Nathan Chalmers won an action packed A-Main final to take out the Great Southern Slam for 2019.
A field of 32 Open 100 class drivers was whittled down to the top 20 for the 20-lap feature, footage of which is below.
In the lead up to the Plus Fitness Great Southern Slam, 32 100 Opens made it to a very cold Great Southern Kart Club on Saturday with anticipation of some high screaming 100 Open racing which would turn out to be some of the best dirt track racing seen at the venue ever.
- lots of photos from the event HERE
A dedication to a couple of lost family members from two Karting families started the day, with Dolby & Cooper Davis taking to the track for a few laps & some silence & the entire 100 Open field lined up along the side of the track to pay their respects. It was a fitting tribute & an impact start to a days racing.
The Slam field took to the track with 6 hot lap sessions to help the guys get set for the day on a very tacky GSKC surface, a few issues for drivers but what would start a pattern for the day with other drivers chipping in to help everyone get back on the track.
6 high packed heat races were next on the schedule & with full fields, an outstanding track surface, the racing was in a word “Insane”..
Kartmart Heat 1 would see the 67 Lightning Kart/Kartmart Parilla of Luke Hughes take the win in an epic battle with current A2 Joe Chalmers, Chalmers in the BRK who chose to run his 23 he started with in juniors pushed Hughes all the way for the final 4 laps but Luke didn’t make a mistake and the seasoned Hughes took the win by inches..
Heat 2 brought to you by the GSKC saw the countries in form dirt kart driver & current A3 Joel Ettridge running a BRK/Kart Factory Parilla take a convincing win & make the rest of the field stand up & take notice that he was here for business.
Kartmart Heat 3 gave the fans an battle and the one standing tall in the end was the Sole Kustom Kart/Parilla package of Steve Clarkson taking the win, Clarkson stood up into 100s early last season & Clarkson again has proved he belongs in 100s.
The GSKC fourth heat was one for the rookies with 18yo & current A1 in KT Lights Nathan Chalmers in his BRK/Morton Motorsport Parilla taking a dominant win from mid pack, “Mongo” who was running the #4 as a tribute to Big Bad Bert for the weekend was super fast all night & gained big ground during the heats, one of his heats he came from P15 to P2.
Heat 5 proudly supported by Kartmart would see big brother “Smokin” Joe running a BRK/Morton Motorsport Parilla & Rookie sensation Aron Sharp in a BRK/Kart Factory Parilla, the two checked out & the battle for the 4 laps was intense, back in the pack Ettridge was chasing the leaders down, but Sharp & Chalmers would eventually put some ground between them & 3rd place, Chalmers tried everything to rattle Sharp but he wouldn’t break then on the last lap Smokin Joe had to pull something special out to get past Sharp to win the heat, Sharp had arrived & he would be great all night.
GSKC brought you the final heat of the night & had a Slam first timer “TC” Tom Callaghan show the 100 Open world he’s just not there to make up numbers, he drove to a dominant win in his BRK/TM, Callaghan running his first open event in the field is showing he will be a force in the next phase of his Karting career.
With all the qualifying heats done the top 20 had been set, next the BGH Motorsports pole shuffle would hit the track in what has become a tradition for the Slam, the big mover was Callaghan who jumped 3 spots from his starting position to end up on the front row with BGH Motorsports pole shuffle winner Joel Ettridge winning the shuffle and having the choice of position 1 or 2 in the Plus Fitness Great Southern Slam A Main final.
A new inception to the Slam in 2019 was the CME New Recruitment dash, a race for all the 100 Open drivers who did not compete in a 100 Open blue ribbon event at GSKC in 2018 & the first 4 spots on the grid were filled by rookies, Callaghan, Davis, Wells & Sharpe, the winner of the CME dash received $150 cash from CME Boilermaking services, the race was received great & the 100 rookies were keen to get on the track & race for that prize, Callaghan would take the victory and set him self up for the feature.
With the top 8 set, the B Main would roll out on the track with a full field of 20 all trying to secure anyone of the top 12 spots to make the Slam A Main, a lot of names in this field you may have expected to be in the top 8, but that didn’t stop the action anywhere chasing positions, a second corner incident saw the drop out of the come back Bain, Daniel have to watch from the infield, while Matt Bain the rest of the field crossed up the Clevage & into Wardy’s for the first time coming out in the top 3 would be Mayhew Bain in his Apache/Parilla, followed by Brad greets & the #14 of Brandon Bain in his BRK/Kartmart parilla.
The field of 20 was set for the Plus Fitness Great Southern Slam A Main for 20 laps.
With the cold air setting in with a temperature of 2 degrees the A Main field set out for their rolling laps, I looked across the fence & I couldn’t see a spare spot for viewing, the fire pit area was full, pit fences & cars loads of people on the western hill, it was so good to see so many come to see the final 20 laps of the Plus Fitness Great Southern Slam Ettridge who had the choice of the front row chose the side with Callaghan on the outside & the Chalmers brothers taking up the second row, Ettridge got the jump into the bus stop and took the lead on lap 1, early causalities were Brad Geerts in his #82 Lightning/Motorn Motorsport/Parilla who got turned around on the first corner, the four in the lead group got out to a commanding lead by lap 6 and gapped Luke Hughes who was in 5th place with Davis close behind him, next to go out was Jason McNally who suffered mechanical drams & had to go infield. Back up the front Nathan Chalmers slid Callaghan for 2nd & made a similar move on Ettridge in the same corner for the lead & held onto that for 3 laps till Etheridge returned serve in Wardy’s corner to take the lead it back, while Smokin Joe & TC Callaghan were fighting it out for 3rd & 4th, Mongo tried to get Etheridge back in the Bus Stop but pushed at the wrong time allowing Callaghan back into 2nd, Mongo managed to keep 3rd from Smokin Joe who was now starting to put serious pressure on the number 4 machine, while all this dog fighting was going on, Hughes, Krause, Sharp & Davis were gaining on the leaders.
With 8 to go the tides would turn with Callaghan pressing going into 1 and making contact with Ettridge forcing him out, stewards would later deal with the issue (There will be no social media warfare on this, its dealt with & done, respect the competitors) but in the mean time both the Chalmers boys had to take evasive action to avoid contact with Mongo getting the lead back again going into the bus stop & Callaghan & Smokin drag racing for 2nd, Callaghan would come up in front going into the Clevage & Smokin Joe in 3rd, Hughes made huge ground on the lead group after this and he would push followed by Krause & Sharp.
Back up the front the race became more intense with Mongo, Callaghan & Joe all dicing inches apart with none of them making a mistake, some “rubbin is racin” was now going on between these 2 rookies as they wound the laps down, Nathan Chalmers would punch the air taking the flag, Callaghan crossing the line in 2nd & Smokin Joe in 3rd in the best 100 Open event this individual has ever seen. After the event the stewards relegated Callaghan one spot moving Joe up to 2nd, making it a 1/2 for Team BCM Motorsport & Nathan & Joe Chalmers.
This race has a future on the national calendar, it’s growing every year with numbers over 30 ever race so far, can’t thank Adrian & Ange Haywood from Plus Fitness enough for their belief & total support throughout this entire process, with out them I don’t believe this event would be as big as it has become, to the committee of the Great Southern Kart Club for their help & support I can’t thank you enough, the long long list of marketing partners that have wanted to be apart of this event from its inception, with some already approaching me to secure their spot next year, it’s grown into something special, we trialled the live feed, had some issues with power& then the internet but overall we had a crack, can’t thank Ryan from Demand iT Now enough for his efforts & energy leading into venture, he tried everything he could to over come some issues & I think he did a cracker job.
Lastly to my awesome Wife & Family who let me do these crazy ideas, it takes a lot of our family time, our business time, but I’m given 150% of support each & every time & I love them dearly for that.
To the 100 Open drivers, I saw something on the weekend that I have known is always there but never seen it rise till last Saturday, drivers helping drivers, crew helping crew, owners helping everyone as any 100 Open driver will know they go or they don’t but when things go wrong to see so many people helping other people in the pits was rewarding for me & the exact reason I set this race up, entertainment & comradeship.
Thank you to everyone that helped us out, Kylie T, Steven, Warren, Pete, Jason, Gareth, Joel, Joanne, Billy, Nikki, Duncan, Leo, Stuart, Dolby, Lydia, Stacey, Jacob, Helen, Chappo, Leanne, Harvey, Luke, John H hope I didn’t forget anyone.
To everyone quite simply, Thank You.
Thank you to our amazing sponsors who jumper over anything to help & be apart of this event, Adrian & Ange Haywood Plus Fitness halls Head, Colie & Margaret River, Squid from CME Boilermaking, Stewart & Annette from Chamberlains Auto Electrics, Kim & Dolby from hearth house Mandurah, Brad & Billy from BGH Motorsports, Luke & Carolyn from Motoron Motorsport/Meteor Pistons/Strike Products, Harvey & Megan from kartmart Welshpool, Mark, Michael & Jamie from Lightning karts, Daren & Paul from Devil karts & Edwards Wheels, Kylie from Krewwear Inc, Shane from Austens Pressure Cleaning, Mat & Lyssa from Manta Tiling, Matt From Dominos Spearwood & Applecross, Andrew, Spencer, Deririk from Kuta Townhouses in Bali, Duncan Rosling from Slide by Side Towning, Morgan from Drive Media Performance there are so many more people that came up to offer help, support & products I can not thank you enough for wanting to all be apart of this great event.
Contingency Award Winners:
CME Boilermaking Dash: Tom Callaghan
Krewwear Inc Lucky 7s: Cooper Davis
BGH Motorsports Pole: Joel Ettridge
Krewwear In. best Presented: Tom Callaghan
Austen’s Pressure Cleaning Most Laps led: Joel Ettridge
Edwards Wheels Junior Mentor 1st: Elise Morton
Devil Karts Junior Mentor 2nd: Marcus Glazebrook
Devil Karts Junior Mentor 3rd: Oscar Mcintyre
Devil Karts Junior Mentor 4th: Sienna Glazebrook
Devil Karts Junior Mentor 5th: Noah Bain
Chamberlains Auto Electrics Hard Luck: Jye Chapman
Hearthhouse Mandurah Drivers Driver: Joel Ettridge
HearthHouse Mandurah Hard Charger: Steve Clarkson
Manta Tiling Volunteer award: Steven Forrester
Kuta Townhouses Award: Jack Tarendetti
Meteor Pistons/Morton Motorsport/Strike: 1st Nathan Chalmers
Meteor Pistons/Morton Motorsport/Strike: 2nd Joe Chalmers
Meteor Pistons/Morton Motorsport/Strike: 3rd Tom Callaghan
Lightning Karts 4th place: Luke Hughes
Lightning Karts 5th place: Adrian Krause
Lightning Karts 6th place: Aaron Sharp