Birel Kartsport Australia On Top In Qualifying at Coffs Harbour

team press release 22 July 2014

Birel Kartsport Australia’s fleet of drivers have achieved a string of top qualifying results at the latest round of the Rotax Pro Tour before going on to attain outright podium finishes with Rotax Light’s Brad Jenner all but confirming his place as part of Team Australia for the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at Valencia, Spain in November.

DD2’s James Macken headlined the Saturday morning performance of the Birel team taking pole position with a 42.549. The lap for James also became the outright fastest lap ever achieved on the Coffs Harbour track. The speed continued into the opening two heats that saw a second and first, before an unfortunate DNF in the final heat race would see him start sixth in the pre-final. The speed of Macken continued in Sunday’s 20 lap race as he took second, handing him a front row start for the critical final where he took the lead for the opening 13 laps of the race. A mechanical issue forced the Gold Coast driver to retire early, though he is confident heading towards the Rotax Nationals on his home track.

Fellow DD2 driver Jaxon Evans also featured amongst the front runners on Saturday morning as he qualified third with a 42.608, just 0.06 behind Macken. The heat races provided a strong introduction to the DD2 category as Jaxon finished 11th, 9th and 7th in the 14 lap events. Evans would subsequently start ninth in the pre-final, showing strong form and progressing to seventh. An unfortunate DNF in the final for Jaxon ended his weekend early, however he will now turn his attention towards preparing for the Rotax Nationals at the Ipswich circuit.

James Macken and Jaxon Evans qualified first and third respectively in DD2 at Coffs Harbour
Above: James Macken and Jaxon Evans qualified first and third respectively in DD2 at Coffs Harbour
pic - Coopers Photography

The overall lap speed of team was also reflected amongst the Rotax Light drivers with RK Kart’s Nicholas Andrews taking second in only his second event in the Kart, being jut 0.02 behind the pole time with fellow RK driver Brad Jenner taking third only 0.001 behind Andrews. Ryan Kennedy ensured all three Birel Kartsport Australia Rotax Light drivers would start inside the top ten after qualifying ninth with a 43.131.

Nicholas Andrews continued to match it with his more experienced opposition as he took a second and third in the opening two heats before taking a win in the final heat race, placing him on pole position for the pre-final. A third place finish in the pre-final handed Andrews a second row start for the final amongst a fiercely competitive field, Nicholas took sixth in the 24 lap race, further adding experience in his second event in senior karting.

The weekend results for Brad Jenner, inclusive of a fifth and third place finish in the final two heat races and seventh in the pre-final along with fourth in the final has mathematically confirmed the Victorian driver’s place as part of the Senior Max group for Team Australia at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals at Valencia in Spain in November.

With just one event remaining in the rankings season being the Rotax Nationals, Jenner is now looking ahead to claiming a podium result and being one of three drivers in the Australian team in a Birel chassis at the World event.

The top end qualifying performances continued through to Junior Max as Mitch Maddren took fifth with a 43.073, just over 0.1 seconds behind pole position. Joshua Car and Hunter McElrea also impressed in the one eight minute session, taking tenth and eleventh respectively, setting them up for a strong run in the heat races. Maddren continued his fast paced form in the heats, taking two thirds and a fourth under the split grid system. Mitch would subsequently start fifth in the pre-final, finishing 12th followed by a 15th place finish in the final.

Both Hunter McElrea and Joshua Car achieved top six finishes in each of their heat races, setting up the pair for a place inside the top ten in the finals. After finishing 10th and 11th in the pre-final, Car and McElrea would start the final in the same places as the heats with Hunter moving through seventh by the completion of the race, handing him his best finish in the Pro Tour to date. Joshua fought hard throughout the race in amongst the competitive Junior Max field finishing eleventh.

Birel Kartsport Australia’s Junior Trophy Class driver Jye Hopkins was also amongst the top group in qualifying, taking third with a 45.037. Jye then continued his form into the heats taking two thirds and a fourth, setting himself up for a second row start in the pre-final. On the back of this and the confidence gained from his podium in Warwick, Hopkins went on to take fourth in the pre-final before progressing to finish third in the final, securing him two podiums in two events.

The next event for Birel Kartsport Australia will be the 2014 Rotax Nationals at Ipswich, QLD from September 4-7.


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