Fun & Mateship Rules The Over 40’s Titles At Coffs Harbour Kart Racing Club
words – by Club President, James Morrison
photos – by Colette Morrison
Coffs Harbour Kart Racing Club’s premier event, the 25th Geoff King Motors Over 40’s Titles has been run and won. Normally this event is the June long weekend. Numbers were unfortunately down this year due to numerous factors, including Covid 19 and forced date changes. However as usual the track looked fantastic, and NO rain, who would have thought.
The qualifying and racing however was as competitive as ever, with Sunday’s Pre Finals and Finals being much more serious as drivers started to position themselves for the final run to the flag. There were some bent components and bruised egos but at the end of the day most people went home happy.
TaG Restricted Heavy – sponsored by Mid Coast Trucks and Isuzu
The story of the weekend for me occurred in this class, with 71 year old local driver Winston Heywood running the Coffs Over 40’s for 20 plus years, but more about that later. 13 drivers left the grid for Qualifying with Queensland’s Gaven Whitmore showing the way 0.452 faster than a tightly bunched pack from 2nd to 13th, Winston Heywood in 7th. The racing was pretty tame in the heats with Whitmore leading the way.
The Pre Final Sunday morning is where things changed, with a couple of different incidents taking out a few highly placed runners relegating them to the back of the pack for the final. The Top 3 on the grid for the final were Whitmore, Keys and Heywood, there he is again 71 year old Winston Heywood starting the final 3rd. After 16 laps no surprise Gaven Whitmore took the crown, but in 2nd place was Winston Heywood taking his first Over 40’s trophy after trying for some 20 plus years, with his son-in-law Darren Funston rounding out the podium.
Winston even managed a ‘Shoey’ with his dirty old work boot at the presentation, hopefully he survives the Shoey and can come back next year!
TaG 125 Light – sponsored by Mid Coast Trucks and Isuzu
This class had a couple of fancied local racers in Scott Hargan and Craig Fuller along with drivers with some fancied rivals. Six drivers went out for qualifying with Paul McKinnon coming out on top with 0.396 covering the top 5 drivers. McKinnon won the first 3 heats with some positional changes in the the minors. In the Pre Final McKinnon had a DNF so the starting grid for the final was Hargans, Fuller and Kozlinski, with McKinnon having to come from 6th.
The race started Hargans got off to a small lead, Fuller went back to 6th and McKinnon was 5th. Hargans continued in the lead as McKinnon made it to 3rd by lap 4 but was still 2.6 sec’s back. Petersen ran in a strong 2nd for much of the race before being passed by McKinnon with 5 to go. Mckinnon chased Hargans hard, but in the end Hargans held on by just 0.395 over McKinnon with Dimitri Kozlinski taking 3rd.
Senior Heavy – Sponsored by Snap On Tools Coffs Harbour
Only 2 competitors in this class, two mates having a good time Michael Parsons and Paul Hull. Michael took pole from Paul, during the heats they both had wins, but when it came to the Pre Final and the Final Michael had that little bit extra to edge Paul out for the win. On the podium it didn’t look like they really cared who won they were just having a great time, which is what this event is all about.
Senior Performance Heavy – Sponsored by Seabreeze Auto Body
Greg Moores for the 2nd year running took Pole in this class over Russell Becker and Malcom Inman with 0.240 separating the 3 drivers. In the heats Becker crossed the line in 1st position 3 times, however officials handed a jumped start in heat in heat one. All 3 drivers ran in fairly close proximity in the races Moores then Inman, also having a DNF in heat 2.
Unfortunately Greg Moores was unable to be at the track on Sunday. Russell Becker smooth consistent races in the Pre Final and the Final to take the win from Malcolm Inman.
TaG Restricted Super Heavy – Sponsored by Hibbard Homes
Scott Dalton-Kirby, Darren Charnock and Lindsay Brennan went out for qualifying, finishing in that order. Heat 1 finished in the same order, in heat 2 Charnock took first relegating Dalton-Kirby to to 2nd and they reversed the order again in heat 3. Come the Pre Final Charnock, Dalton-Kirby and Brennan were covered by 0.9 seconds, it would be on like Donkey Kong in the Final. In the Final Dalton-Kirby took the lead early from Charnock with Brennan 3rd. On lap 12 Charnock took the lead from Dalton-Kirby a lead he would hold till the end. Darren Charnock taking the win from Scott Dalton-Kirby and Lindsay Brennan.
TaG 125 Heavy – Sponsored by A1 Engine Tuning
When Queensland’s Gaven Whitmore, last years champion, entered this class, it was pretty clear he would be the one to beat. Gaven qualified first from James Morrison, Jamie Gluyas and Nigel Everest. Heat 1 saw Whitmore off to a good start with a coming together at hospital corner delaying Morrison and leaving Everest with damage that put him out. Whitmore drove away in 1st with Morrison chasing down Gluyas at the finish line. Heats 2 and 3 were Whitmore, Morrison had a DNF in heat 2 and a 2nd in heat 3 and Gluyas a 2nd and 3rd. Pre final and Whitmore had them covered with Morrison 2nd and Gluyas 3rd. In the final Whitmore drove away to take the win with Morrison in 2nd and Gluyas retiring from 3rd.
TaG Restricted Light – Sponsored by Caribbean Motel
16 Competitors started qualifying with Shane Petersen just taking Pole from Dimitri Kozlinski and Michael Schiller, 0.017 separated the top 3. The first 3 heats were fairly tame event with Petersen taking heat one from Schiller and Kozlinski. Heat 2 and 3 were Schiller from Petersen and Kozlinski. The Pre Final and Finals were anything but tame, the action in the pack heated up the Pre Final ended with 4 DNFs and a DQ, but the front 3 were still Schiller, Kozlinski and Petersen, heading into the Final.
The Final started a scatter of karts at hospital corner in the mid field but Kozlinski jumped away to lead Schiller with Petersen in 3rd. The top 6 karts remained the top 6 karts from lap 1. However Schiller was keeping Kozlinski honest with Petersen in hot pursuit. On lap 7 Schiller took the lead from Kozlinski where he was to stay for the remainder of the race taking the title from Kozlinski and a closing Petersen who was fast in the closing stages. That’s a hat trick for Schiller taking out this title 3 years in a row!
4SS Light and Heavy – Sponsored by Paintsmart Automotive & Smash Repairs
Qualifying saw Ben Guest, the only driver in 4SS Light, the fastest ahead the Heavies of Michael Lawrence, Steve Russo, Steven Wright and Matt Sydenham who had been 3rd fastest but copped a penalty relegating him to 4th. Obviously Guest was always going to win Light but he led the field of heavies in every race. In the Heavy class, heat 1 saw Lawrence, Sydenham and Russo covered by 1.6 seconds with Wright 4th. Heat 2 was Lawrence, Sydenham and Wright with Russo suffering a DNF. Heat 3 was Lawrence, Russo, Sydenham and Wright.
The Pre Final saw Guest lead home the heavies again, Lawrence 1st from Sydenham and Russo retiring, Wright didn’t start the Pre Final or the final. The final saw only 3 starters from the initial 5, with Guest crossing the line 1st taking the win in Light, Sydenham taking the win in Heavy and Lawrence retiring.
Look forward to everything getting back to normal for 2021, see you all on the June long weekend 2021, start planning now – NO EXCUSES!