Saturday August 31 was Australian Kart Racers Alliance 6th Round of the Club Championship at their Wollongong Kart Raceway.
The weather man was giving mixed predictions during the leadup with possible rain and showers but couldn’t have been further wrong. It was perfectly dry all day with the Sun showing signs of Spring just around the corner.
The karters were treated with heaps of practise up until a 1pm start.
Order of the day was 2 x 10 lap heats, Pre-Final of 15 laps and 20 lap Final and the obligatory Butchers Picnic final race for all.
With the customary Presentation of Trophies and a glorious spread of FREE food, drink and Beers that is seen at only 5 star Corporate Boxes, the drivers and crews really got spoilt from the Catering Team of Vonny and Tara.
The Juniors started proceedings and it was little James Petkovski that showed he was on fire winning all heats and Prefinal with Kyle Morse following home in 2nd in all 3 races. Jack Wallace and Taylar Disaro completed the top 3 in the heats and Prefinal.
In the Final these young drivers put on a great show. Petkovski got the jump at the start but the pack behind was so tight the places changed continuously. Last round winner Nicholas Ricci got amongst it with Seb D’Amico joining in the fun and the battle was on.
With the fight ranging behind him Petkovski managed to break away a little and stay clear of the pack. But behind the fight for 2nd was heating up. Ricci went for a big move down the inside into turn 1 and speared off the track allowing Morse into 2nd but it was Wallace who was sitting behind waiting for the chance and he jumped at it and now in 3rd and soon made it 2nd. Petkovski reeled off the laps for a solid win ahead of Wallace and Morse followed by a recovering Ricci, first of 3 female drivers Disaro in 5th then Sharleece Coan, Imogen Radburn, and TJ.
National Class had 2 newbies, Josh Woods and Mathew Lightfoot. For new to karting Josh was a born star finishing in the top 3 all day and leading a heat for 80% of the race until Kyle McPherson changed the order. McPherson and Jake Greentree shared the heat and PreFinal wins and it the Final they both went at it hammer and tongs but it was McPherson that prevailed on top this time. Woods continued a great day with 3rd and making the podium while other newbie Lightfoot was content and happy just to stay on the track – so impressed with his first outing in a Kart it was only a matter of days and Woods bought himself a kart. When you make it easy for people to get involved in our sport they do …………. Once again the AKRA formula works wonders.
TAG class put on a good show with the Appel brothers shining bright in the Light class with Scott taking the win ahead of Nick Puddach who had been getting faster every month and now a solid top 3 karter and younger brother James Appel rounding out the final podium spot.
In TAG heavies John Guest was a surprise in more ways than one. In the pre-final Guest came screaming up the inside for the start and the kart just wouldn’t stop so Guest took the agricultural line and moved off onto the grass passing the whole field before coming to a stop in the gravel trap. Could just imagine all the shock from the other drivers as Guest came screaming past on the grass then sliding in-front of the whole field. Guest recovered to continue but the biggest surprise was Guest came good finals time to take the win in Heavies but later was disqualified for being too old, as passports weren’t invented back then so he could validate appropriate age………..So David Patch took home the spoils in Heavies followed by Craig Wynn.
Clubman class turned out to be a cracker of a race. A young Chris Green was nursing sore ribs from a dirt speedway outing and at times needed help from drivers to just get out of the kart after the race.
But after having a few extra concrete pills to harden up he got onto the business at hand.
Green’s worse result all year has been a 4th place a couple of months ago and on this day he had the likes of Allan Price and Chris’s protegee Aaron Flamish to contend with.
Green and Price shared the heat wins one a piece but it was Price who came trumps in the Pre-Final but Finals time it was Green that got to an early lead and drove the perfect John Bowe driving line to keep Price behind.
Price had once got past Green in a brilliant outside move at turn 1 and held the outside line all the way upto turn 2 giving him then the inside line. Green got back in-front soon after and so Price tried the outside turn 1 move again and this time they ever so lightly touched wheels and set Price into the end of straight kitty litter. Price managed to keep momentum going through the gravel trap and back on to the track and recovered brilliantly and just got past late in the race Darren Watkins for the last podium spot. But out front it was now Flamish harassing his Master “Sir Green” and the apprentice nearly had the lead a couple of times but just couldn’t get pass Green’s Good Ol 55 kart.
In Clubman Heavy it was Andrew Wood who was in control all day. Wood’s led the Heavy pack home across the line 1st in all races with Phil Trott recovering from a Pre-Final DNF to claim 2nd in the Final with another new karter Troy Omaye picking up the final podium spot.