from Jason Fewins
Earlier this month Mount Gambier Karting Club played host to karters from across South Australia, as well as interstate, as drivers competed for the 2018 South Australian Black Plate.
- Lots of photos from the event were posted on the Pace Images Facebook page:
- Full results on speedhive HERE
After hosting the successful running of the inaugural event last year, the Glenburnie Raceway again was a picturesque setting for the prestigious title event with the facilities looking immaculate. Brief heavy rain on the Friday, although not lasting long, did minimise some of the prospects for practice, but there were still quite a few who braved the elements and used the opportunity to develop some wet weather setup in case the rain settled in. Luckily by early afternoon the track had dried and drivers were back to fine tuning the karts for racing to follow.
The youngest of the nominated racers we the Cadet 9s with drivers starting from the age of 7. Local, Charlie Evans showed great pace early in the event along with Portland driver Ewan Anderson and Noah Enright. Evans took the win in heat 1 from Enright and Anderson while Noah Enright found additional speed in heats 2 and 3 to finish ahead of Evans and Anderson while Mitchell Burgemeister continued to improve. The final on Sunday got off to a flying start with kart contact between Enright and Evans in the early laps, with Anderson taking the lead by turn 3 followed by Burgemeister. From the moment Anderson hit the front he produced a faultless race, managing a steady pace and keeping the rest of the field at bay. Evans recovered well to persue the leader but was unable to make enough ground to challenge for the lead. The podium at the end of the 18 lap final saw Anderson take the victory ahead of Evans with Burgemeister rounding out the podium.
Cadet 12’s had the largest field of the weekend with Victorian youngster Jesse Lacey taking bragging rights early on in the weekend for heat one with Portland member Brockaln Parker and Adelaide local Leo Iannella all crossing the line within under .8 of a second. Xavier Avramides and Ben Holliday fought out the lead in Heat two with Parker again staying out of trouble securing third place. Iannella took the win in heat 3 followed closely by Lacey and Holliday setting up a must view final. Over the course of the 18 laps 5 different drivers all took a turn a t the front of the field. Brocklan Parker lead from the green light with Holliday, Toby Dvorak, Avramides and Lacey all sharing time at the front, also. After a slow start and dropping as low as 5th Lacey fought his way back through the battle packs to take the line honours, with Holliday and Dvorak finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
KA4 Junior Light, this year has produced some amazing racing, with the event drawing some quality drivers making up the field, with local Kai Allen setting a blistering pace early to take pole position. He converted that into a win in Heat one with Bronson Boult in hot pursuit followed by Kobi Williams. Heat 2 again saw Allen lead from the start of the race to finish ahead of a fast charging Matthew Domaschenz and Boult. Heat 3 Sunday morning was a repeat from Heat 1 with Allen, Boult and Williams finishing in that order. The final drew a good crowd to the fence with every driver in the field setting a fastest lap within 1 sec from each other. At the conclusion of the race Domaschenz and Williams were unable to catch Allen, who was victorious, collecting another accolade to his racing resume.
KA4 Junior Heavy was heavily fought out plenty of drivers all in contention for a win. Zaiden Barry took a win in Heat 1 followed by Joshua D’Ambrosio, local driver Keean Ferguson and Aaron Oliver. Oliver recovered well to take the win in Heat 2 ahead of D’Ambrosio, Barry, Ferguson and Bendigo diver Charlee Richardson. A new day on Sunday saw Barry, back at the front of the field to lead Riley Jabke across the line in front of a consistent D’Ambrosio. The all-important final saw Barry lead early before relinquishing the lead on lap 11 to a fast charging D’Ambrosio with Jabke earning the bottom step of the podium securing third. Oliver, Ferguson and Joshua Clay all fought out the following places.
KA3 Junior was a talent packed field with any one of 6 drivers capable of taking a win. Mount Gambier locals Bronson Boult, Jobe Stewart and Kai Allen were all setting a blistering pace with all three filling the first three positions after qualifying. Again the small margin of .268 of a second separated all 6 competitors with Ryan Morgan Emerson Harvey and Ruben Goodall ready to pounce should someone make a mistake. Results for race 1 went in favour of Boult with Allen and Harvey filling the top 3 positions. Race 2 went to Allen, Harvey and Morgan with Race 3 awarded to Boult Allen and Harvey. To find a spot at the fence was tough going for this final as the highly anticipated KA3 Juniors put on a show. Harvey saved his best for last, crossing the line ahead of Allen, Stewart, Morgan and Goodall.
KA3 Medium again drew a good sized field with Christopher Thomas setting a benchmark time in qualifying to lead Remo Luciani and a trio of Portland members in Scott King, Todd Chambers and Brad Anderson. After a recent run of good result local karter Lauren Ferguson, was also showing outstanding pace with a competitive Lap in qualifying starting off the third row of the grid. Luciani, Thomas and King finished heat one in that order with, Thomas Chambers and King mixing things up in heat 2. Sunday morning racing honours again went to Thomas ahead of King, Luciani, Chambers and Ferguson setting up a final showdown. With each drivers lap times being so close and consistant, none of the drivers were ever out of podium contention. As the flag dropped to conclude the race the field crossed the line as the qualified with Thomas victorious over Luciani, followed closely by King, Chambers, Anderson, Ferguson and Ayrton Creagh.
TAG Restricted Light provided plenty of on track action early with Derrick Rodgers making a successful return to the sport after many years break. Still on his Probationary Licence Rodgers didn’t mess about setting the fastest time in qualifying to secure pole. Less than a tenth behind was Todd Chambers with James Boden rounding out the top three positions. Heats one two and three all mirrored qualifying with Rodgers taking wins ahead of Chambers and Boden. Jarryd Berry, Daniel Linke and Jake MacKenzie produced some great racing over the course of the weekend swapping positions and hoping to capitalise on a mistake from the front runners. Faultless drives though, from Rodgers, Chambers and Boden saw them all finish in that order with Berry in fourth and Linke and McKenzie rounding out the field.
Phil Smith set a blistering pace in TAG 125 Medium on Saturday Morning qualifying and along with Daniel Boorman and Alex Baker filled the first three grid positions. Visiting drivers in John Ellis and Brett Buckley rounded out the top 5. Heat 1 saw Boorman take the lead on lap 10 to finish ahead of Baker and Smith. Heat 2 went to in favour of Smith and Heat 3 was won by Baker. With 3 heats and three different winners going into the 18 final it was truly anyone’s race to win. With the top three continually racing inches apart, it was Smith who was first to cross the line ahead of Boorman and Baker. John Ellis and Brett Buckley again rounded out the top 5 in what was truly spectacular to watch.
Amongst the non restricted classes, Tag 125 Heavy had some serious players all vying for that prestigious Black Plate on offer. Blake Mooney, Scott King, Brandon Stilwell and Leigh Cocker all qualified well with the four drivers leading the charge. Portland driver Scott King made his intentions known early with a win in heat 1 followed by Stillwell and Mooney, while honours in heat 2 went in favour of Mooney finishing ahead of Cocker and King. Sunday morning on a very grippy track King was back on the pace and took a good victory, with Mooney and Stillwell setting them up will good points for the final. King took an early lead before dropping back to third meanwhile Mooney had climbed to 2nd before suffering a DNF on lap 5. As the race concluded Stillwell had led for 14 of the 18 laps including the all-important final lap with King recovering to finish second and Cocker in third.
The final event wrapping up the weekends racing was TAG125 Light. Again a large field of potential winners gridded up to compete. In what was possible the closest contested racing of all the weekend the top 10 drivers were separated by a mere seven tenths of a second at the conclusion of qualifying. Jacob Dowson, Josh Denton, and local Morgan Feast made up the top 3 with another MGKC member, Shane Moreland starting off the third row of the grid after a 12 month break.
Heat 1 Dowson led from start to finish with Feast applying pressure followed by Denton. Saturday afternoon during heat 2 Feast used local track knowledge and secured a win in front of Dowson, while Moreland drove a brilliant race to finish third. Heat 3 saw Denton back amongst the lead pack winning from Dowson and Connor Farr. The final race of the weekend had the fence lines and grandstands full as the field lined up to greet the starter. Dowson took an early lead and Matthew Hall slipped into second followed by Denton. As the race unfolded Dowson went on to take a well-deserved victory as Josh Denton challenged on the run to the flag. Denton missing out by two hundredths of a second, with Morgan Feast finishing in a comfortable third place. Moreland just missed out on a top 5 result, and despite not driving competitively for over 12 months showed great pace and kart speed, amongst a highly talented field.
With the local kart racing season now concluded, a number of local drivers will still take the opportunity to race again in early December and compete for the 2018 Victorian Black Plate, this year to be held in Mildura. The Glenburnie Raceway will again come back to life in February with both club level racing and a Vintage Karts race meeting scheduled as the 2019 will unfold.