by Ben Aylen
The Sapphire Cup was held over the weekend of 4th & 5th of November 2017 with entries from Grenfell, Wollongong, Canberra, Bairnsdale and Sapphire Coast kart clubs. The weather was beautiful and perfect for setting some fast lap times with a number of lap records broken throughout the weekend.
Cadet 9 sponsored by Chaz Mostert
A strong field of eight Cadet 9 entrants made up the field at this year’s Sapphire Cup with numbers in this class up from last year. Going into the Final race, it was anyone’s guess who was going to make up the podium with mixed results throughout the weekend.
There were three were different winners, in the heat races – Lana Aylen, Kaleb Belak and Zach Munckton closely followed by Rhylee Jackson (2nd in Heat 2), Aidan Williams with a pair of 3rd place finishes, Brodie Radford coming home 4th in Heat 4, and Bailey Sweet with a pair of Top 5s. But in the end it was Wollongong’s Kaleb Belak who crossed the line ahead of Lana Aylen and Zach Munckton in the Final.
Cadet 12 sponsored by Munckton Homes
The Cadet 12 final was closely contested with Clayton Wells leading the pack into turn 1 before building himself a small buffer over the rest of the field. Zander Campbell tried valiantly to find a way around 2nd placed Joel Munckton who debuted a new kart for the weekend. Clayton’s buffer diminished towards the end of the race with a train of Cadet 12s crossing the line for a near photo finish. After 14 laps the top 3 karts were separated by just 0.4 seconds as they crossed the line.
KA3 Junior sponsored by Stable Karting
It was a small field of just two KA3 Juniors, but that didn’t make the racing any less exciting. With Sapphire’s Blake Motbey winning Heats 1 to 4, you could be forgiven for assuming the same result in the Final. But it was Bairnsdale’s Marty Wright who went wheel to wheel off the start and came out of turn 2 in the lead. With the two karts so evenly matched and Marty putting in his best drive of the weekend, Blake Motbey spent half the race trying to find a way around the #41 of Marty Wright before an opportunity presented itself and Blake was able to make the pass stick and take the win. Marty drove exceptionally well with his best time just two tenths of the local’s best.
KA3 Senior Medium sponsored by Merimbula Engraving & Trophies
The final of KA3 Senior was contested by Tyson Wells and Jacob Collins who are both Sapphire members. These two competitors were neck and neck all weekend but it was Tyson who had won Heats 1-4 by a small margin each time. Jacob had a clever plan for the final with a strategy to save some tyres for the end of 14 lap race. Jacob who hadn’t led a lap all weekend put in a strong run at the end of the Final to sneak past Tyson with just two laps to go and take the victory.
TaG 125 Senior Light sponsored by Motbey Car Carriers
TaG 125 Light was contested by Phil Radford and Daryl Belskyj, both from Bairnsdale Kart Club. With Phil winning Heats 1 to 4, Daryl had to pull out all stops in the final and he did. Daryl closed the difference in best lap times to near mirror that of Phil’s with Phil putting in a best lap time of 33.326 and Daryl throwing down a 33.335 with just a couple of seconds separating the two after 14 laps.
KA4 Junior Light & Heavy sponsored by Momsen Motors and Merimbula RSL
KA4 was contested by Sapphire’s Jackson Wells, Canberra’s Joshua Staples, Canberra’s Joseph Camilleri and Bairnsdale’s Marty Wright who also contested KA3 Junior with an IAME KA100. Unknowingly to Marty, he acquired many fans as he ran a direct drive KT100J competing against the newer KA100s in KA4. Marty was right up front in Heat 2 until a mechanical failure resulted in a DNF. But in the end, it Jackson’s day who won the final, a set of tyres AND his entry fee back.
TaG Restricted Light sponsored by Greg Eastman Electrical
With 7 closely matched entrants in TaG Restricted Light fiercely competing in the Heat races, we knew it was going to be on for all money in the 14 lap final. Adam Martin, Jordan Maloney and Daniel Smith were Top 3 out of Turn 1 when there was contact further back that resulted in Sapphire’s Madelyne Czubara to spin on the opening lap. With the 14 lap final nearing the end, it was Adam Martin and Jordan Maloney who looked to have P1 and P2 locked up, but it was Madelyne Czubara who recovered from her early spin by putting in her best laps of the day to work her way up to 3rd with just a few laps to go and finish on the podium.
TaG Restricted Heavy sponsored by AMH Automotive Group
TaGR Heavy had some close battles throughout the weekend with each heat having drivers cross the line in a different finishing order. In the end it was Canberra’s Martin Gear who took the win in the final while the battle for the podium was closely contested between Phil Bohan, Stephen Southwell and David May. The 3 best lap times of the final were almost immeasurable with Martin Gear’s best a 34.97, Phil Bohan’s best a 34.98, and David May a 35.00.
The club thanks everyone who helped make this event a success, and encourages anyone considering racing at Sapphire Coast Kart Club to keep an eye on the club’s website www.sckc.com.au or Facebook www.facebook.com/SapphireCoastKartClub as there are a number of initiatives being put in place over the coming months to further improve the club and this already fantastic facility.
1 Kaleb BELAK
2 Lana AYLEN
3 Zach MUNCKTON
1 Clayton WELLS
2 Joel MUNCKTON
3 Zander CAMPBELL
1 Blake MOTBEY
2 Marty WRIGHT
KA3 Senior Medium
1 Jacob COLLINS
2 Tyson WELLS
3 Lochlan CHANCELLOR
TaG 125 Light
1 Phillip RADFORD
2 Daryl BELSKYJ
KA4 Junior Light
1 Jackson WELLS
2 Joseph CAMILLERI
3 Marty WRIGHT
KA4 Junior Heavy
1 Joshua STAPLES
TaG Restricted Light
1 Adam MARTIN
2 Jordan MALONEY
3 Madelyne CZUBARA
TaG Restricted Heavy
1 Martin GEAR
2 Philip BOHAN
3 Stephen SOUTHWELL