by Mitchell McLellan, MMS Commentating
Matthew Hillyer and Jake Santalucia were the standout drivers over the weekend at the Focus on Furniture Junior Top Guns at Oakleigh with both winning both rounds in their respective classes.
Cadet 9 was a close battle on night 1 with current state champion Jensen Marold taking pole position over rival for the weekend Cooper Stapleton. Noah Dixon, Lochlan Farrell and Maxim Kirwan round out your top 5. Marold and Stapleton each took a heat win setting up a great final with Stapleton taking out round 1 in the final. Round 2 came around and Jensen Marold was again on pole from Stapleton but day 2 was all about Jensen Marold! The state champion took both heats and the final in a dominant display to take round 2 and the series. Stapleton stayed strong to finishing second in the overall series with Lochlan Farrell rounding out your podium.
Cadet 12 C & D
Cadet 12 C & D was all about Hunter Salvatore on night 1 with the young driver taking pole position and all three race wins! While it was a dominant display, Salvatore had challenges throughout the day from Joanne Ciconte, Anthony Alessi, Aydin Karadagli and Bradley Majman setting up an interesting Saturday and second round.
Saturday came around and Ciconte made a statement putting herself on pole position. Heat 1 came around and Salvatore again took the win all but looking as though the championship was over. Ciconte fought back hard to take heat 2 and with any of five karts being able to win on the last lap and a lap kart getting involved in the finish, Ciconte was able to come through and score the win and the championship over an unlucky Salvatore. Giancarlo Artho raced consistently all weekend to round out the podium in the championship.
Cadet 12 was all about the Jake Santalucia show! Santalucia was able to take both finals in pretty dominant fashion but didn’t have it all his own way in the heats. Santalucia and challenger Angus Hall took a heat win each on each day but come final time on Friday night, Santalucia took the win by over 5 seconds! Come night 2, Santalucia had challenges from Hall and Toby Dvorak but was able to hold his nerve and take both round wins in the series. Hall and Dvorak rounded out your podium with Hunter Salvatore and Cadel Ambrose just missing the podium after being competitive all weekend.
KA4 Junior Light C & D
Chloe Potter put herself on pole position on day 1 over challengers Mason Kelly and Liam O’donnell. O’donnel and Potter shared the heat wins with Potter looking the one to beat after taking a three second win in heat 2. Enter Mason Kelly, the young son of former Bathurst winner Todd Kelly, who went to the front and was always able to hold margin over Chloe Potter, taking out the opening round and providing three different winners on night 1!
Day 2 came around and Mason Kelly again looking strong taking pole and both heat wins with Potter, Jake Krasna and Queenslander Nathan Brien doing the chasing. In a hard fought final Nathan Brien had enough pace to take the ascendance and the win and take out round 2. Mason Kelly came home runner up all but securing him the championship from Krasna and Brien rounding out your podium.
KA4 Junior Light
Joe Fawcett and Marcus Pisani was the battle of round 1 each taking a heat win after Fawcett put it on pole. Matthew Domaschenz was hot on their heels setting up a fantastic final! Fawcett, in a tight battle, was able to take out night 1 over Pisani leaving a lot to be desired for day 2.
Day 2 and Marcus Pisani put on a clinic by taking pole position and winning all three races taking round 2 and making himself the Junior Top Guns champion. Matthew Domaschenz again fought on well with the former state champion finishing runner up with Nathan Brien rounding out your top 3.
KA4 Junior Heavy C & D
Billy Bishop took first blood in a tricky qualifying session taking pole position over Riley Jabke, Toby Waghorn and Liam Pollard. Once racing started, Riley Jabke dominated the rest of the round winning all three races and winning by a large margin putting on a display under lights.
Jabke resumed his domination in round 2 with both heat wins going his way. When he was looking likely to make a clean sweep disaster struck when his kart wouldn’t start on the grid taking him out of contention! Waghorn, Pollard and Bishop all battled for the win with Waghorn taking an unlikely victory. Despite the DNS, Jabke had earned enough points to stay ahead to win the series. With Waghorn, Pollard and Bishop all having a DNF in heat 2, Maximus Chudasko come through for second on points ahead of Waghorn.
KA4 Junior Heavy
Joel Johnson and current SA state cup champion Josh D’ambrosio battled hard on Friday each taking a heat win with Johnson having the box seat for the final after qualifying on pole. In the race of night 1 both had leads of the race with Johnson making the race winning move on the final lap in the infield to take round 1 and night 1.
Johnson again took pole and both heat wins on day 2 with D’ambrosio challenging hard setting up another epic final! With the two battling away, Riley Jabke entered the battle after setting blistering pace. Jabke, in a surprise and unlikely victory, took the win over D’ambrosio and Johnson in third but taking the championship.
KA3 Junior was nothing short of the Matthew Hillyer show after the local ace took pole position on both days and took all six race wins across the weekend scoring maximum points in a dominant display. Bailey Collins was extremely close in heat 2 on Saturday and was able to run second all of Saturday to take second in the championship over front row starter from Friday, Jobe Stewart.
Congratulations to all competitors throughout the weekend on some fantastic racing under lights to start off 2019!