Australian Junior karting’s Mister Consistency, Kai Allen has kept his opportunities to win the elite Junior Championship – KA2 – at the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship alive after a strong performance in Saturday’s first three heats of Emerald’s (QLD) penultimate round of the Championship.
- Official photos (Coopers’) from the round are HERE
- Saturday Photos (Pace Images) HERE
- Results are going on speedhive HERE
Allen hasn’t taken a race win all year, however came into this weekend as a 10 point leader.
The youngster from Mount Gambier finally cracked a heat race win in his debut season in the elite Junior category on Saturday afternoon.
That completed a strong day for him with third and second in the other two heats.
Last round winner, Jaiden Pope kept his run toward the Australia number one in good stead with two heat race wins.
AWC Motorsport Academy racer, Jay Hanson – who was still in with a slim mathematical chance at winning KA2 – was among the front runners, as was Jai Brown – who was second in the Championship coming into the weekend.
FA Kart mounted Allen is also in with a shot at the KA4 Junior Title and ended the day in that category with a third, fifth and second in the respective heats.
Championship leader Rhys Smith kept his good form going in his Scuderia PCR kart taking two heat race wins. He was tested in the final heat of the day after a collision with fellow Championship contender Fletcher Harris after a technical issue struck Harris dropped Smith down the order – ultimately finishing 12th – and left Harris off to the side of the track out of commission.
To that point, Harris had been well inside the top 10 in the opening heat races. Hugh Barter after a carburettor problem in qualifying won the final heat.
Defending Australian Champion, Joshua Fife continued his winning ways in KZ2 – as he attempts to win his second consecutive Australian Championship. After missing the opening round due to overseas racing commitments, Energy Corse’s Fife has been supreme and can leave this weekend well and truly in contention.
Although the day started slowly for Championship leader, Aaron Cameron in his JC Kart, he ended with an emphatic second placing to keep the push at the front going.
Troy Loeskow – who still has a shot at the Title, Chris Hays, Jason Faint and Matthew Smith – despite a heat two DNF – have all shown impressive pace throughout the course of the day.
In KA1, defending Champion Scott Sorensen driving the HDR Arrow chassis edged closer to a third Australian Championship and berth in the Rok International Cup with an undefeated run. He has looked well in control throughout the day, however PFG Race Group’s Broc Feeney has kept his slender Championship hopes alive with two second placed finishes.
Doing the same have been round one winner Lachie Dalton and Josh Denton who have been regularly inside the top five throughout the day.
Taylah Agius qualified up the order and finished the opening heat race in third place – pushing towards the first Australian Ladies Trophy, while Tyler Howard has also been impressive in parts, finishing the first heat in second place.
Benito Montalbano has taken his Shayne Piper Race Engines-backed Arrow to three solid victories in the KA3 Senior category. In what is a close run thing, Montalbano has withstood numerous challenges and multiple lead changes to take the wins.
Defending Champion James Sera finished all three heats in his Melbourne Kart Centre FA Kart in second position despite qualifying in eighth position this morning.
Championship leader, Matthew McLean had a mixed day in his Arrow chassis. He bookended the day with third and fourth placed finishes respectively, however it was heat two that has had Championship implications. The early race skirmishes saw his rear crasher damaged, ultimately leaving officials no choice but to issue a mechanical defect flag forcing him back to the pit area.
Beck Connell added to her Ladies Trophy pointscore with some solid points, including a third placed finish in heat three – a race that she led at one point.
The seemingly impossible task Pierce Lehane set for himself in entering X30 at round three and winning the Championship seems like it could still be possible should tomorrow go his way after a strong performance today. He ended with two heat wins and a third.
Championship leader and current Rotax DD2 World Champion, Cody Gillis has been strong though, taking the first heat and a pair of fourths. The Tom Williamson Motorsport driver has continued the consistency that has kept him on top of points table since his round one win.
TaG 125 ended its third heat this afternoon with three of the top four Championship contenders going no further than turn one.
Brendan Nelson, Kody Garland and Jordan Nicolaou were all involved in the scary high speed incident, only Cody Brewczynski was able to continue on.
Earlier in the day, Garland won the opening two heats and Brewczynski had been in the top three of the opening two races.
After the third heat skirmish, Hayden Cox took the third heat win in his first ever Australian Kart Championship heat race win.
Championship Leader Lewis Francis took two heat wins in his Kart Republic chassis in Cadet 9, however his second heat was compromised after being shuffled down the order. He fought back to finish in fourth position, while Peter Bouzinelos took the win.
Jaxson Burns has kept his Championship hopes alive with some solid performances within the top four all day, as has Max Walton, while South Australian Kosmic racer, Rock Han has been super impressive and right among the front runners.
Harry Arnett has romped to two heat race victories in Cadet 12 on the course that delivered him a Cadet 9 victory last year.
Cadel Ambrose, Max Deguara and Alex Ninovic were others to impress throughout a very tensely contested class.
Action will resume on Sunday morning at 8am with the fourth round of heats and the finals.
Entry to the Emerald Karting Facility is free and the livestream can be watched on www.karting.net.au or on www.facebook.com/australiankartchampionship.