Bundaberg driver Troy Loeskow got his 2019 SP Tools Australian Kart Championship campaign underway in the best possible fashion in Ipswich, Queensland on Sunday afternoon, taking his Ricciardo Kart to a dominant 5.1 second victory.
Loeskow got away best from pole position in the KZ2 final ahead of fellow Queenslander, Chris Hays (BirelART) and then proceeded to dominate. Loeskow cited an engine change to a Vortex six-speed KZ2 gearbox motor ahead of this weekendas a critical factor that got him to the top step of the podium for the first time since round two of the 2017 Championship.
Hays, who had been the man to beat throughout the weekend had no answer for the Ricciardo Kart in the 25 lap final, despite himself dominating Sunday morning’s fourth heat. Regardless, it was a solid haul of points for the Gold Coaster.
Gladstone’s Jason Faint withstood a number of challenges to place his SodiKart on the podium. His suitors throughout the race included a fired up Kye Cavedon, who had his best run for TWM Praga finishing fourth and Scuderia PCR international, Mattia Vita – who had a weekend long battle with Faint and in the end, he didn’t finish after a late race dust up with BirelART’s Sam Houston.
All the spoils remained with Loeskow though, who’s performance is one that team boss, Daniel Ricciardo would be proud to emulate come March 17 in Melbourne at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
KZ2 highlights clip
Another famous team boss to have a great day at the opening round was James Courtney, who was on hand in Ipswich. His expanded JC Kart team yielded a win and a small piece of history in Cadet 9.
Queenslander, Patty Buckley took his first ever AKC round win in the JC Kart – in the process seeing he and his father Patrick, becoming the first father/son combination to have won a round of the CIK/AKC multi-round Championship in Australia. Patrick won a round of the Championship in the Intercontinental A class in 1993.
Buckley had a strong fight with a number of competitors, including weekend long pace man Ky Burke (Energy) and James Cittolin. Cittolin was lucky to not collect fellow front-runner, James Anagnostiadis – who speared across the racetrack in front of Cittolin mid-way through the 16 lap final.
Courtney’s team also scored a podium through Jai Brown who finished second in KA3 Senior.
Jack Bell, who had been dominant in KA3 since the start of proceedings on Saturday, got through for the win in his Tony Kart Australia entry. He survived a four kart freight train that was tightly bunched for the entire distance.
Bell eventually got through to win from Brown with Oscar Priest taking his Boost Mobile kart to third placing just in front of five time Australian Champion, Matthew Waters and Emerson Harvey – grandson of Bathurst 1000 champion John Harvey – the best result the recently turned senior driver has secured at an AKC event.
Ipswich Kart Club local, Luke Pink secured his first Australian Kart Championship round win in the elite junior category, KA2. Pink dominated the weekend, scoring maximum points through winning every heat race throughout the weekend and then going on to win the final in his Lauxes Products Praga Kart.
Pink took the win by over four seconds from Rush Performance FA Kart driver, Christian Mansell. Mansell put together a solid case for his Championship tilt showing pace throughout the weekend. South Australian Reuben Goodall scored his first AKC podium in his DR Kart, getting the best of a spirited battle with Tom Williamson Motorsport driver, Fletcher Harris and Sydneysider, Beau Pronesti. These results are provisional, pending the outcome of an appeal following post race technical inspection.
Victorian Hugh Barter couldn’t have got his junior racing career underway in any better fashion in KA4 Junior.
The former Cadet star was forced to start from 11th on the grid in the final after a bodywork infringement eliminated him from yesterday’s first heat. He scythed his way forward to the group of top runners – aided by them swapping positions on several occasions.
Barter picked his way to the lead and once getting past Kobi Williams – who had won every race throughout the weekend to that point – Barter pulled away to score the win – timely given his recent switch to the AWC Motorsport Academy. Williams had one of his best weekends ever finishing second and Nicholas Sacco got his Championship underway well finishing third.
The chase for a fourth consecutive TaG 125 Australian Title is well underway for Brendan Nelson who took an easy win.
Nelson was never bothered at any point throughout the weekend, winning each heat race and the SP Tools Final easily in his KAOS Karting FA Kart.
Current Australia #2, Cody Brewczynski took his Velocity Kart Shop Compkart to second place, while Tyler Howard completed a very solid weekend with a third placing.
After crossing the line third – DPE Kart Technology Arrow pilot, Brad Jenner was handed the win in X30 after post race investigations.
The race got underway in dramatic fashion when front row starter, Pierce Lehane was turned around before even getting to turn one. Entering the first turn 100 metres behind the capacity 40-kart field, Lehane staged a thrilling charge through the field and got as high as 14th before stopping on track.
At the front the race was on between the top runners. TWM’s Jaiden Pope had an opportunity open up to take the lead from third and he took it, passing two karts entering turn one. He then pulled away to cross the line first, however post race was penalised and dropped to third – as was Marc Tulloch, handing Jenner the win over Cameron Longmore.
In the Cadet 12 category, which featured more than 70 competitors, Emerald’s Carter Mobbs emerged on top in his Mobbs Engineering Compkart. He took a narrow win over defending Australian Champion, Harry Arnett in his A1 Engines Kosmic and Jesse Lacey – who secured his podium on the very last lap.
Lacey got the third placing after a pass on Jack Wells – all of the top four shared time in the top spot during a thrilling final.
Thus completes the first round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship, presented by Castrol EDGE.
The next round will be conducted at the Newcastle Kart Club in New South Wales over the weekend of March 29-31.