by Andrew Hayes, AHR Media
The DPE Victorian Country Series grand finale at the Ballarat Kart Club has proven to be a great success, with 202 entrants taking to 675 metre Haddon Park Raceway over the two days of competition.
As has been the story of the full series, drivers and crews battled the elements with many classes encountering a range of different conditions throughout the weekend.
Most classes were still in the balance leading into the final round, and several class’s point scores were settled in the finals on Sunday.
The Ballarat club hosted the event well and did their utmost to make the weekend an enjoyable one; and to raise the stakes some truly unique trophies were up for grabs for the podium places on Sunday.
- Class-by-class reports & results below
- scroll to the bottom for photo gallery and series points
- full results on speedhive HERE
- more photos on Pace Images’ Facebook – Saturday HERE, Sunday HERE
KA3 JUNIOR (10 Entries)
KA3 Junior was first up on track and was as evenly matched as ever. The first pole position of the weekend was taken by Ethan Brown, his time of 30.551 adding to his pole from Hamilton. Series combatants Bronson Boult and Jaxon Johnstone filled second and third, ahead of Will Harper and Portland Winner Ethan Bray. Pole to eighth separated by just three tenths of a second.
The opening corner of the opening heat would see drama, as front row starters Brown and Boult, along with Harper and Jake Santalucia ended up parked in the woodchips after a frenzied start. Johnstone was the main benefactor as he cruised to a comfortable win in tricky conditions. A wildcard addition to the field, Zack Thompson moved from ninth to second to prove his credentials. Bray crossed the line in third, but was relegated to fifth post-race, promoting Riley Jabke and Sam Gibson to third and fourth.
FASTEST LAP: Zack Thompson 31.994
Heat two had all the non-finishers from the opening stanza back in the game, but again it was Johnstone who excelled to win, his weekend looking promising after being quick in all conditions. Boult worked his way back to the front to clinch second, ahead of a consistent Thompson. Harper and Brown rounded out the top five, Brown going faster than his qualifying time to snare the fastest lap.
FASTEST LAP: Ethan Brown 30.464
Johnstone banked more crucial points in the rain effected third heat, taking another win in conditions that have served him well all year. Thompson was out on lap one with an errant wheel, whilst Boult’s woes continued as he dropped well down the field to seventh. Bray and Santalucia stepped up to the plate in the conditions to finish second and third, Gibson and Brown.
FASTEST LAP: Jake Santalucia 36.433
The series hung in the balance as the final rolled out in good conditions, and once again it was Johnstone who made the early running. On lap four Thompson moved to the lead, with Jabke and Boult, who had charged from seventh going with him. From there Boult methodically moved to the lead, and by lap nine he was on his way to a convincing second consecutive round win. Thompson continued to impress on his way to second, whilst Johnstone got the better of Jabke on the final lap to finish third. Rounding out the top five was again was the pole man Brown.
FASTEST LAP: Bronson Boult 30.582
1st Bronson Boult (MGKC), 2nd Zack Thompson (GOUL), 3rd Jaxon Johnstone (WBOOL)
1st Jaxon Johnstone (WBOOL), 2nd Bronson Boult (MGKC), 3rd Ethan Brown (GKCV), 4th Isaac Woodhouse (GKCV), 5th Ethan Bray (GKCV)
VICTORIAN COMBINED MASTERS (17 Entries)
Phil Smith has been the man to beat all year long in the hotly contested Masters class, and again set the benchmark in qualifying (31.330) to lead all comers. In fact only three drivers have won a Masters round this year, Ash Mitchell and Peter Gigis being the other two, and they were next in the order in second and third. Matt Crane and Phil Stradbrook also looked swift in fourth and fifth.
Mitchell jumped Smith at the start of the opening heat and looked to be on his way to opening his account for the weekend, but after also having to overcome Gigis in the middle of the race, Smith snatched the win from Mitchell on the final circulation. The top three, including Gigis in third, was covered by just a second at the flag. Crane and Stradbrook retained their position of the best of the rest, to round out the top five.
FASTEST LAP: Phil Smith 31.490
Smith went lights to flag in heat two, strengthening his already welded on grip on top spot in the series. Mitchell and Gigis staged an enthralling battle in the front half of the race, changing positions repeatedly, before a move on the penultimate lap saw Mitchell lock into second and Gigis slip to fifth. Mitchell got to the back of Smith to harass him in the later stages, getting mega drive off the final turn, only to come up three thousands of second short. Greg Ord made every post a winner to move from seventh to third, but unquestionably the drive of the race belonged to Vern Kranz, charging from fourteenth to fourth.
FASTEST LAP: Peter Gigis 31.637
A wet track greeted drivers for the third heat, held on Sunday morning. No surprises that Smith was still the man to beat, taking a calculated win in the wet conditions. Mitchell held down second for the majority of the journey, but was overhauled by wet weather specialist Andrew Stubbs in the closing stages and had to settle for third. Local hero John Page finally got in his groove to move up to fourth, dragging Leon Forrest with him, Forrest rounding out the top five.
FASTEST LAP: Phil Smith 36.884
The final race of the masters’ 2019 VCS was a cracker, with the top three of Smith, Mitchell and Gigis putting on a spectacular performance. Smith led early and looked to have the measure of his rivals, but the action started to sizzle mid race as Mitchell took over the lead, shortly before Gigis took over the front running. Smith worked his way ahead of Mitchell with four laps remaining and proceeded to throw everything at Gigis, who aggressively defended the lead. At the drop of the chequer it was Gigis taking the win, ahead of Smith and Mitchell in a classic. Forrest and Stubbs lead home a five kart freight train for fourth and fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Phil Smith (31.505)
1st Peter Gigis (OAK), 2nd Phil Smith (GKCV), 3rd Ash Mitchell (WIMM)
1st Phil Smith (GKCV), 2nd Ash Mitchell (WIMM), 3rd Leon Forrest (WIMM), 4th Peter Gigis (OAK), 5th Matt Crane (HAM)
TAG LIGHT (14 Entries)
Tag Light had good numbers after being a strong class throughout the season, and leading into the Ballarat round, five different drivers had won the proceeding five rounds. The Horsham round winner, James Sera showed his class to grab the Ballarat pole with a time of 30.082. Making it a Sera 1-2 just like Horsham, Curt Sera pipped Nathan Williams for second. Nothing in it between Jordan Rae and Will Carroll in fourth and fifth either.
James Sera opened his account in commanding fashion to register a lights to flag win in the opening heat. Behind James though, the battle from second to sixth raged for the entire eleven laps. At the flag Rae had made his way to second, having battled hard with Carroll in third. Curt Sera had dropped as low as sixth before rebounding to fourth, finishing ahead of local cult figure Luke Fong.
FASTEST LAP: James Sera 30.168
Heat two was very much a carbon copy of the first heat, as James Sera paced the field from the front to record his second win of the day. Rae, Carroll and Curt Sera maintained their positions, Rae locked into second for the duration. Despite a charge from Fong, Carroll and Curt resumed their starting positions in third and fourth, whilst Connor Farr slipped by Fong in the closing stages to grab a top five result.
FASTEST LAP: James Sera 30.137
Wet conditions slowed things down in heat three, yet the man at the head of the queue in the early stages was still James Sera. By mid race though, Rae made his move for the lead, a lead that he held for the remainder of the race. James shadowed him to finish in second, ahead of Carroll who had breathing space in front and behind. SA’s Ryan Morgan had looked pacey all weekend, and delivered his best result of fourth, ahead of Curt Sera.
FASTEST LAP: James Sera 36.189
The final would decide the 2019 series champ, and not being in contention for that meant James Sera could focus solely on grabbing a second consecutive round win. In doing so, he became the first driver in the class to win multiple rounds in 2019. Rae was again at the pointy end, running in second place, until a speedy Williams eventually got by, relegating Rae to third. Curt Sera also continued his strong form to just miss the podium in fourth, ahead of an improving Morgan in fifth.
FASTEST LAP: James Sera 30.361
1st James Sera (OAK), 2nd Nathan Williams (GEEL), 3rd Jordan Rae (PORT)
1st Jordan Rae (PORT), 2nd Curt Sera (GIPP), 3rd Nathan Williams (GEEL), 4th James Sera (OAK), 5th Will Carroll (WBOOL), 5th
KA4 JUNIOR HEAVY (22 Entries)
KA4 Junior Heavy boasted one of the most condensed point’s tallies leading into Ballarat, and not by chance the usual suspects were lurking at the front of the field. Hamilton winner Johnny Hill laid down the marker in qualifying (32.007) to just pip a much improved Zach Findlay. Two blue plates next on the charts, with Josh D’Ambrosio just ahead of Toby Waghorn. Rounding out the top five was Riley Jabke.
Hill made the most of the heat one start to lead the early stages, whilst the start wasn’t so kind to Findlay as he fell to fifth position. But from there Findlay picked off his competitors to move into the lead by mid race, a sensational performance given he sat outside the top 20 in points entering the round. Hill banked solid points to open his challenge for the series win, whilst D’Ambrosio battled early with Waghorn before getting the better of that duel for third. Zach Thompson also overhauled Waghorn on the final circulation for fourth.
FASTEST LAP: Johnny Hill (31.814)
Findlay’s time at the front came to an abrupt end at the opening corner of the second heat, failing to log a lap after his break out performance in the opening race. Hill was also out of business on the opening lap. D’Ambrosio made the most of the demise of the front row to lead the early running before Waghorn took the lead mid race. D’Ambrosio would have to settle for third, as Thompson moved into second and briefly the lead in an entertaining battle with Waghorn. Waghorn got to the stripe first, to lead home Thompson and D’Ambrosio. Max Fahey assumed fourth early in the race and held it to the end. Braden Clark rolled in fifth but received a post-race penalty, dropping him to seventh and elevating the improving Maximus Chudasko to fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Josh D’Ambrosio 32.105
Like most of the other classes on the day, heat three was run in wet conditions. D’Ambrosio again jumped to the lead at the start, but by lap three Thompson had moved to the lead and went on to record a commanding three second win. D’Ambrosio home in second ahead of the recovering Findlay and Clark. A hard charging Liam Pollard put in the drive of the race to move from fourteenth to fifth. Two contenders out early with mechanical defects, Jabke with a rear bar and Hill with a chain guard.
FASTEST LAP: Zack Thompson 37.155
Thompson had proven to be a real wildcard, just like in KA3 Junior, and he threatened to upset the establishment with a speedy start to the final. Waghorn stepped up to the plate about two thirds race distance to challenge, and took the lead for several laps before Thompson made the decisive move on the final lap. Waghorn home in second ahead of Hill, who had executed 16 brilliant laps to move from fourteenth to third, just ahead of D’Ambrosio. Fahey rounded out the top five in his last VCS race as a junior.
FASTEST LAP: Johnny Hill 32.056
1st Zack Thompson (GOUL), 2nd Toby Waghorn (ELKC), 3rd Johnny Hill (GKCV)
1st Josh D’Ambrosio (OAK), 2nd Toby Waghorn (ELKC), 3rd Johnny Hill (GKCV), 4th Max Fahey (SWEST), 5th Seth Burton (WBOOL)
VIC COMBINED LIGHT (30 Entries)
Vic Combined Light was oversubscribed for the Ballarat circuit and therefore was forced into two groups for qualifying and four groups for the heat races. Whilst most of the opening group of qualifying went faster, Steven Malkin bucked the trend and stuck the 22 kart on pole position! (30.967). Last start winner Mitch Sutej put himself on the front row, ahead of series returnee Gerry Westerveld. Lachies, Swayn and Hill rounded out the top five in a super competitive field.
Heat one (AvD) was a first in many cases, as the format devised specifically for the VCS final round was put into practice for the first time. Swayn won the battle of the Lachie’s, to lead home Hill in this one. Third belonged to junior graduate Harrison Campbell, who held off a couple of wily veterans in Derrick Rodgers and the pole man Malkin.
FASTEST LAP: Steven Malkin 30.978
Westerveld made the most of his front row start to lead heat one (CvD) for the majority of the wet race. Sutej had to work his way back to the front after dropping to fourth at the start, and took the lead and the win away from Westerveld on lap nine. Jono McKean also slipped by Westerveld late to claim second place. Todd Chambers home in fourth ahead of Andrew Sotiropoulos.
FASTEST LAP: Mitch Sutej 41.302
Rebounding from his opening heat, Westerveld took an all the way win in heat two (AvC). Hill and Malkin were contenders in this heat until things unravelled on lap eight, allowing McKean and Chambers to capitalise on top three finishes. Rodgers continued to put himself in the picture, finishing ahead of Hill, who rolled in fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Gerry Westerveld 31.037
Sutej was again impressive as he took a sizeable eight second win in heat two (BvD). The race for second intensified in the last four laps as drivers jostled for position, Campbell getting the better of Dave Menzel on the last lap to lock into second and third. Bill West had his best run of the series on his home track to finish fourth, ahead of Sotiropoulos.
FASTEST LAP: Mitch Sutej 31.124
Sutej was starting to put some sort of weekend together, starting Sunday with a win in heat three (AvB). But this one was a real challenge, as conditions weren’t good and he had immense pressure from Rodgers, who rocketed from seventh to second by lap two. Alex Ryan was solid in third, ahead of Hill and Sotiropoulos.
FASTEST LAP: Derrick Rodgers 35.585
Brushing aside a tough run in his last heat, Swayn was a lights to chequer winner in heat three (CvD). McKean, Westerveld and Chambers were all prominent and finished in that order. Portland Winner Ross Stubbs had his best result of the weekend in fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Gerry Westerveld 35.580
The final was set to be a treat as we finally got to throw all the contenders onto the track at once for the first time for the weekend. The top 24 karts started the final, Sutej and Westerveld leading the field away. Westerveld grabbed the lead at the half way mark, before an incident between the two leaders saw Westerveld drop to sixth place. Sutej went on to cap an excellent weekend, taking consecutive round wins. McKean looked on for second, but had to settle for third after a last gasp move from Rodgers for second. Hill finished fourth after running as low as eighth, ahead of Westerveld who salvaged fifth place.
FASTEST LAP: Mitch Sutej 30.902
1st Mitch Sutej (GEEL), 2nd Derrick Rodgers (HAM), 3rd Jono McKean (WBOOL)
1st Jono McKean (WBOOL), 2nd Andrew Sotiropoulos (OAK), 3rd Ross Stubbs (GIPP), 4th Steven Malkin (PORT), 5th Lachie Swayn (WBOOL)
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT (18 Entries)
Not for the first time in 2019, it was Joel MacPherson who topped the time sheets in KA3 Senior Light qualifying. His time of 30.416 was less than a tenth ahead of the National Champion Jack Bell, with less than two tenths separating the top five. Jobe Stewart signalled his intent in third, ahead of local star Jordan Malcolm in fourth, and Ryan Bettess in fifth.
Tricky conditions greeted drivers for heat one action, with the pole sitter MacPherson dropping down the field quickly to eventually finish tenth. After Bell led early, it was Stewart who took the lead and the comfortable three second win. Bell slid down to seventh as Bettess and Emerson Harvey moved forward to snare second and third. Warrnambool winner Nathan Williams held off Malcolm for fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Matthew Nietz 32.910
Stewart was again pacey in heat two, leading the opening part of the race. But on lap five, drizzle set in, and Stewart was the first to encounter it and ran very wide around turn one, he was lucky to continue. Bettess grabbed the lead momentarily, before the undeniable Bell took over and added to his tally of wins for the series. Bettess was gallant in second, whilst Hamish Allan ran well in the conditions for third. Harvey and the recovering Stewart rounded out the top five.
FASTEST LAP: Ryan Bettess 31.261
Tyre choice became a major factor for heat three, as the field sat divided on the grid. History will say that wets was the right choice, however it made for a long eleven laps for those on slicks, including Bell. Macpherson parked on the chips, turn one lap one. No such problems for Stewart as he took a lights to flag win, despite intense pressure from the energised Malcolm. Harvey continued to build towards a good result with third, finishing ahead of Winston Smith and Matthew Nietz.
FASTEST LAP: Winston Smith 34.957
The local hope, Malcolm made the perfect start and sat at the head of the queue for the opening four laps, before a move from Stewart relieved him of the lead. Stewart took his turn to pace the field, before Bell took over proceedings. Further down the field, MacPherson started to light up the timing as his kart came on at a rapid rate. He was fifth on lap ten and from there he put on one of the performances of the series to charge to victory! Having started eleventh, it was a huge win, and his first of the 2019 VCS. Bell would be forced to stand in his shadow, the roles reversed on this occasion. Stewart banked another strong result in third, ahead of the consistent pair of Bettess and Harvey in fourth and fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Joel MacPherson 30.272
1st Joel MacPherson (OAK), 2nd Jack Bell (OAK), 3rd Jobe Stewart (PORT)
1st Jack Bell (OAK), 2nd Jobe Stewart (PORT), 3rd Joel MacPherson (OAK), 4th Nathan Williams (GEEL), 5th Nicholas Ryan (WBOOL)
KA3 SENIOR MEDIUM (13 Entries)
The increased depth of talent in KA3 Senior Medium has made the 2019 series an enthralling battle, with no less than five round winners in the proceeding five rounds. Horsham winner Taine Venables continued to use his momentum to take pole position (30.930). Remo Luciani held off Daniel Hookway for second, Scott King and Todd Chambers rounding out the top five.
Venables continued to go from strength to strength as he eased away to win by just over two seconds in heat one. Luciani, Hookway, King and Mitch Mackay staged an enthralling battle for the minors, Mackay having missed half of qualifying and ending up at the back end of the top ten. Hookway prevailed over Luciani for second at the flag, King holding off Mackay for fourth.
FASTEST LAP: Taine Venables
Not for the first time for the day, tyre choice was critical for heat two, and unfortunately a late change back to slicks forced Venables to start from the rear of the grid. The doors opened for Luciani and Hookway, and neither needed an invitation. Luciani upstaged his younger competitor, leaving Hookway to settle for second. King was very much in contention but took the chequered in third, ahead of Chris Thomas and a rebounding Venables.
FASTEST LAP: Taine Venables 31.488
A new day arrived at Ballarat, however the same changing and unpredictable weather conditions hung around. Many drivers were tossing up the safety of wets or to take a gamble on slicks for heat three. Most of the front runners opted for wets. You didn’t have to wait long for the action as an incident at turn one took out Venables, Luciani and King. Venables was subsequently DQ’d for his part. Thomas led the first circulation, before being shuffled to second by Hookway on the second lap. Mackay was on slicks and as the race wore on, he got faster and faster. In the end it came down to a drag race to the flag, and the slick shod kart of Mackay got the better of Hookway for the win. Chambers, Ryan Cook and Thomas all had breathing space as they filled the top five.
FASTEST LAP: Peter Gigis 33.162
The scene was set for a thrilling final, and nobody left disappointed. Luciani led the opening two laps, before he was overtaken by two of the young tyros in Mackay and Venables. From there the two youngsters staged a battle that went the full distance, exchanging places numerous times. Mackay made it stick on lap thirteen and held sway from there, despite the blowtorch being applied by Venables. Luciani rounded out the podium in third. Hookway was home in fourth, only half a second from the lead, whilst Chambers finished well in fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Todd Chambers 31.006
1st Mitch Mackay (SWEST), 2nd Taine Venables (BALL), 3rd Remo Luciani (WIMM)
1st Mitch Mackay (SWEST), 2nd Taine Venables (BALL), 3rd Remo Luciani (WIMM), 4th Daniel Hookway (WBOOL), 5th Chris Thomas (GEEL)
CADET 9 (14 Entries)
Cadet 9 qualifying saw one of the biggest upsets of the weekend, as P plater Aston Hill announced his arrival as a front runner with a stunning pole position (34.247). Hill’s achievement came at the head of a stacked top five, with three 2019 round winners in the top five. Two time round winner Mathew Basso timed in second, ahead of Horsham victor Will Calleja. Ewan Anderson continued his strong series in fourth ahead of Warrnambool winner Noah Enright.
Heat one proved that qualifying was no flash in the pan for Hill, as he wound the 44P kart up for a comfortable lights to flag win. The top five remained the same, albeit rejigged. Anderson moved forward to be the runner up after a good battle for track position with Basso. Calleja and Enright raced closely for the early part of the race, Calleja getting the upper hand to finish in fourth, Enright in fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Will Calleja 34.291
Basso jumped to an early lead at the start of heat two, leading for several laps before the cavalry arrived. Lap nine saw SA’s Enright grab the lead, and Anderson retire from the race. Enright went on to win, ahead of Basso and Calleja. Hill settled in fourth after being shuffled around by his more experienced rivals, whilst the continually improving Riley Harrison posted a fifth place finish.
FASTEST LAP: Noah Enright 34.261
Heat three would see the youngsters forced to make a choice on tyres on the grid. Wets proved to be the right decision, as evidenced by the slicks shod kart of Anderson parked up at turn one. Enright jumped to the front at the start and never relinquished the top spot. Basso also dropped down the field at the start, as Harrison leapt up into second. Lap seven saw Hill and Calleja move up to second and third, Calleja crossing the line in second, Hill third. Harrison was a very decent fourth, ahead of Chelsea Humphrey in fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Mathew Basso 36.243
Hill re-emerged as a serious contender in the final, grabbing the early ascendancy over his more fancied rivals. Enright gave chase to Hill, and on lap twelve he pounced to make a race winning move. Whilst Hill plotted his move to wrestle back the lead, a lapped kart disadvantaged him and he lost touch with the speedy Enright. Enright raced to the chequer with breathing space, whilst Hill came under increased pressure from Anderson as he capped a super impressive weekend with second place. Anderson finished on the podium in third, ahead of series combatants Basso and Calleja.
FASTEST LAP: Mathew Basso 34.127
1st Noah Enright (BGKC), 2nd Aston Hill (GIPP), 3rd Ewan Anderson (PORT)
1st Will Calleja (OAK), 2nd Mathew Basso (OAK), 3rd Ewan Anderson (PORT), 4th Chelsea Humphrey (ELKC), 5th Aston Hill (GIPP)
VIC COMBINED MEDIUM (20 Entries)
The Vic Combined Medium field just wasn’t right at Ballarat, following the tragic passing of Wimmera’s Brett Buckley in a motorcycle accident between rounds. The much loved Mr Fluoro would’ve been watching over proceedings.
Remo Luciani laid down the marker (31.670) in a class he has been dominant in all series. Andrew Harvey has been one of Luciani’s biggest challengers throughout, and he took second ahead of Phil Zentai. James Head returned to VCS at his home track and put in a solid time for fourth, with Mick Angwin rounding out the top five.
Heat one will show a comfortable win for Luciani, however the result doesn’t tell how hard he had to work for this one. Shuffled down to eighth at the start, the master took seven laps to assert himself at the top of the order, before going on to win. Harvey had led the laps before Luciani took over, and settled for the runners up spot. Zentai started and finished third, ahead of Vern Kranz and Brett Jenkin, the latter dropping down from the heavy class.
FASTEST LAP: Remo Luciani 31.576
Luciani and Harvey stayed line of stern in heat two, maintaining the top two positions for the full journey. Whilst Zentai and Jenkin slipped down the pecking order, Kranz made steady progress to finish third, taking Angwin with him all the way. Fifth was another solid run for Head.
FASTEST LAP: Remo Luciani 31.805
More of the same in heat three as the top four maintained their starting position for the 11 lap duration. Luciani from Harvey, Zentai from Kranz, and Jenkin home in fifth after overhauling Zach Marshall mid race.
FASTEST LAP: Andrew Harvey 32.188
The final belonged to the master from Horsham, Luciani, as he once again blitzed the field to claim another round win. It was in fact his fifth consecutive round win, and could have been a full sweep if not for a mishap at Warrnambool. The race for the minors was anything but clear cut, as Harvey, Zentai and Jenkin went to work. With 2 laps to go Jenkin made a decisive move to claim second, ahead of Harvey, who had been at the pointy end all weekend. Alex Baker showed his true potential, earning fourth after rectifying a bent chassis, and a weekend best result of fifth in the final for Ballarat president Mal Mason.
FASTEST LAP: Remo Luciani 31.676
1st Remo Luciani (WIMM), 2nd Brett Jenkin (ROCH), 3rd Andrew Harvey (MGKC)
1st Remo Luciani (WIMM), 2nd Andrew Harvey (MGKC), 3rd Alex Baker (WIMM), 4th Phil Zentai (SWKC), 5th Michael Mifsud (GEEL)
KA4 JUNIOR LIGHT (11 Entries)
There was a lot to play for in KA4 Junior Light at the final round, with the points score very tight at the top. Matthew Domaschenz set the quick time (34.279) in qualifying, just edging out returning Ballarat gun Joe Fawcett in wet conditions. Jake Santalucia was solid in third, ahead of series aspirant Christian Cowie and Jarred Farrell.
Better conditions in heat one made for an interesting race, with Domaschenz, Santalucia and Fawcett all taking turns leading the race. Mid race saw Fawcett assert himself as the man to beat, going on to win. Second place was well earned for Santalucia. Domaschenz crossed the line third, but was subsequently hit with a penalty after a scuffle with Cowie. The penalty elevated Cowie to third, ahead of Farrell. Brocklan Parker continued his apprenticeship in juniors, rolling in fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Joe Fawcett 31.154
Santalucia leapt into the lead at the start of heat two, continuing to run strongly until Fawcett slipped by on lap three. Fawcett went on to win comfortably, Santalucia though would settle for third after succumbing to the rebounding Domaschenz. Cowie retired from fourth on lap seven, elevating Farrell into that finishing position. Local Domenic Kucina looked threatening on his run to fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Joe Fawcett 31.135
Heat three was a carbon copy of heat two, as Santalucia took the opportunity to lead early. However, it wasn’t long before Fawcett moved ahead and held on for a narrow win. This time Santalucia was closer to Fawcett’s speed and finished second, clear of his nearest competitor. Domaschenz banked more points in third, ahead of Kucina and Farrell rounding out the top five.
FASTEST LAP: Joe Fawcett 31.411
Fawcett’s recent experience in the Australian Kart Championship was evident over the weekend, and no more so than in the final. He was operating at a level above his competitors, and translated that into a 7.4 second win. Santalucia again proved he will be a big threat in 2020, capping a successful weekend with second place. The battle between Cowie and Domaschenz, series combatants, had serious heat all weekend, and it culminated in the last lap of the final. Turn one of the final lap saw contact between the two rivals, with Cowie benefitting and crossing the line in third. However stewards reversed the order, promoting Domaschenz to third and dropping Cowie to fourth. The consistent Farrell again rounded the top five out.
FASTEST LAP: Joe Fawcett 30.972
1st Joe Fawcett (BALL), 2nd Jake Santalucia (OAK), 3rd Matthew Domaschenz (GEEL)
1st Matthew Domaschenz (GEEL), 2nd Christian Cowie (SGKC), 3rd Jake Santalucia (OAK), 4th Harrison Campbell (GEEL), 5th Jake Krasna (MILD)
CADET 12 (23 Entries)
Less than a second separated the top thirteen drivers in Cadet 12 qualifying, this class promising to be outstanding once again. Cadel Ambrose topped the time sheets with his time of 33.257, closely shadowed by Tyce Hodge, who was less than half a tenth off the time. Lewis Francis made his first appearance in the 2019 series and slotted into third place. Xavier Avramides laid down the fourth fastest time, ahead of Horsham winner Angus Hall.
Ambrose made a perfect start to heat one, however the start wasn’t so kind to Hodge and Francis as they plummeted down the order, Francis to the rear. Ambrose found his groove and went on unheaded to clinch the win by just over 3 seconds. Hall capitalised on the messy start to grab second place, a position he maintained to the flag. Not to be denied, Hodge made his way all the way back to third after bottoming out in ninth on the opening lap. Rusty Ponting made a welcome return to VCS to take fourth in this one, ahead of Lochie Farrell who had started ninth.
FASTEST LAP: Cadel Ambrose 33.188
Ambrose once again controlled proceedings in heat two, leading all the way despite having Hodge in his back pocket for the race distance. Whilst Ambrose and Hodge held their posts for the duration, Hall had to work for his third place. After dropping to sixth early, Hall had to clear Jenson Ristevski late in the race to seal his position. Ristevski held onto third in an improved performance, finishing ahead of Farrell in fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Cadel Ambrose 33.154
Hodge was again in the wars at the start of heat three, as his front row start turned into sixth place at the end of the opening lap. Hall was the big winner, as he jumped into the lead and withstood the pressure of the ensuing pack. Hall led until the final circulation when Ambrose snuck by to continue his perfect results for the weekend. Hall finished a very close second, with daylight before the resilient Hodge crossed the line in third. Ristevski and Ponting continued to build with fourth and fifth place finishes.
FASTEST LAP: Angus Hall 33.340
The final rolled out with Ambrose sitting on the perfect score for the weekend, and he went on with it to win the round. A deserved win after driving superbly all weekend. Hodge was once again right on Ambrose’s tail for the full distance, recording a very respectable second place given his setbacks in the heats. Hall was next across the line for third, holding off Ristevski for the final podium spot. Francis made his way back towards the pointy end, salvaging fifth place.
FASTEST LAP: Tyce Hodge 33.254
1st Cadel Ambrose (OAK), 2nd Tyce Hodge (GEEL), 3rd Angus Hall (OAK)
1st Angus Hall (OAK), 2nd Cadel Ambrose (OAK), 3rd Tyce Hodge (GEEL), 4th Leo Iannella (GKCSA), 5th Xavier Avramides (OAK)
TAG HEAVY (9 Entries)
After battling a neck complaint at the last round in Horsham, the dominant driver in the class, Scott King resumed his position at the top, recording a pole time of 33.357. Jaymi Mackay parked her kart on the front row in her best performance of the series. Horsham winner Billy Westerveld held down third position, ahead of Ballarat’s Paul Feely in fourth. Nick Roberts rounded out the top five.
Scott King controlled proceedings in the opening heat, leading from start to finish. Westerveld moved up to second place as Mackay drifted down the order. Adam King moved forward after a below par qualifying to clinch third. Feely looked promising in fourth, whilst Aaron Jackson moved into the top five.
FASTEST LAP: Scott King 30.488
Heat two was a lot closer than the opening heat, as Westerveld applied the pressure to Scott King. Westerveld first shook off Adam King before giving chase to Scott, coming up two tenths short in a good race. Adam held on for third, ahead of Roberts and Jackson in fourth and fifth respectively.
FASTEST LAP: Billy Westerveld 30.583
The opening lap of heat three was headlined by a shunt at the old commentary corner between Nik Schmidt and Roberts. The kart of Schmidt was broken on the left hand front corner, whilst Roberts lasted just the one lap before retiring. That was the real action of the race, as Scott King and Westerveld held sway at the front of the field. Adam King shook off Jackson early to grab third, Jackson finishing ahead of Feely to round out the top five.
FASTEST LAP: Scott King 30.737
The final was relatively uneventful, as Scott King took a comfortable victory to wrap up yet another VCS crown. Westerveld was not disgraced in second, and will look forward to a big push in the 2020 series. Adam King grabbed another podium, Cobden his only miss of the series. Jackson and Feely traded positions on the opening couple of laps, until Jackson got the upper hand for fourth. Feely finished the series strong on his home track in fifth.
FASTEST LAP: Scott King 30.784
1st Scott King (PORT), 2nd Billy Westerveld (ROCH), 3rd Adam King (PORT)
1st Scott King (PORT), Adam King (PORT), 3 Aaron Jackson (ELKC), 4th Nik Schmidt (BALL), 5th Paul Feely (BALL)
BALLARAT PRIZE WINNERS:
DPE KART SUPERSTORE $100 VOUCHERS
DPE TYRE DRAW
PATRIZICORSE BRIDGESTONE TYRES
DUNLOP KARTSPORT DK17
KARTWORX $100 K1 CUSTOM RACESUIT VOUCHER
Cadet: Angus Hall
Junior: Samuel Davies
Senior: Scott King
SERIES PRIZE WINNERS
REMO RACING IAME
IAME KA100: Ray Dumesney
IAME X30: Phillip Eastham
ALLSTAR GRAPHICS $300 VOUCHER
2020 SEASON PASS
Plus almost 100 free round passes for everyone that did all 6 rounds in 2019.
That’s a wrap of another massive weekend, and season of racing, with some huge performances and awesome close racing. We look forward to the 2020 Victorian Country Series kicking off in Portland on February 15 & 16.
Thanks to our Series Sponsors:
- DPE KART SUPERSTORE & MG TIRES
- RPM PARTS & KARTS
- TONYKART AUSTRALIA & BARON ENGINE DEVELOPMENTS
- REMO RACING & IAME ENGINES
- DUNLOP KARTSPORT & ROCK OIL
- PATRIZICORSE, VORTEX KART ENGINES & BRIDGESTONE KARTING AUST
- ALLSTAR GRAPHICS
- KARTWORX & K1 RACEGEAR
- PACE IMAGES
- AHR MEDIA
- WIMMERA DESIGN & PRINT
- BENDIGO COMMUNITY BANK
TAG 125 Light
KA4 Junior Heavy
Victorian Combined Light
KA3 Senior Light
KA3 Senior Medium
Victorian Combined Medium
KA4 Junior Light
|16||979||Joshua Hee Keng|
TAG 125 Heavy
Victorian Combined Masters
|21||466||Lotem Ben Yosef|