Sydney Round 2 ~ RKA F100 Championship Series
The second round of the RKA F100 Series was held on 26 and 27 of May at the iconic Eastern Creek Kart track in Sydney.
Sunny conditions greeted the 39 strong field of F100 competitors, supported by a group of NSW Vintage kart enthusiasts. It was a stand alone event put on by the rapidly growing Retro Karting Australia group.
Numbers and enthusiasm for the 1990s based series has exploded in recent times with racers keen to get involved with the super fast, light weight category.
Qualifying was under lights on Saturday night with clear skies and plenty of grip saw some great times. In Light it was Nick Agland making his first appearance in F100 in the modern era. No stranger and a champion of this style of karting back in the late 90s, Nick was top qualifier with 40.467. Second was multi Australian Champion Matt Wall with 40.914. Third, and also returning for the first time, was another champion of the era Brendon May with 41.063. The top three closely followed by round one winner Glenn Riddell, Brad Tremain and current Australian Champion Mars Gheorghiu.
Heat 1 saw the top three qualifiers finish in the same order with Agland’s speed and consistency sending a feeling of resignation through the grid.
Agland again dominated Heat 2 with Wall second and Brad Tremain moving into third after mechanical issues struck May. Sean Atherton was fourth followed by the consistent Steve Riddell in fifth. Racing with a broken foot, Mark Vukusic was next in a close race.
The pre-final had Agland win again with Tremain and Steve Riddell rounding out the top three. Vukusic was fourth and, the big mover, Glenn Riddel in fifth; slowly starting to show his speed and looking a real danger to the top three.
The final was a snap shot of the weekend, the grip and layout meaning only nine would finish the final. The first lap saw current champion Mars Gheorghiu in the ambulance after a nasty roll that bought out the red flag. The re-start saw Agland take a well deserved win after fifteen laps with Glenn Riddell second and brother Steve Riddell in third. Wall, Tremain and Vukusic followed closely behind.
Heavy Qualifying was very close with Josh Pontello (42.096) the top driver. Kurt Woodward (42.212) was a stand out and big improver edging out current Heavy Champion Paul McKinnon with 42.350.
Heat 1 saw Pontello and McKinnon pull a gap over the rest to finish one and two with young Victorian, and current KA racer, Aaron Jackson third. Barry Ryan, Mark Newman, Gus Van Vezen and Patrick Parry were close behind in order.
In Heat Two drama and mechanical issues shook up the field to see Woodward first followed by VanVelzen in second and crowd favourite Patrick Parry in third.
The action heated up in the pre-final; Pontello working his way through the field to take the win. Aaron Jakson was second with the champion, McKinnon also weaving his way through for third and setting up a potential mouth watering final. Ben Edwards came in fourth with Gus Van Velzen in hot pursuit.
As in the Light class, the Heavy final took its toll with only seven completing the 15 laps. An engine failure took McKinnon out early leaving Pontello to take a relatively easy win with team mate Ben Edwards second and the consistent Van Velzen a well deserved third place. Barry Ryan, Aaron Jackson, Leigh Everitt and Andrew Calvert followed in that order.
It was a great show from the RKA crew with the series now becoming a major player in Australian Karting, bringing back racers from the era and also current karters.
- full results are on speedhive HERE
RKA F100 Round 3 is at Toowoomba QLD August 18/19.