by Sean Phillips (on behalf of the Tiger Kart Club)
The 2018 Arise Racing Carnival of Karts at WA’s Cockburn Raceway once again proved to be one of the best kart events in the WA calendar. Great weather along with almost 200 entries made for a fantastic weekend of high level karting action.
Tiger Kart Club volunteers had the venue looking picture perfect and ran the race meeting like a watch with a 1.00pm finish on Sunday so everyone could pack up, enjoy a few drinks at the presentations and still get home well before dark, well done everyone involved.
The Carnival always turns on a show with huge trophies and over $15,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs WA’s top drivers are pushing to the limit to come home with a Carnival trophy!!
TAG 125 R Light and TAG 125 Masters were the first class of the day with the Masters running from behind in their own race for the first time at this event. Thomas Bowscher, Thomas Hamlett and Ryan Nicholson took out the top spots in the final for TAG 125 R Light after some close but clean racing all weekend, well done on a great result. TAG Masters was won by John Hill who drove a faultless race to win by a small margin over Peter Ten Broeke and rounding out the top 3 was one of the Open Class stalwarts Gavin Kennedy who this weekend was trying his hand at Masters glory. Well done to all the Masters drivers and we look forward to seeing them back at the Carnival next year.
KA-4 Jnr Heavy were next out and our first Jnr class of the day. This class always produces close racing and this year was no exception. Lochlan Harvey drove a superb final to win by just over 4 seconds from Max Whiting and Craig Spencer who did the fastest lap of the race but ran out of time to catch the front runners in the end. Tioni Papasergio also drove a great race to take 4th on the day and i think got one of the biggest cheers at presentation to boot (the Carnival pays right back to 5th place in all classes).
The pocket rocket Cadet 9’s were out next and what a drive from Sachen Smith Wei to win over Chase Wildman by only 0.043 seconds!!! Copper Lisle rounded out the top 3 with all the Cadet 9’s putting on a great show for the huge Carnival crowd. It’s always fascinating to see the spectators marvel at how well these young kids drive, they seem so small behind the wheel but the determination and speed at which they race is just amazing, well done to everyone in the Cadet 9 class.
The first of the high level senior classes hit the track next in TAG 125 Light. Without doubt this is now the top class in karting in WA with all the hot shots chasing that #1 spot. The field is so stacked with talent that finishing anywhere near the top 10 is a massive achievement. Cory Minton just keeps on winning and proves again he’s now the next big thing in WA karting especially when you beat Kip Foster to the line who came in a close 2nd in his own awesome looking KF Kart. Hyden Fraser, Damon Papasergio and Michael Jones rounded out the top 5 in this huge 25 kart field. With the top drivers running into the 48 second lap times these 125 Light karts are a real spectacle to watch and the great snakes of karts moving around the track in formation made for quite a site, well done.
A great win from Jake Truarn in the TAG 125 R Medium class and fastest lap really put a stamp on his authority over the field in an exciting and action packed final. Marc Redman and Aaron Chivers rounded out the podium in this 14 kart field. TAG Restricted racing used to be the domain of massive crashes and some wild driving over the years but both classes these days put on a great show and the driving standards have really improved ensuring we develop highly skilled competitors who can now move into the TAG 125 classes and perform really well against the more experienced drivers. Great result and well done to all the competitors.
Our next generation of future stars the KA-3 Jnr’s were out next and these young guys really move!! The final would be one of the best races I’ve seen in many years and one of those races where everyone comes to the fence to see who comes out on top and this year it was a last corner pass by Chase Hoy to take the win. Riley Trager and Luca Nici in the Ricciardo karts were running formation for the first ¾ of the final and looked set to make it a one two result for the professional looking team mates when Chase Hoy started his move forward. Riley made a break for it and pulled away from Luca with about 6 laps to run and then Chase ran down Luca, passed him and started eating into the lead Riley had built up. The crowd was literally going berserk by this stage and with Chase now right on Riley’s bumper it looked like a move could take place at any stage but to Riley’s credit he held his nerve, kept his head down and it looked like Chase had run out of puff to get the job done. The last lap was insane, Riley now running the tight line, Chase going inside and outside looking for a pass, it all came down to the last corner and Chase ran a really tight inside line, got enough of his kart in to make the move and in a neck and neck run to the flag just piped Riley by 1/10th of a second!! Both Chase and Riley deserved to win it was that close but in the end it was Chase who got over the line first in what was the race of the weekend. Young Luca also drove an amazing race who is going to be a future champion for sure to take home 3rd place.
The big guns in Open class were out next and they put on a typical Open class display of rubber burning, 20,000RPM action where even just getting one of these things around the track is an accomplishment. Melinda Sully, the daughter of legendary WA kart driver Mike Sully took pole position proving her recent move to Open class is paying dividends and with her father being one of the stalwarts of this class over the years it was great to see her right up the front of the field. Blake Preston was too good in the final though coming though for the win ahead of Mathew Chambers and Glenn Fisher who had a good run through the heats and were able to conserve tyres and keep the pace up in the long winner takes all final. WA State Open Champion Courtney Gough showed the girls can really mix it up in this class and she would have been in with a chance of winning had it not been for some mechanical dramas in the heat races. Melinda Sully rounded out the top 5 of the podium with a consistent drive in the final. Well done to all competitors, it’s a real treat to see these wild beasts burning up the track.
Brandon Locke won the Cadet 12 class ahead of Noah Lisle and Nash Ferraro against 27 other future champions of our sport. The final was a battle between Brandon and Noah with only 1/10th separating them at the flag and both drivers driving very consistent and clean while only inches apart for most of the race. Again the speed and professionalism of all these young kids is amazing and we are sure to see the likes of Brandon, Noah and Nash making future headlines in karting and motorsport as they grow older. Thanks to all the kids and all the mums and dads who support them so they can be the future stars of motorsport.
Another massive field of KA-3 drivers came to the Carnival to chase the $2000 on offer over the weekend. Zac Needham took the first of the cash with the $150 pole time award and was in contention all weekend running at the front. Jake Sawyer was in another world in the final though and took the win by just over 4 seconds and collected himself $1000 cash for the weekend, not a bad effort to say the least!! Ryan Bender is always right at the front of any race and came home 2nd for $500 and our pole winner Zac Needham took 3rd and $250 to add to his $150 pole time win. This class tends to feature many of the top Jnr’s who recently moved up to seniors so with a few more years of racing it’s going to be very interesting seeing some of these guys move into the TAG 125 class and test themselves against the more experienced campaigners. Well done to all the KA-3 drivers who turned on some great racing with the 26 kart field
KA-4 Jnr Light was won by Caleb Sumich in his very classy looking kart and awesome looking helmet, Caleb is now established as one of WA’s top Jnr’s and we watch closely as he races through 2018 and continues to build speed and consistency. Jack Clohessy took a well deserved 2nd with Luca Nici backing up his 3rd in KA-4 Jnr Heavy with another 3rd in the light class. Judd Stevens and Max McCrae rounded out the top 5 with all the drivers giving 100% it was well appreciated by the crowd with a huge cheer coming up for the kids as they crossed the finish line
TAG 125 Heavy is always action packed and a very tough class to win with excellent drivers right through the field. The final was a great race with ex state champion Bayley Mickler running out to a lead early on but it was one of our returning karters Richard Dekkers who was a top karter as a young bloke back in the 80’s and 90’s taking over the lead and just marching away into the distance. Looks like Richards lost none of his speed and it was great to see one of the nice guys of our sport return with such dominance. Unfortunately a bunch of drivers were instigated in a breach of no man’s land during the start and a post race investigation dropped many of them including the top place getters back down the order with time penalties changing the final outcome much to the disappointment of the drivers involved. The revised finishing order placed multiple Carnival winner Brad Fitch into 1st place, Bayley Bell and Troy Stewart come home in 2nd and 3rd. Richard unfortunately having the well deserved and hard won win taken away must have been very disappointed but in typical fashion he showed himself to be a true sportsman and still collected 5th place on the day.
Final race of the day at the Carnival is always the KZ-2 class with an extended 25 lap final to really test the drivers and equipment to the limit. Daniel Curry was just a machine in the final and romped home by 10 seconds over 2nd place Josh Merritt and 3rd placed Mitchell Perrella. It looked as though many of the karts had just run out of rubber towards the end of the final race and it was clear that Daniel’s smooth style and conservative strategy over the weekend made the difference in the end to be the clear winner. Thanks to all the KZ drivers who came along to the Carnival this year, it’s a real feature of the Carnival event and we are very thankful the KZ series has returned to the event this year to put on another great show for our spectators over the weekend.
The best part of the whole weekend is the random draw prize give away at the presentations. Our huge thanks to Remo and Sabrina from Remo racing who have supported the Carnival of karts every year since it started and assisted the club with a range of IAME engines and X-30 upgrade kits along with DPE and Flatout Karts who help contribute to the Arrow Cadet chassis for the Cadet classes. Kart Mart is another WA based sponsor who has backed the Carnival every year and we can’t thank Megan and Harvey enough for their continued support of our event. We could not run this event without our naming rights sponsor Arise Racing’s Adam Lisle who has also been a massive supporter of the Carnival for the past few years developing WA’s next motorsport stars through his Arise Racing programs at Barbagallo Raceway.
James Webster was the happiest little Cadet Vegemite getting his name drawn out and taking home a brand new Arrow chassis. Chase Hoy i would think had the best kart meeting ever by not only winning the KA-3 Jnr class but also being drawn out of the barrel to win a brand new IAME KA 100 engine and Courtney Gough made the big trip down from Kalgoorlie worth the effort by picking up a brand new IAME X-30!!!
Well that’s another Carnival done and dusted, huge thanks to the massive crew of volunteers, officials, and canteen staff who worked flat out all weekend to ensure the meeting ran smoothly and safely for all those involved. Looking forward to next year already, it’s a meeting not to be missed