Newcastle's Nationals Shakedown

by Shaun Francis 17 March 2014

The Nationals Shakedown at the Mt Sugarloaf Go-kart Track at Cameron Park has been a huge success for Newcastle Kart Racing Club with 116 entries from as far afield as Mackay in the North, WA to the West & South Australia to the South taking part in the two day race meeting last weekend.

Saturday saw 3 heats of ten laps on the 1056 metre track take place. Many of the heats were hotly contested with fierce competition at the front and in most cases races within races throughout the field. 

Junior National Light saw some excellent driving skills with the lead changing on many occasions without contact, a lesson some of the senior classes could learn from. As the temperature passed the 34 degrees mark some of the Classes experienced difficulty with tyres beginning to blister & go off, as a result tyre management was high on the agenda keeping in mind there was still 35km of racing between the pre-final & final to be contested on Sunday.

Above: Junior National Light taking at start at Newcastle. Jordan Pike (#4, Deadly) went on to win the final

The competitors were greeted by clear blue skies on Sunday morning with the forecast predicting severe thunderstorms in the early afternoon. To the dismay of some it was decided not to have a carburettor session as this would eat into valuable time thus potentially causing havoc later in the day with the predicted storms, a decision that was warranted as a large storm including hail lashed the circuit later in the afternoon.

The pre finals showed again many close races with the karter’s keen to do well to get a good position for the start of the final, especially in the fields of 20 plus karts. Many of the locals had been doing well throughout the weekend & were positioned well to have a good shot at the podium in the race that really counted, the Final.

As expected the finals were intense, the racing was close with minimal contact and provided an excellent display of driving skills. It was amazing that after 18 laps you could have thrown a sheet over the first three in the Junior National Light, only 0.482 of a second separating them, with local Jordan Pike crossing the line first. After close racing all weekend Ryan Pike was a runaway winner in the Junior National Heavy & Sam Tooth from Maitland was successful in the Clubman Super Heavy. Another local, Drew Ridge showed great skills to also get over the line in first in Junior Clubman.

Of the 25 trophies on offer locals were able to take home 6 including four firsts from 9 races, a second & a third which was a great result. By all accounts the event was an excellent success.

Club President Mick Parsons was very pleased with the running of the event with many positives being taken away by the committee and with a little bit of fine tuning the National Titles to be held over the Easter Long Weekend will be an excellent event.



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