by Brian Van De Wakker
In just his first attempt at the Brian Farley Memorial feature race, Reece Cohen has become the tenth different winner in the events eleven year history.
The young Top Gun driver led the race from start to finish, and is the first driver since Macauley Jones in 2011 to win the race from pole.
The race was marred by a multi-kart pile up on the opening lap. Bryce Davison was stranded in the middle of the track before being collected by several karts. Karts were strewn across the track, causing officials to bring out the red flag. The incident took out six karts including pole shuffle winner and Rotax MAX Challenge World Finalist Cody Brewczynski.
The officials also decided to cut the race from eighteen to sixteen laps due to the stoppage.
Once the race got back underway Cohen vaulted straight to the lead. He started to pull away as battles grew for second. Christopher Sandrone showed promising pace in heat four and started the final in fifth. He was third by the end of lap one and went for a lunge at second through carousel corner, however he over cooked it and remained in third. Mitchell Hewitt was the big beneficiary and went from fourth to second.
By this point, Cohen had opened over a second lead and continued to pull away as the race between Hewitt and Sandrone intensified. Sandrone went for the move on lap seven at carousel corner and made the move stick. He brought the margin down by well under two seconds in the remaining two laps, but it was a case of too little too late as Cohen went on to claim his maiden Brian Farley Memorial crown.
“It was a mad race, obviously that crash at the start, the track, it changed a lot from where it was this morning. It was a lot more slippery and after the restart, I looked back and we had a bit of a gap and then I saw Chris coming and coming, but yeah it was a good weekend,” Cohen mentioned.
“It’s a big honor, I’ve been coming here year after year, first time in the feature class, so it was mad.”
Sandrone decided to make a change prior to the final, the kart came on well late in the race however he wasn’t aided by the fact the final was cut short by two laps.
“It was a bit rough at the start, bit of understeer with the kart so I found it hard to get past Hewitt and a few others,” Sandrone said.
It was Hewitt’s third top ten finish in the event in his three attempts and first time on the podium.
“Just couldn’t put any power down through all the high-speed stuff, just four wheel sliding everywhere so it was a tough race. I had Garland (Kody Garland) pushing me the whole way but we managed to hold on,” Hewitt said.
Kody Garland finished fourth ahead of Brodie Whitmore, Tyler Howard, Jackson Souslin-Harlow, Chris Bregonje, Hudson Heath and Nicklaus Litchenberger completing the top ten.
Other class winners across the weekend included, Riley Blaxell (Cadet 9), Cody Maynes-Rutty (Cadet 12), Matthew Kenneth (TaG 125 Restricted Light), Leigh Grant (TaG 125 Restricted Medium), Stephen Donley (Sportsman TaG 125 Restricted Masters Light), Christopher Nobbs (Sportsman TaG 125 Restricted Masters Medium), Zakiah-Reginald Varley (KA4 Junior Light), Jude Bargwanna (KA4 Junior Heavy), Tony Bregonje (TaG 125 Heavy), Kody Garland (Senior Light) and Bailey Hazard (KA3 Junior).