Kurtis Read set his first ever SP Tools Australian Kart Championship pole position to kick off an action packed day at the third round presented by Castrol EDGE at Sugarloaf Raceway in Newcastle, NSW today.
Read, the son of Australian Top Fuel Champion, Phil Read, scorched around the racetrack to establish the pole time in the KA3 category. However, struck trouble during the course of the day, not finishing the third heat this afternoon after a collision with another competitor, his other two heat races netting a third and sixth placing.
Another son of a gun, Oscar Priest in the Boost Mobile Kosmic – whose father Clayton is a known Speedcar dirt track racer won two of the three heats in the category with five time Australian Champion Matthew Waters sharing the other.
The big crowd that turned out during a perfect Hunter Valley day were treated with some outstanding racing right throughout all categories on display and the nearly 300 competitors from Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.
The hotly contested KA4 Junior category was tight among a number of competitors, however Rhys Smith elevated himself to the Championship lead after winning all three heat races. The New South Welshman was pushed closely by Kai Allen who brought himself into Championship calculations and Fletcher Harris and Hugh Barter who were locked in the Title fight with Smith coming into the weekend.
The two winners in KA1 heading to Newcastle Championship leader, Lachlan Dalton and defending Champion Scott Sorensen have shared the two heat race wins held today with Tyler Howard looking fast, so too Broc Feeney and Josh Denton.
In KA2 Junior, JC Kart’s Jai Brown was awarded his first ever heat race win in the AKC taking the second heat, while Jaiden Pope took out the opening heat. Beau Pronesti impressed securing his best ever AKC start, qualifying second. Championship leader, Kai Allen – doing double duty this weekend – continued his consistency throughout the course of the day.
TaG 125 has netted three separate winners in a typically close Newcastle affair. Kody Garland won the first heat, before Sydney-sider Cody Brewczynski snuck home in heat two and defending Aussie Champion, Brendan Nelson won the third.
In X30, category debutant, Pierce Lehane converted pole position to a heat race win, while Cody Gillis took a hard fought win in heat two having to come through the pack to get to the front.
Australian KZ2 Champion, Joshua Fife emerged as the heat one winner despite a collision with pole-sitter and last year’s Newcastle round winner, Ricciardo Kart’s Troy Loeskow in a frantic race which saw former Champion, Chris Hays suffer a nasty rollover. Hays was uninjured.
The second heat was taken out by Aaron Cameron, however he was later handed a two place penalty for a front fairing infringement leaving Fife to inherit the race win.
Sera Driver Development pilot, Peter Bouzinelos has been the class of the Cadet 9 field taking two wins. Championship leader, Lewis Francis won the other and has built on his points lead with several strong results throughout the day. Also walking away after a solid Saturday’s work is second placed man in the Championship, Max Walton who has been in the top three all day.
Alex Ninovic has been the class of the 49-kart strong Cadet 12. Using an over-subscribed system for heat races, Ninovic ended the day with three heat race wins, the other going the way of Harry Arnett after a collision between the two leaders decimated the field.
Ninovic’s final heat this afternoon included a terse battle with Championship leader, Marcos Flack, which ended with Flack spinning on the final lap, opening it up for the New South Welshman to win.
Tomorrow, heat racing will continue from 8am with the Finals to be conducted later in the day.
Entry to the Cameron Park Sugarloaf Raceway just outside Newcastle is free and events throughout the day will be live-streamed via www.karting.net.au.
For the full results please click here.