by Mitchell McLellan, MMS Commentating
The 2019 Retro Karting Australia Oceania Championships got underway in a big way at the opening round of the four round series at Hume International Raceway on the weekend.
Under extremely hot conditions on both days, karters were trying to put their best foot forward to start their championship!
Glenn Riddell in kart 1, the defending Australian Formula 100 Light champion, got his championship defense off to the best start possible by putting his entry on pole position in dominant fashion. Pulse Tuning stable mates Steven Riddell, former Australian champions Matt Wall and Nick Agland locked out the top four starters.
Agland aggressively took the fight to the top three in heat 1, taking the lead in the opening few laps and holding on to win heat 1. Current Australian champion Riddell took the top spot back in heats 2 and 3, setting up a fascinating battle for the final with Wall setting fastest laps and looking to have the pace to challenge the defending champion.
In the final, Riddell jumped away cleanly with Wall going back in the field. Riddell had broken out to a comfortable margin with Wall getting back into second spot and looking to make inroads to the leader. Just when Wall was starting to make in roads, a broken chain cost the former champ any chance. Riddell was able to hold his cool and start his championship defense in the best possible way winning the final over family member Steven Riddell and Nick Angland rounding out the podium.
F100 Heavy was another great battle in the final between Daniel Richert and Jarrod Bowler.
Joshua Pontello took the spoils on Saturday afternoon putting his entry on pole position ahead of Richert and Bowler with defending Australian champion Gus Van Velzen down in position seven.
Bowler dominated heat 1 and 2 with Richert striking trouble in heat 2 with an engine failure. Bowler lead away in the pre-final but everyone was watching Daniel Richert charge his way through the field from position 11, getting to position 2 by half race distance and going in chase of our race leader. Bowler held on putting himself off pole for the final with Richert alongside.
Richert got the all important get away at the start of the final, jumping Bowler with the pole sitter going back to as low as fourth spot of the start. Richert opened up the margin with Bowler getting back to second with this time he being the chaser. Bowler threw everything he had at the margin getting within 0.3 of a second, but Richert held on to take the opening round from Bowler with Saturday pole sitter Pontello rounding out the podium.
Clubman Pro saw a dominant performance in both finals by Clubman Light driver Reif Corbett and Clubman Heavy driver Ben Savage.
Corbett dominated heat 1 but had a DNF in heat 2 putting him back in the field for the pre-final. Corbett, in one of the drives of the day, stormed through the field in a close intense finish with Nathan Scicluna taking the victory and putting himself off the front row for the final.
Corbett didn’t look back after the second corner drama took Scicluna out of contention, winning by over ten seconds to Paul Gallo and karting returnee Melinda Price.
Savage was untouchable in Heavy, taking all four race wins in dominant fashion! Savage got the jump off the start and when contenders Aaron Jackson and Stephen Gough were taken out of contention, Savage was able to drive away to a big win. Paul Mckinnon was able to come home in the runner up position in second with Paul Thompson rounding out the podium.
The next round of the Retro Karting Australia series will take place at Lincoln County Raceway in Dubbo, NSW.