AWKC June Club Day KARTICLE, by Bailey Dixon
Throughout the early stages of a cold and windy race morning, with a constant drizzle permeating the track, the Albury-Wodonga Kart Club racers had to push hard to find their groove.
A chance for the karters to gain some wet practice on a slippery track, the morning proved a difficult challenge for drivers and mechanics alike.
The flat-out corner of turn 10 was a standout feature, as it caught many karters unaware and sent them into some dramatic spins. But as the racing progressed, and the drivers improved, slowly but surely the wild winter weather abated.
Was it enough for slick tyres to go on the kart? In heat 1 of the Cadet 9s, this proved to be the question of the hour, with a difficult strategy call to be made. Noah Dixon felt confident in choosing the slicks, but while the track was mostly dry, he was unable to manage the same pace as leader James Brett. The next heat the track was dry, and all the Cadet 9s were running the new YDS compound slicks. James drove to victory in heat 1 from the tyre strategy, Noah took heat 2, then James again took heat 3 after an incident in turn 10 that left Noah bogged in the grass and victory in the final, taking the win in his class.
The Cadet 12s were a different story. Amuck in qualifying, Ryan Taborsky failed to get out on track, while Blake Kain suffered mechanical issues that saw him unable to participate. Heat 1 saw Anthony Alessi claim first position over Blake Tracey and hot-on-his-heels Eddy Cooper; but heat 2 saw Anthony bogged in the grass on the side of turn 10, allowing Blake to take the top-spot. Starting from pole in heat 3, Blake fended off Anthony for another first-place – by just 3 hundredths of a second – before going on to win the final, and thus, the top-step of the podium for the day. To celebrate, the two friends Blake and Anthony demonstrated just how stomach-churning a shoey can be on the podium, using their muddy racing boots and a can of coke. Eddy Cooper summed it up perfectly in his podium speech: “one last thing… I’m not doing a shoey.”
The Juniors had something of a calmer day compared to the Cadets; at the start of heat 2, Piper Muller had a spin coming into turn 1. Participating in his first ever club-day, Ashton McPherson undertook some strong braking to evade Piper that sent him backwards into a small tyre-wall blocking an alternate track route. Both drivers stayed on track and kept going to take the lead-two spots in that heat after leaders Toby Robins and Flynn Twyford spun off at the exit of turn 10, two laps apart. On the other hand, heats 1 and 3 as well as the final saw Toby and Flynn out in front with an average gap of 14 seconds to Piper and Ashton behind. This in turn led Flynn to claim the coveted first place in KA4 Junior Light and to tie with Toby for overall victory, making it Flynn’s first win.
In the TaG 125 Light and Vic Combined Light class the racing was both incredibly close and particularly thrilling. Heat 1 saw Daniel Taborsky desperately fending-off the higher-powered kart of Jackson Griffith for fourth place, while heat 2 had Daniel fighting with Mark Chaston for sixth. It was a rather eventful day for Mr Taborsky, who went on to claim second in Vic Combined Light behind Herman Van Ree and ahead of Ron Lonsdale. Yet it was heat 3 where the action really kicked in; from Alex Cattle in fourth to Mark Chaston in seventh there were a mere two seconds separating the four adult racers, all of whom lusted after fourth position. Cue awesome racing.
Out on track, the Vic Combined Medium boys had their own challenges. Heat 1 saw Rob Mullavey, Jason Gambold and Corey Drummond eagerly fighting for position over the course of several laps, bunching to within inches at the corners and slipstreaming to stay close on the straights. Devastatingly Corey lost grip on the exit of turn 4 in lap 6 and went careening backwards into the grass, putting out the Stop signs on that epic battle. Further on in the day, Mr Gambold put in many purple laps through heats 2 and 3 in order to catch race-leader Stephen O’hare. Heat 3 had Jason a mere 2 tenths behind Stephen at the chequered flag, while the final had him a mere 2 tenths ahead.
What was shaping up to be a cold and wet day full of miserable weather transformed into a fantastic winter club day that kept all AWKC members entertained. Now however, all the racers – at least those abstaining from the fun of the Morwell Golden Power Series on the 13th and 14th of July – can hang up their wet and muddy boots and retire to their warm and cosy households.
We’ll see everyone at the July club day, which being reverse racing direction, promises to shake-up the racing and make everyone feel just a little bit backwards.