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NSW TaG Super Series, Round 1

from Sam Taylor 21 March 2013
  • Metro Drivers Shine In The Darkness At Manning Valley

Round one of the NSW TaG Super Series was hosted by Manning Valley Kart Club on the 16th of March. Whilst many well-known drivers went in as clear favourites, some of the classes produced some interesting results with relatively new names finishing towards the pointy end. Whilst entries were down on last year, fields were still large and produced a high level of racing that was praised by the officials.

TaG Restricted Light

In a large field of talented drivers, Sodi kart pilot Daniel Learson excelled during qualifying and throughout the heat races. Learson was shadowed in each race by local gun Matthew Kenneth, who unfortunately suffered from a mechanical failure in the all-important prefinal. The Energy kart of Jonathon Naughton also showed consistent form throughout the heat races and looked to be a certainty for a podium finish. Coffs Harbour’s Steven Adams, Newcastle’s Chris Cheetham and Sydney’s Steven Donley were all impressive in their TaGR 125 debut.
A recovering Michael Seiders had a slow start to the event by his standards but was steadily gaining momentum throughout the day. Come final time it was Sieders who was firing on all cylinders as he took a clear win from Jonathon Tobey. Jonathon drove a stunning race considering his limited experience and will look for more strong results this season aboard his Monaco/X30 machine. Daniel Learson narrowly missed out on second position, but will almost certainly be leading the series on points after bagging three race wins. Jonathon Naughton was unlucky not to sneak onto the podium; in fact second to sixth was covered by just over a second at the end of the fifteen lap final.

1. Michael Sieders (Arrow/Rotax)
2. Jonathon Tobey (Monaco/X30)
3. Daniel Learson (Sodi/X30)
4. Jonathon Naughton (Energy/Rotax)
5. Cody McKay

TaG Restricted Heavy

Michael Osmond started strongly by qualifying on pole and winning two of the first three races. Osmond was seriously fast last year aboard an Arrow kart and his recent switch to the Tony kart chassis seems to have him going even faster! As expected though, it was the Precision Motorsport pair of Michael Heywood and Phil Curran who took the battle to Osmond throughout the duration of the day. Television star and future Hollywood regular, Phil Warder, has managed to find even more speed in his PRD/CRG package since his last visit to Wingham. Warder started strong early along with Steve Hartlehurst and Dave Strickland. Unfortunately, Allan Leayr of Newcastle who was expected to figure prominently in the results was plagued with carburettor issues throughout the day.

Aaron Wasley unleashed his new Arrow/X30 over the weekend and he put his local knowledge and shiny new buggy to good use during the final. Wasley charged through the field to claim second place in the fifteen lap final and finished less than 0.03 behind Osmond. The Energy chassis’ ofHeywood, Curran and Hartlehurst secured 3rd, 4th and 6th, while Coffs Harbour’s David Strickland finished in 5th position.

1. Michael Osmond (Tony/Rotax)
2. Aaron Wasley (Arrow/X30)
3. Michael Heywood (Energy/X30)
4. Phil Curran (Energy/X30)
5. David Strickland (CRG/X30)

TaG Restricted Super Heavy

Whilst Lee Gardiner was tipped as the hot favourite for this event the rest of the small field of competitors had other ideas. Shane Tate set the pace early and looked to have Gardiner’s measure in the first half of the day. However, Gardiner fired back in the prefinal to take a narrow victory over Tate and in the process set a new lap record. It was shaping up to be a great final with Gardiner, Tate and Scott Dalton-Kirby all in the mix. When push came to shove though, it was Gardiner who took the final win ahead of Tate and Dalton-Kirby.

1. Lee Gardiner (Tony/Rotax)
2. Shane Tate
3. Scott Dalton-Kirby
4. David Jones
5. Alan Harrison

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TaG Light

Sydney drivers Mitchell Hewitt and David Boyd started the event strongly and made it seem it would be a battle amongst them for the win. Defending champion Hewitt secured strong victories in the heats and headed into the finals as the no.1 favourite. However, Boyd had obviously saved his best until last because after taking victory in the prefinal, the PCR driver went on to dominate the main event. Boyd has only just made the transition to opens from restricted, and produced a flawless performance on debut. Another debutant who needs to be praised is Newcastle’s Zac Van Leeuwestyn who was on track for a podium finish before a DNF in the prefinal derailed his campaign.

Whilst Boyd drove off into the distance in the final, Manning Valley hopeful Royce Sutherland set about achieving a strong result at his home race. With around five laps to go, Sutherland moved into second place to eventually finish a considerable five seconds behind Boyd. Hewitt took a comfortable third position ahead of PCR driver Laurie Fooks and CRG’s Scott Willoughby. Rory Symonds began his series strongly with a run of consistent top five finishes and will be a local favourite to take out the next round at Orange. Special mentions must go to other open class beginners Chris Rowsell, James Swain and Brad Caldon on what was a successful first outing.

1. David Boyd (PCR/Rotax)
2. Royce Sutherland (Arrow/Rotax)
3. Mitchell Hewitt (Arrow/Rotax)
4. Laurie Fooks (PCR/X30)
5. Scott Willoughby (CRG/X30)

TaG Heavy

Ben Ritchie is the 2012 defending champion and he proved why throughout the course of the event. The Sodi kart driver took a clean sweep of the TaG Heavy class ahead of Sam Taylor. Local hopeful Michael Lawrence was consistently strong and continues to improve in the open division. Lawrence will be one to watch at Orange with the track tending to favour the X30 engine. Another X30 pilot for this year is the likeable Alex Tayler. Unfortunately Tayler was suffering from the flu during the event, but still managed to begin the series with a list of strong results. Lincon Kirkness made his first appearance in the series aboard his new X2 over the weekend and proved that he has what it takes to compete at the front of the open class. Chris White of Lithgow and Aron Thornhill of Gunnedah did well to secure a strong position in their first visit to the Manning circuit.

1. Ben Ritchie (Sodi/Rotax)
2. Sam Taylor (Exprit/X30)
3. Michael Lawrence (Sodi/X30)
4. Alex Tayler (CRG/X30)
5. Chris White (Kosmic/Rotax)

Manning Valley Kart Club will now move on to promoting the third annual running of its Motor Traders’ Association Tri-series. The second round of the NSW TaG Super Series will be held at the spectacular Orange circuit on the 14th of April.



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