- 97 Entries for the AKRA NSW “Blue Plate“ State Titles
- Good size fields with 24 in Senior National, 18 Juniors and 17 TAG Heavy racers
The 550 metre Wollongong Kart Raceway Track at Kembla Grange was chokers. The pits were full, cars parked all along the entrance and quite a lot of cars just full of spectators. It was a scene not seen in Wollongong for many years. Some karters commented that they have never seen the track so packed before.
Junior Performance – Jacky Boy Top of the Podium
Lachlan Mineef came out guns blazing in heat 1 winning ahead of Jack Wallace and Kyle Morse. Wallace was victorious in heat 2 ahead of Morse and Sharleece Cohan.
Wallace continued the trend in the Pre-final ahead of Mineef and Cohan.
Sitting on the pole for the final Wallace was in a strong position and at the drop of the flag he was off. Reeling off the 20 laps while setting the fastest time to boot, a 28.85 sec some 4/10ths faster than 2nd place finisher Cohan. Cohan wrapped up a great past few weeks picking up another runner up spot at a Blue Plate meeting. Mineef took the final step on the podium with Morse 4th.
- Jack Wallace
- Sharleece Cohan
- Lachlan Mineef
- Kyle Morse
Junior National – Sponsored by Yamaha Australia
Nicholas Ricci was clearly the strongest Junior with wins in both heats and the Pre-Final but had to initially take second fiddle to a young and very improved Presley Hovanyecc.
Hovanyecc had been practising leading up to the State Titles and his times getting better all the time and picked up a 3rd in heat 1 and followed Ricci home in both heat 2 and the Pre-Final, but at Finals time, Hovanyecc found something extra and won the start and held onto the lead for a few laps and was looking very strong indeed. Holding nice lines and pulling away from the pack and taking Ricci with him was an impressive feat for the young driver.
Ricci’s experience finally got him past Hovanyecc with a nice clean move but Hovanyecc wasn’t letting him go too far. Ricci managed to gap himself out in front then reeled off the laps with Hovanyecc a very well deserved 2nd place. 3rd place was the domain of Angus Mackay during the heats and Pre-final but in the Final had to hold off a closing Jordan Johnson who was only 4/10ths behind as they crossed the finishing line and with Ryan Morton 5th.
- Nicholas Ricci
- Presley Hovanyecc
- Angus Mackay
- Jordan Johnson
- Ryan Morton
- Jack Morgan
- Drew Robbins
- Connor Bellamy
- Adam Cefai
- Presley Rosenburg
- Jack Bugatto
- Zachary Lamaro
- Lawrence Rosenberg
TaG Light – Sponsored by St George kart Centre
CRG pilot David Aoun surely went into the State Titles as favourite having won his last 2 race meetings at Kembla Grange but he wasn’t going to have it all his own way this time. Aoun did win both the heats ahead of another CRG pilot Josh Woods and Maddie Czubara (Arrow) in heat 1 and Scott Appel (Italkart) and Woods in heat 2.
The Pre-Final and Aoun got the jump at the start, and Woods tagged along right on his tail waiting for an opportunity and that came with a few laps to go. Woods got past and held the lead to the flag giving him pole for the all important final ahead of Aoun, Appel, Maddie and Joshua O’Connell.
Woods got the important jump at the start and this time held Aoun at bay for the 20 lap final. Aoun had to settle for 2nd with Maddie 3rd ahead of O’Connell, Duff, Isaac O’Brien, Flynn O’Brien and El Tomkins.
- Josh Woods
- David Aoun
- Maddie Czubara
- Joshua O’Connell
- Jordan Duff
- Isaac O’Brien
- Flynn O’Brien
- El Tomkins
- Scott Appel.
Senior National – Sponsored by Yamaha Australia
This would have to be one of the best classes. The 24 entries for Senior National provided some great close racing. The top 8 karts all meeting were separated by no more than 2/10ths and covered all 3 engine makes, showing some great growth and parity for a class combining both engines of the 4 and 2 stroke variety. The Torini, Yamaha J and Briggs made up the field, and were unbelievably close.
Current AKRA Australian Champion Josh Lennon (Yamaha J) wearing proud his Green Plate had the pole for heat 1 and made good on it. Brad Howard (Brigs) looked strong and had his moment in 1st place but Lennon took it back just as quickly a lap later. Howard ended up finishing 2nd right on the leader’s bumper. Kieran Eccles and Michael Russell (both Torini) 3rd and 4th respectively, with Benjamin Kuz (Yamaha J) 5th. Fastest lap going to Eccles (Torini) 30.60sec.
Heat 2 was Navy Team Driver Kyle McPherson (Yamaha J) winning ahead of Russell (Torini) and Kuz with Mr T-shirt Darryl Apps 4th ahead of Howard 5th.
Pre-Final was all Brad Howard who gapped the field from the outset and reeled off consistently fast laps in his Brigs powered kart. Leading upto the State Titles drivers have been testing different engines (Torini, Brigs, Yamaha J) back to back on the same chassis, and the Brigs was thought to be the lesser choice of the 3 by maybe 2/10ths. Well Brad Howard and his team obviously had his Briggs powered kart sorted as his win in the Pre-Final was very dominant by over 4.5 sec. McPherson was 2nd ahead of Lennon, Russell, Apps, Kuz, Troy Boldy, Alexis Spiteri.
Final and McPherson got the jump at the start with Lennon following through. Howard dropped to 3rd but back to 2nd 2 laps later. McPherson infront looked to be in control with Howard chasing hard, both reeling off fast lap times out in front. Track Owner Boldy was having a run but either old age or the Beer Belly was holding him back, not quite the pace of the front guys. Boldy started 7th, got upto 5th and chasing 4th then had a nano nap and dropped 2 places when kart slowed, but the surprise driver was New Karter Ben Kuz who had just joining the karting ranks 1 month ago and already had a 7 hour and 4 hour enduro under his belt, winning the 4 hour race with his team. Cuz started 6th, dropped to 7th then worked his way forward meticulously and found himself in 3rd place ahead of the Green Plate of Lennon at the chequered flag.
Darryl Apps was in the top 5 all race meeting fighting it out with the other top 5 competitors quite fiercely. Apps showed he hasn’t lost his youthfulness fighting as strongly as he did many many moons ago. But it all changed out in front on the final lap.
McPherson was coming upto lapped traffic and Howard was closing in only a few tenths behind and as the lapped kart zagged and McPherson zigged the leader went way off line and lost too much momentum and Howard sailed past. So without leading a lap Howard crossed the line 1st with McPherson 2nd. Kuz was a well deserved 3rd ahead of Lennon and Apps.
- Brad Howard
- Kyle McPherson
- Benjamin Kuz
- Josh Lennon
- Darryl Apps
- Troy Boldy
- Alexis Spiteri
- Kieran Eccles
- Josh Reynolds
- Adrian Sarkis
- Eric Hogan
- Michael Russell
- Emily Praz
- Kerry Smith
- Paul Reynolds
- Michael Mulquiney
- Brian Liston
- Denis Smith
- Brian Quill
- Stephen Beazley
- Bruce Scott
- Steven Brett
- Brendan Bennett
TaG Heavy – Sponsored by St George kart Centre
Brock Shafer struck first blood with the heat 1 win ahead of Kingswood Taxi driver Layne Stace, David Chew, the Maltese Mafia of Chris Spiteri and Michael Heavey. Heat 2 belonged to Raymond Stilp followed by Heavey, Rod Harvey, Luke Blattman and the Kingswood Taxi driver.
The Pre-Final was a close battle up front with Shafer edging out Stace by only 5/10ths at the chequered flag with Stilp another 4/10ths behind followed closely by Rod Harvey and David Chew.
The Final was going to be a cracker as the front two drivers lap times in the Pre-Final only separated by 1/100th of a second and you could see it was going to be tense at the front.
Stace got the jump and immediately set a fast pace with Shafer only a few tenths behind. Shafer threw everything at Stace but Stace was able to maintain the lead from a few tenths to over half a second at
times as they crossed the finishing line each lap. Stace has been a bit of an expert over recent years in TAG Heavy and managed to keep Shafer at bay for the 20 lap duration. The Kingswood Taxi driver finally crossed the line 5/10ths ahead of Shafer at the chequered flag. These two fought hard and you could tell they gave their all. 3rd across the line was Stilp a further 2 seconds behind with Rod & Jarrad Harvey 4th and 5th respectively. Next in the cue was Chew, Spiteri, Chris Jackson, Glen tye and Blattman.
- Layne Stace
- Brock Shafer
- Raymond Stilp
- Rod Harvey
- Jarred Harvey
- David Chew
- Chris Spiteri
- Chris Jackson
- Glen Tye
- Luke Blattman
- Craig Wynn
- Steve Bugatto
- Colin McGrath
- David Patch
- John Glassington
- Shannon Hardarce
- Michael Heavey
Clubman Light – Sponsored by Deluxe Emergency Lighting
Ian Beeraz was in a class of his own in Clubman Light.Taking a clean sweep of all the heats, Pre-Final and Final. Beeraz had 2-3/10ths on the field and if you were watching him drive you would just understand. His style is so smooth and unique it is just a pleasure to watch, it looks flawless.
Beeraz’s team mate Nico Jamsek shared the podium spots with Alex Trott in the heats and got the better of Trott in both the Pre-Final and Final and looked to even threaten Beeraz in the Pre-Final but Beeraz might have been teasing his team mate giving him some hope… haha
Navy Driver Bas Ingold was 4th ahead of grandpa Alan Holmes who at 99 years of age has to be the oldest kart driver in the World. Holmes looks very impressive behind the wheel as long as someone is close by with a walking stick when he returns to the pits. Holmes held strong his 5th place just ahead of Nicolas Hogan followed by Old Man 55 Chris Green, Wristy Rohan Fripp, Ethan Contessa, Paul McAleese, Andrew Ballamy and Andrew Morton.
- Ian Beeraz
- Nico Jamsek
- Alex Trott
- Bas Ingold
- Alan Holmes
- Nicolas Hogan
- Chris Green
- Rohan Fripp
- Ethan Contessa
- Paul McAleese
- Andrew Bellamy
- Andrew Morton
Clubman Heavy – Sponsored by Deluxe Emergency Lighting
1990’s Wollongong Wiz Greg Mackay came out for his once a year spin. Back in the day he would be fighting it out with another Clubman driver, guru Tim Craig. Now Mackay is fighting it out with Craig’s son Josh Craig. And Josh swears he is faster than his Old Man.
Well the battle started early with these two duking it out in heat 1. Josh got the better of Greg by the smallest of margins at the post (0.139 seconds).
Heat 2 was the same with Dean Dyason 3rd not too far behind with Michael Shearer and Aaron Flamish the top 5.
The Pre-Final Craig now was in control and gapped Mackay for a 2.1 sec win with Dyason Shearer and Flamish again behind.
The Final was a continuation of the Pre-Final with Craig once again in control ahead of Mackay.
There were screams heard all around the pits asking for Chris Green to join them but Old Man 55 rekons he had lost 12 kilo’s and now had to race in Clubman Lights.
We weren’t quite sure if the driver lost the 12 kilo’s or the kart went on a diet but the dice of 3 nutmegs at the pointy end was missed.
The focus might have been on the front two but there was a battle royal on between Dean Dyason and Aaron Flamish in the closing laps. They both were trading blows for the final podium spot that they crossed the line neck and neck side by side with the officials, the lap scorers even the timing system couldn’t split the two.
Following was Tony Smith, Joel Rosenberg, Jeff Tynan with Shearer resting in the gravel trap.
- Josh Craig
- Greg Mackay
- Aaron Flamish – Dean Dyason
- Tony Smith
- Joel Rosenberg
- Jeff Tynan
- Michael Shearer
Clubman Super Heavy – Sponsored by Deluxe Emergency Lighting
The heats Phil Trott was too strong, winning both ahead of Wynter Smith who was rather impressive in only his second race meeting. Scott Ashton & Mark Owen shared the final podium spot in the heats.
Ashton was seen and heard cursing the gravel trap in heat 2 calling it wonderful names as he parked it and admired the scenery..
Pre-Final and Trott was off again out in front and pulling away but this time it was Track owner Troy Boldy having a surprise run who managed to get upto 2nd place but Trott was long gone by that time and 2nd was the next best. Smith 3rd followed by Owen and Ashton.
Final had Trott and Boldy on the front row and this turned out to be a race and a half.
They raced to turn 1 side by side, around turn 1 still side by side but turn 2 Trott close the door firm and was now in the lead. Boldy was like a Dog with a Bone and wouldn’t let go, he harassed Trott at every corner. At times pushing Trott down the main straight helping him to go faster.
Boldy managed to get alongside at turn 1 on a couple of occasions but the whiley ole Trott never gave in and edged his way back in front at turn 2. Later in the race it looked like Trott’s tyres were giving up the ghost and was sliding a bit more at turn 4,5 and 6 and there was a moment of opportunity at turn 5 but Boldy could only fill half the hole.
These two would cross the finishing line only 1/10th apart every lap bar two laps and they never touched in anger in the turns, rubbered wheels or shared rubber graphics, it was a close fast and smooth racing battle.. Trott held on for a fantastic well deserved win ahead of Boldy with Smith 3rd ahead of Owen Ashton Matt Robins and Starr Kopa.
So elated was Trott that he offered everyone Big Mac’s from his personal sponsors at Unanderra McDonalds.
- Phil Trott
- Troy Boldy
- Wynter Smith
- Mark Owen
- Scott Ashton
- Matt Robins
- Starr Kopa
Well that wraps up. AKRA’s biggest meeting for the year. The Biggest meeting in Australia for a small little club track. Some well deserved New Blue Plate Winners.
Round 1 Club Championships at Wollongong Kart Raceway in 2021 February 28th. Next MAJOR Meeting will be the AKRA Easter Nationals – GREEN Plate meeting APRIL 3-4
Until next time, have a great Xmas & New Year and look forward to a great 2021 take care and stay safe to all.