Victorian Country Series, Round 5

by Michael Yeo

Austrans Container Services Victorian Country Series Round 5, Hamilton Go Kart Club (Handbury Cup)

The penultimate round of the 2017 VCS took place at Buckley Park where some 180+ karters set up for a great weekend of racing.

Hamilton is great for hang time – Max Green saves tyres, KA4 Heavy (pic – Pace Images)

2017 marked the 21st anniversary of the Handbury Cup, and master of ceremonies Andrew Hayes had things running like clock work in cold, but great conditions for racing. Full credit to the tiny club for producing a picture perfect facility and beautiful bacon-n-egg rolls to go. A stunning turn around from last year’s final round where the action was dampened by wet conditions, 2017 provided young and old some of the most spectacular action of the series so far.

The final round of the Austrans Victorian Country Series rolls on to Warrnambool October 14th and 15th.

Mark Richards’ sans steering wheel sequence (pic – Pace Images)

TaG 125 Restricted Light

This round was all about the #33. Alexander Barallon could do no wrong and took a clean sweep of the meeting unlike his previous visit to Hamilton where he literally drove the wheels of it, reminiscent of Brayden Floods effort in 2016. #15 Corey McCullagh was on the front row in qualifying but would have issues in the first heat. The #7 Gerry Westerveld looked like he was struggling to find his usual pace starting out of 8th, but he made his way to a respectable 3rd. The #98 of Andrew Sotiropoulos was making great starts but couldn’t catch Barallon.

Heat 2 saw #7 GW have troubles on lap 4 and retire leaving a group putting on a display that would eventually conquered by #88 Anthony Mrhar to take 4th.

The final was a battle royale – #33 AB had cleared out, but the fight was on between the #15 Corey Mccuallgh, #98 Andrew Sotiropoulos, #88 Anthony Mrhar, #7 Gerry Westerveld, #4 Lachlan Hill and #48 Jonathon Mckean. After the 16 laps Mckean would be in 7th and McCullagh would see 2nd in a thriller right to the end.

1st #33 Andrew Barallon
2nd #15 Corey McCullagh
3rd #7 Gerry Westerveld

Turn 1 saw its share of three-into-one wont go action. This is TaG Restricted Light (Lachlan Vandermeer 44) (pic – Pace Images)

TaG 125 Heavy

It would seem the only name at the top here is KING, the #3 and #4 of Adam and Scott dominated the day until the final. #90 Daniel Richert showed early pace but couldn’t match that of the Kings.

Despite going out of qualifying #2 Aaron Jackson was up to the challenge and in heat 1 would split the duo briefly. Come the final #2 of Jackson poured on the pace to stay with #4 Scott King as the #2 made a break on the field eventually passing Scott on lap 8 of 16 to go onto win. #71 of Paul Feely was sporting a new look and powerplant and was getting used to driving the Rotax in qualifying his transponder failed to pick up and this would set his day unfortunately.

The Biggest highlight of heat 1 was when #32 of Mark Richards steering wheel decided to come off in his hands and backed into the tyre wall at the end of start finish straight and beautifully captured by Ben from pace images.

1st #2 Aaron Jackson
2nd #4 Scott King
3rd #3 Adam King

Aaron Jackson beat both Kings to the win in the TaG Heavy final (pic – Pace Images)
A huge moment for Mark Richards in TaG Heavy after plucking the steering wheel off the kart (pic – Pace Images)

KA3 Junior

Fresh from the AKC round #5 Jordan Sinni came out with some fire to claim pole and the first 2 heats. #65 O`Leary and #95 of Williams were the next best trading places throughout the heats.

Heat 2 would see #62 Miller involved in an incident in the opening laps while in 3rd, only to rejoin down the order. Miller would start the final in 13th and fight her way up to 8th while at the front of the field Sinni seemed to be on his way until O’Leary caught, passed, then drove away on lap 10 to greet the chequered flag. Allan, Foo, Church and Herbertson were keeping us entertained as the foursome traded places while Williams was a comfortable 3rd.

1st #65 Tyler O`Leary
2nd #5 Jordyn Sinni
3rd #9 Nathan Williams

Tyler O’Lery pumped with the win in KA3 Junior, followed by Jordyn Sinni (5) and Nathan Williams (95) (pic – Pace Images)

TaG 125 Light

It was a Jordan front row; on pole #9 Jordan Rae with #54 Jordan Pianezolla beside. Rae got the best of the start in heat one from lights to flag. The #11 Ashley Lear wasn’t far from the action making #54 JP work hard for his 2nd.

In heat 2 Lear would try giving up P2 in the final laps to get a racing line start in the final, but Jordan was awake to his games and kept back in P3 for the second best starting position in the last race of the day.

In the final #9 JR got a great start to lead the first 10 laps but a very determined #54 JP slowly but surely hunted him down to take the lead on lap 11 and go on to win. (This year without a flat tyre which cost him the win in 2016). #11 Lear would be comfortable in 3rd and #44 Mitchell Sutej made a valiant effort to gain 4th.

1st #54 Jordan Pianezolla
2nd #9 Jordan Rae
3rd #11 Ashley Lear

Jordan Rae leads Jordan Pianezzola (54), Ashley Lear (11), Connor Farr (82) and Mitchell Sutej (44) TaG 125 Light start (pic – Pace Images)

Cadet 9

Another good field of Cadet 9s were on hand to provide some awesome entertainment. The #21 Rusty (the rocket) Ponting certainly lived up to his name bringing a solid 5th at the recent AKC round to take pole and the day here at Hamilton round 5.

Heat 1 and the #85 of Tyce Hodge drove hard to get 2nd after a fierce battle with #5 Leo Iannella and #36 Thomas Schmidt. Positions rarely changed during the heats at the front while mid pack battles were raging between the cadets of #16 Stevens, #5 Iannella, #60 Heyne and #42 of Ellis.

The final was a cracker as Cadel Ambrose took the fight up to Ponting and got past on the final lap to greet the chequered flag only later be DSQ for a technical fault handing the win to Ponting.


1st #21 Rusty Ponting
2nd #85 Tyce Hodge
3rd #36 Thomas Schmidt

Rusty Ponting leads Cadel Ambrose down the hill in Cadet 9 (pic – Pace Images)

TaG 125 Restricted Heavy

This was to be #73 Michael Angwin’s day as he put down a royal flush of qualifying and heats to collect the chocolates lock stock and barrel. #5 Harvey and that of #38 Marc Tune were left to dispute the minor placings for the restricted heavies. With the front running heavies catching up to the Masters backmarkers making it a commentators nightmare, these 3 were never challenged and would finish as such with Harvey getting the better of Tune in the end.

1st #73 Michael (Austrans) Angwin
2nd #5 Andrew Harvey
3rd # 38 Marc Tune

Mick Angwin was hooked up all day in TaG R Heavy (pic – Pace Images)

TaG 125 Restricted Masters

Last year here at Buckley Park #97 Matthew Crane suffered mechanical issues which denied the result he was after, but this weekend was a totally different situation with the #97 stealing the show from go to whoa. #55 of Andrew Stubbs didn’t quite bring the pace that the 55 has been known for and had to fight for his placings in the heats with an ever consistent #12 Steve Malkin. #92 Taylor didn’t bring the pace to Hamilton either that he had at Horsham and would see 3rd in heat 2.

#51 Phillip Stradbrook and the #11 of Leon Forrest would trade places in the final to make the racing interesting and in the end #55 Andrew Stubbs grabbed more points by getting to 3rd but it was to be Matthew Crane’s day.

1st #97 Matthew Crane
2nd #12 Steve Malkin
3rd #55 Andrew Stubbs

An emotional win for Matt Crane in Restricted Masters after coming so close last year (pic – Pace Images)

TaG 125 Restricted Medium

Another good size field of Restricted Mediums made them a great class to watch as #4 Anthony Warner went to work producing a clean sweep with some masterful driving in the great conditions. #33 Raymond Dumsney looked like the only real contender to Warner, however his campaign went down hill after a turn one manoeuvre resulted in a meatball flag and he had to fight hard to get back to 11th in the final from 17th.

The #19 Of De Stefano also showed early speed only to be plagued with a mechanical breakdown, undoing his great work. #46p Ben Wilson made the most of opportunities as they presented themselves and would greet the chequered in second, while #28 Beau Humphrey entertained the onlookers with some great racing and passing to come home in 3rd.

1st #4 Anthony Warner
2nd #46p Ben Wilson
3rd #28 Beau Humphrey

Anthony Warner didn’t put a foot wrong in TaG Restricted Medium, winning every race of the round (pic – Pace Images)

KA3 Junior Light

KA3 JL qualifying session was unbelievable as the tyres came on, times were dropping faster than a hot spud. #94 Kobi Williams looked to have pole sealed, however #12 Ryan Morgan snatched it on the final lap in the last few seconds.

Heat 1 and the heat was on the Morgan machine very early on, losing the lead on lap 3. Williams made the most of an opportunity by passing both Morgan and Stephenson to take the lead and drive home. Heat 2 and #31 of Jaxson Cox (Round 5 AKC winner) decided it was time to flex and grabbed points for 2nd over Stephenson and Morgan.

#30 Jobe Stewart was in contention with a pack of 6 until lap 14 out 18 would see him and Herbertson come together at out grid corner and the race was red flagged due to an injury to Stewart, who was helped from the track by pit crew. Thoroughly entertaining racing is the only way to describe the KA3 JL class.

1st #94 Kobi Williams
2nd #23 Jai Stephenson
3rd #12 Ryan Morgan

Kobi Williams heads the roll up lap for KA4 Light (pic – Pace Images)

KA3 Senior Light

The young lady from SA #14 Nikki Watson grabbed pole from from a very fast #55 Jordan Dudfield. Tony Karts seem to love the KA3 Light class – with 5 of the fastest in the state heading up the field.

#37 Jack Bell fresh off his win at the recent R5 AKC snatched the lead from 3rd on the grid in the opening heat in lap 7 and would go on to win H1. Bell brought the A game out in heat 2 and was never headed and 3rd would go to Nikki Watson after a great fight with #27 Jack Martin.

Come the final, and the opening lap would see the #14 lose a rear tyre that bounced at pace into the fence at the start /finish straight and go over to slowly go through the traffic and come to rest on the outside of the track. Bitter disappointment for Watson as she had genuine pace. Jordan Dudfield would be the eventual winner after an incident which saw Jack Bell drop to 5th elevating Trebilcock and Pasek up the order.

1st #55 Jordan Dudfield
2nd #27 Jack Martin
3rd #86 Nicholas Trebilcock

Tony Karts to the front in KA3 Light, Jordan Dudfield (55) taking out the final (pic – Pace Images)

KA3 Senior Medium

A small field of senior mediums watched as the ever fast #20 RL left a wake for them to battle on. Aaron Jackson and Alex Baker were the next best in this tiny class. Jackson would try to take it up to Remo and did get close for a couple of laps but the patience of the #20 would see him dominate the whole day.

1st #20 Remo Luciani
2nd #13 Aaron Jackson
3rd #19 Alex Baker

Cadet 12

This was to be the #66 Will Harper show, the (Harpoon) quite literally shot out of the gun and wouldn’t be seen, or passed the whole day. The normally quick #92 Matthew (the Dominator) Domaschenz had to contend with the likes of #33 Jaxson Johnstone, #7 Brocklan Parker and #21 Isaac Woodhouse. These 3 put on a class act for the crowds. Mid way through laps 5/6 the overtaking started and continued for a further couple until they sorted out and crossed the line. #77 Michael Tarbotton was having a ball, dissecting the field by starting from 14th and driving through to finish in 8th.

1st #66 Will Harper
2nd #92 Matthew Domaschenz
3rd #21 Isaac Woodhouse

Will Harper leads Matthew Domaschenz and Jaxon Johnstone at the start of Cadet 12 (pic – Pace Images)

KA4 Junior Heavy

This class was a 5 way battle that raged all day between #9 Nathan Williams, #70 Aaron Oliver, #15 Jordyn Sinni, #95 Daniel Hookway and #99 Adam Jnr Slattery. Oliver was having a great day showing impressive speed, as was Nathan Williams. Sinni, Hookway and Slattery created the entertainment as the rest of the field was left in their wake.

Oliver and Hookway traded places early several times in the final. Sinni looked to be settled in 2nd until lap 15 of 18 where he succumb to pressure from Oliver and would finish in 4th. Hookway would eventually get through to 3rd and #71 Maximus Fahey would catch and pass #99 Adam jnr Slattery on lap 15 to come home in 5th.

1st #9 Nathan Williams
2nd #70 Aaron Oliver
3rd #95 Daniel Hookway

Nathan Williams seals the deal in KA4 Junior Heavy (pic – Pace Images)

Kerbriders of the day

  • Cadets: Rusty Ponting
  • Juniors: Kobi Williams
  • Seniors: Aaron Jackson

Each driver picked up Maxima Quick 2, Mix Maxima Oil and Maxima Contact Cleaner

Dunlop random prize winners

Thanks to Dunlop Kartsport- 7 lucky winners at Hamilton took home some bonus Dunlop goods including a custom tyre bag, tyre lube and tape measure. The lucky winners were:


  • Jonathan McKean
  • Daniel Richert
  • Callan Belmonte
  • Tyce Hodge
  • Marc Tune
  • Aaron Sutherland
  • Megan Vallance
Jackson Hodgetts launches of Giles Rogers (28), KA3 Light (pic – Pace Images)
Nikki Watson leads the KA3 Light field out the gate (pic – Pace Images)
Leo Iannella Cadet 9 (pic – Pace Images)
Andrew Hayes busy helping the club (pic – Pace Images)
Daniel Richert on a hard charge in TaG 125 Heavy (pic – Pace Images)
Unstuck after the back straight (pic – Pace Images)
TaG Light, Ash Lear (11) and the two Jordans had some great racing (pic – Pace Images)
Andrew Sotiropoulous smashes the T1 kerb in TaG R Light ahead of Anthony Mrhar and Corey McCullgh (pic – Pace Images)
Ryan Felmingham (61) avoids the T1 carnage, TaG Heavy. Mitchell Branson #6, Michael Mifsud #84 (pic – Pace Images)