by Paul Zaia
2018 is the Central Coast Speedway Kart Clubs (CCSKC) 20th Year Anniversary, and as such it was only fitting that this be the year the club also hosted the Australian Speedway Karting titles.
The originally scheduled meeting commenced on the weekend of the 8th and 9th of September however persistent rain on that weekend ultimately led to the meeting being abandoned due to a deteriorating track. Reload for Sunday 23rd September and in the words of official starter Greg Ryan, it was time to ‘fire em up’.
53 Racers, officials, support crews and spectators descended upon Gosford Showground for a massive program of racing in 7 categories. The format consisted of 4 heats of 12 laps each, followed by a 20 lap final that crowned the 1st , 2nd and 3rd best racers in the land.
Cadet 9 saw defending Australian Champion Blaxx Caton once again take out the title. Blaxx not only won the title but was able to lower his own lap record from 2017 by a whopping 0.3 seconds. Bailey Carter recovered from an earlier heat crash to bring it home in second, while Dylan Kelly held off Mark Angilley for third. Bailey and Blaxx took out 2 heats each on the day.
KT Modified Medium was a red hot field with everyone on the same mission, to try and beat 2017 Champion Jason Bisset. Bisset, Blake Wright, Mitch Brien and Andrew Walkerden all laid down a challenge to the champion with heat wins. The final was a masterclass by Jason with a devastating start to finish win by 3.485 seconds, with Wayne Hosie and Blake Wright claiming the remaining silverware. Of special note, Jason laid down a 15.927 lap time in lap 5 to be the only starter in the 15 second barrier.
KA4 Junior heavy was a fine display of the best junior racers in the country going head to head. 4 separate heat winners in James Angilley, Brayden Shute, Nathan Thompson and Joel Buettel showed that this was anyone’s title to claim. What the heat wins don’t show is that the quickest #33 going around Jac Laneyrie placed in every single heat and he was building to something big. Jac blew away the field by 3.352 seconds in the final to be crowned Australian Champion from Joel Buettel and Nathan Thompson. Jac also broke the 16 second barrier in the final with a 15.928 lap.
Cadet 12 is always hard to pick a winner and today several incidents had an impact on proceedings with crashes and black flags ultimately playing a role. Cameron Hedges claimed 2 heat wins, while Jarrod Garland bounced back from a race 1 crash to take out heat 3. Charlie Gutsch-Berry claimed heat 2, but this was just a warm up for a great victory in the final in a hard-fought race from Luke Angilley and Cameron Hedges. Only 1.984 seconds separated the podium placegetters. All 7 starters laid down a best lap in the 16 second bracket.
KA3 Senior light delivered a showcase of fast, tough racing. Luke Geering carried his form from the 50 lap shootout into the titles with 2 heat wins, while Caitlin Genner and Jacob Knight also had solid heat wins. In finals, champions step it up and one could be forgiven for thinking SVG was out there in the 97 with Geering obliterating the field by a massive 11.374 seconds. Zak Blanch and Caitlin Genner climbed the aussie podium in a well-deserved result for these two fantastic drivers.
KA4 Junior light saw the majority of the Junior Heavy field backing up for a second shot at the titles. Remarkably, the same 3 racers saluted the flag with Jac Laneyrie claiming his second Australian title on the day from Joel Buettel and Nathan Thompson. Well done to these three champions who are never far away from a race meeting, honing their craft.
If we all felt Jac’s lap time earlier in the day was special, a 15.389 in the light final could leave no doubt why this young man is at the top of his sport.
KT Modified light displays a huge array of the very best going around in a class that has crowds running to the fence. All the key players from the recent 50 lapper were back to battle it out for title glory. Jack Selmes, Luke Geering (2) and Sean Morley were heat winners with Sean coming back from a mid meeting kart rebuild.
The final saw only 2 seconds separate the top 6 finishers with Jack Selmes winning the title from William Millerd-Stevens and Luke Geering. Every single starter in the final broke into the 15 second barrier in a great display of driving on a quick track.
Whilst this article focusses on the title winners, there is equally as many a story of great performances, tales of woe, controversy, laughter and tears across the event and these will go into speedway folklore.
For many this event represented the drivers first attempt at a title meeting.
CCSKC races once a month at Gosford Showground with competitors ranging from 7 to 62 years of age. CCSKC holds ‘Come ‘n’ Try’ days throughout the year, which offer everyone a chance to have a go before making a commitment to the sport.
Details of the club’s Come ‘n’ Try days, race meetings and all other information can be found at www.ccskc.com.au . The club is also on Facebook and Instagram (search Coast Karting).
Next Round… Rnd 7 of the Club Championship on Saturday 13th October (Twilight), backed up by a Come and Try-Practice Day on Sunday 14th October.
- Visit the clubs facebook page (Central Coast Speedway Kart Club) or website at http://www.ccskc.com.au/ for further information. The club is also on Instagram (search Coast Karting).
Full Australian Title results:
1 Blaxx Caton
2 Bailey Carter
3 Dylan Kelly
KT MODIFIED MEDIUM
1 Jason Bisset
2 Wayne Hosie
3 Blake Wright
KA4 JUNIOR HEAVY
1 Jac Laneyrie
2 Joel Buettel
3 Nathan Thompson
1 Charlie Gutsch-Berry
2 Luke Angilley
3 Cameron Hedges
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT
1 Luke Geering
2 Zac Blanch
3 Caitlin Genner
KA4 JUNIOR LIGHT
1 Jac Laneyrie
2 Joel Buettel
3 Nathan Thompson
KT MODIFIED LIGHT
1 Jack Selmes
2 William Millerd-Stevens
3 Luke Geering