words: Caitlin Lane
images: Action Sports Photography Australia, Chiara La Spina and Rose Media
After a 10 month hiatus, the Queensland Superkart Club dusted the cobwebs off and headed to the ‘Paperclip’ aka Queensland raceway ready to battle it out for Round 1 honors. Great to see familiar faces and some new ones joining the on track action. The stage was set and plenty of drama unfolded over the course of the day!
Kicking off the day the Superkarts took their place in the spotlight for their final practice of round 1. The high speed drama would begin to unfold, throughout the session we started to get a read on who had speed or some work to do ahead of qualifying.
As the karts took centre stage the spectators lined the pit wall and took bated breaths awaiting to see what would unfold in the next 15 minutes. Serious competition in all classes meant it was hard to single anyone out for top spot. After the heated high paced battle throughout qualifying the #35 Anderson Maverick of Russell Jamieson would take the checkered flag in top spot with a 1:10.5 a little bit off his own lap record pace. #28 Neil Faulkner grabbed second spot with a 1:14.9 and the 250 national class was close behind #89 Timothy Weier on a 1:15.9 followed by #87 Gareth Crisp 1:17.5 and #27 Johnny La Spina 1:17.9. Leading the way for the 125 National class was #6 Jon Bothamley with a 1:19.7 from #46 Doug Amiss 1:21.1 and #23 Tim Philp 1:21.3. Top Rotax (TAG) was #16 Peter Nuske lapping QR in 1:26.4 followed by #45 Leighton Cook 1:27.5 and #33 David Dyson 1:27.6. As the session ended the bar had been set for the racing to come!
As the karts took to the grid for their first race of the 2020 season adrenaline rushes were high as everyone was keen to engage in battle once again. Under the clear blue Ipswich sky Russell Jamieson would again show us why he’s a 2 time Australian Champion crossing the line first with Neil Faulkner 35 seconds back after engaging in a dog fight with Gareth Crisp and Tim Weier to which ultimately Gareth would lead Tim home by 0.3 at the line.
Further back the 125 Nationals were locking horns Tim Philip managing to clear away from Doug Amiss and Chryss Jamieson, pole sitter Jon would see his race ended with a spin at turn 4 while passing his daughter Amber (could have been an interesting conversation back in the pits). Chryss would beat Doug to the line by 0.007 yes 7 thousands of a second was all that separated them at the line might want to check where the transponder is located.
As per normal the Rotax class would provide excellent racing with the long straights at QR requiring you to maximise the draft. Peter Nuske would prove to have his work cut out for him with the ever so speedy Leighton Cook and David Dyson hot on his heels. Peter started 2020 how he finished 2019 taking the win from Leighton and David.
There would be bad luck had by some who wouldn’t see the finish line, #66 of Amber Bothamley, #7 Alex Hussey, #8 Todd Bothamley and #79 Steve Cloake would be left scratching their heads and asking why. In the wait leading up to race 2 conversations would be had and race strategies would be discussed.
After some tune ups to drivers and machines, race 2 set the stage for another thrilling battle. Russell again skipped away to the front from Neil who after wholesale setup changes took another 1.5 seconds off his lap times and was comfortably pulling away from the 250 National competitors until he spun at turn 2 causing a DNF. Tim Weier used traffic to his full advantage to pass Gareth Crisp on the last lap out of turn 5 after another solid battle. Johnny La Spina’s day was over when his kart lost power and stopped in the crossover. Further investigation proved the plating had come off the barrel causing piston failure and ultimately a seize. In the 125 National class Tim Philp again took the win while Doug Amiss kept his nose clean as contact further back saw Chryss Jamieson and Jon Bothamley come together at turn 3 resulting in DNF’s for both. The usual battles would be held in the Rotax class with a highly competitive battle to be held between Peter Nuske, David Dyson and Leighton Cook. Peter again took the win from David and Leighton. Further back is was great to see Glenn Wiggins on debut knocking several seconds off his PB and will be one to watch in the future. Amber Bothamley also showed improvement during the day bringing her lap times down and having an awesome time out on track.
By now everyone was getting back into the groove and feeling muscles they haven’t used in quite a while. Due to the short nature of the day all classes were still on the line as a DNF hurts badly under the QSC points system. Russell Jamieson made it a clean sweep for the weekend while Neil Faulkner was again charging hard until a box full of neutrals left him stranded on the side of the main straight. Steve Cloake had managed to put his senior moment from race 1 behind him and jumped from the start to slot into 3rd place in the opening laps. The 250 Nationals of Tim and Gareth eventually got past Steve and engaged in their own battle before Gareth had an ignition glitch with the engine cutting out and just as he entered pit lane, fired back to life but it was all too late a tour down pit lane saw an insurmountable gap to Tim. 125 National unfortunately saw Tim Philp’s run come to an end with a leaking radiator causing him a DNF. Jon Bothamley picked up his first win of the day after showing so much promise in qualifying. Jon will be keen to make amends at round 2, Doug Amiss again managed to squeak his nose home in front of Chryss Jamieson by 0.2 seconds. The race proving nothing short of exhilarating in the Rotax class with the very dominant Peter Nuske would nearly dethroned by David Dyson and or Leighton Cook with the race win coming down to the final 10m with 0.09 between Peter and David with Leighton only another 0.4 behind mighty close indeed!
It was great to see racing restarted with the Queensland Superkart Club as we move onto the spiritual home of motorsport in QLD, the majestic Lakeside International Raceway on Brisbane’s north side September 13th. Looking for a reason to get out of the house then why not get trackside and see these amazing machines lap lakeside in excess of a 100Mph average lap speed.
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