words: AHR Media
photos: Darren’s Sportography
Twelve months on from ceasing competition in 2020, Victorian Country Series racing finally resumed in style at the South West Kart Club’s Cobden circuit last weekend.
Mild conditions greeted the 241 entrants, with drizzle making the early events on Sunday even more interesting. The racing was exceptional all weekend, and drivers were very controlled given many were coming off a large break from racing.
The South West Kart Club turned on a great weekend and the many hours of preparation certainly paid off in the smooth running of the event.
- class by class summaries below; full results on speedhive HERE
- scroll down for photo gallery
VIC COMBINED LIGHT (36 Entries)
Gerry Westerveld started and finished the weekend at the head of the order in Combined Light, grabbing pole position (44.582) on Saturday and the win in the final on Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t without challenge, as Tim Rankin fought hard all weekend.
Westerveld led Rankin to the line, finishing ahead of Mitch Sutej who did things the hard way after a DQ in Qualifying. The second fastest qualifier of the weekend, Jacob Dowlin finished fourth ahead of Nik Ryan in fifth.
1st Gerry Westerveld (ROCH)
2nd Tim Rankin (WBOOL)
3rd Mitch Sutej (WBOOL)
KA4 JUNIOR HEAVY (19 Entries)
KA4 Junior Heavy was dominated by Zach Findlay. Findlay topped the charts in every session (qual 49.508), including winning the Final. Seth Burton appeared Findlay’s biggest threat, and went on to earn second place after fighting back from an incident on the opening lap of heat two.
Several drivers were in the mix for the final spot on the podium, including Amos Orr, Jay Murray, Ethan Briggs and Grace Riddell, however it was a charging Thomas Patching who timed his run to perfection to grab third. Briggs and Lachlan Sharpe eventually rounding out the top five.
1st Zach Findlay (GEEL)
2nd Seth Burton (WBOOL)
3rd Thomas Patching (OAK)
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT (20 Entries)
KA3 Senior Light was one of the tightest classes all weekend, with the top 14 qualifying within half a second, setting the scene for some thrilling competition. Former Junior VCS champ, Nicholas Sacco set the pole time (44.221) to just edge out Joel MacPherson.
MacPherson and Bronson Boult were heat winners before McPherson landed the winning blow in the final. The top four put on a spectacle as MacPherson and Boult were joined by a recovering Sacco and Tasmanian speedster Gemma Wyllie in a four way battle for the win. Just four tenths separated the quartet at the line, MacPherson winning from Sacco, Boult and Wyllie, with Ethan Bray trailing them home in fifth.
1st Joel MacPherson (OAK)
2nd Nicholas Sacco (ELKC)
3rd Bronson Boult (MGKC)
CADET 12 (27 Entries)
The quality of the Cadet 12 field for the opening round of 2021 can only be described as exceptional. When the clock stopped in qualifying, it was Lewis Francis (50.407) taking pole position by six hundredths over Brad Majman.
James Anagnostiadis and Majman both took comfortable wins in the heats before lining up to do battle in the final. Rusty Ponting used his home track experience to make a blistering start to the final, moving from fifth to the lead in the opening two circulations.
Ponting and Alexander Yoannidis put on an intriguing battle right up until the last corner, with Ponting prevailing in front of his home crowd. Yoannidis was a very strong second, ahead of Anagnostiadis, Will Calleja and Pip Casabene.
1st Rusty Ponting (SWKC)
2nd Alexander Yoannidis (ELKC)
3rd James Anagnostiadis (GKCV)
KA3 JUNIOR (18 Entries)
A sea of fresh faces lined up in KA3 Junior, with many moving up to the class since the enforced break in racing.
Jesse Lacey fired the first shot in qualifying, laying down the pole time (44.188), just edging Jake Santalucia for the top spot. Ben Holliday took a comfortable win in the opening heat, Lacey home first in the second heat ahead of Mathew Domaschenz who remarkably started seventeenth.
Leo Iannella made a dazzling start to lead the opening laps of the final, making Lacey chase him down. Lacey was upto the challenge, greeting the chequer 1.8 sec ahead of Iannella. Aiva Anagnostiadis drove well to claim the final spot on the podium, ahead of Kristian Janev and Jake Santalucia.
1st Jesse Lacey (ELKC)
2nd Leo Iannella (MGKC)
3rd Aiva Anagnostiadis (GKCV)
KA3 SENIOR MEDIUM (15 Entries)
Young SA driver Matthew Nietz rocked the establishment when he laid down the pole time (45.020) in KA3 Senior Medium ahead of the regular names. It was a tight session with the top 12 within half a second. Remo Luciani was second in qualifying, but from there he took over the class to top every other session.
Luciani went toe to toe with Nietz in the final, the Master clinching yet another victory, with Nietz sealing a fantastic weekend with a strong second. Two of the latest brakers in the pits filled third and fourth, Scott King prevailing over Mitch Mackay on the final lap, with Isaac Woodhouse making the top five in his VCS senior debut.
1st Remo Luciani (WIMM)
2nd Matthew Neitz (GKCSA)
3rd Scott King (PORT)
VIC COMBINED MASTERS (16 Entries)
The History Book will show that Phil Smith was the class of the Masters field, topping qualifying (45.064) and winning each race. What History won’t show is that this was far from a straight forward result.
Smith had Ash Mitchell in his back pocket for the full journey in heat one, Mitchell saved Smith in the second heat by straightening him up when he was certainly going to spin, before a lap one skirmish in the final sent him back to eighth position. What he did from there set him apart, clinically picking his rivals off before still winning comfortably.
Mitchell was the best of the rest all day and finished with a very respectable second place, ahead of Peter Gigis who warmed up as the weekend went on. Leon Forrest and Garry Haywood were in the podium mix all day, but had to settle for fourth and fifth.
1st Phil Smith (GKCV)
2nd Ash Mitchell (WIMM)
3rd Peter Gigis (OAK)
CADET 9 (10 Entries)
Qualifying in Cadet 9 was as close as we saw all weekend with pole being taken by two hundredths of a second, in a gun fight between Dominic Mercuri and Chad Edwards. Mercuri (51.831) just pipping Edwards (51.851).
Lewis Kucina was dominant in the opening heat, winning by more than 19 seconds, whilst disaster struck for Mercuri and to a lesser extent, Edwards. Kucina was also victorious in heat two, although this time it was Edwards rebounding to second.
Kucina grabbed the early lead and opened up a sizeable lead once again, until his choice of wet tyres started to cost him time. Mercuri was superb, hunting down Kucina to take the lead and continue on for the round win. Edwards grabbed second from the fading Kucina, who managed to hang on for a deserved podium finish in third place. Cruz Kelly and Xavier Mifsud completed the top five.
1st Dominic Mercuri (SGKC)
2nd Chad Edwards (NWKC)
3rd Lewis Kucina (BAL)
KA4 JUNIOR LIGHT (15 Entries)
KA4 Junior Light qualifying was no less intense, as Toby Dvorak nailed the pole position (48.956), but only after seeing off Josh Sacco and Angus Hall by a narrow margin. Dvorak was fast and smooth in the heats, taking the wins by comfortable margins on both occasions.
Dvorak led the field away again in the final, leading for the first half of the race. However, it was Harry Arnett who came chasing, saving his best work for the final. Arnett grabbed the lead on lap 8, and went on to claim the victory. Dvorak was gallant in second after a big weekend, finishing ahead of Hall in third. Sacco was right on Hall’s tail for fourth, Fraser Carr rounding out the top five.
1st Harry Arnett (BEN)
2nd Toby Dvorak (OAK)
3rd Angus Hall (OAK)
TAG 125 HEAVY (7 Entries)
The entries in TaG Heavy weren’t bursting at the seams, however the assembled field was generally pretty well matched, resulting in some good racing. Multiple series champ Scott King kicked his season off in style, taking pole (44.403) over Billy Westerveld.
King got rolling nicely to claim both heats, and did the business again in the final to snare the win. Nik Schmidt showed a great turn of speed in the final, to escalate to second place, ahead of Westerveld in third. Ray Dumesny and Aaron Jackson were well matched in fourth and fifth.
1st Scott King (PORT)
2nd Nik Schmidt (BALL)
3rd Billy Westerveld (ROCH)
VICTORIAN COMBINED MEDIUM (22 Entries)
There was no shortage of competition in Combined Medium and that was evidenced by the top 17 drivers being within 9 tenths off the pole, which was taken by Julijan Karlusic (45.704).
The heats were won by Aidan Solomon, who made some big moves on the opening laps to set himself up. Karlusic, Sam Chettle and Brett Jenkin were also prominent.
Solomon drove superbly to take an all the way win in the final in a big result for him. He came under intense pressure late in the race, only to have the pressure release a bit as the battle for the minors heated up. Tasmanian Chettle crossed the line in second, ahead of the resilient Karlusic. Jenkin was lurking and finished fourth ahead of another Tasmanian, Jackson Callow in fifth.
1st Aidan Solomon (WIMM)
2nd Sam Chettle (NWKC)
3rd Julijan Karlusic (GKCV)
X30 LIGHT (36 Entries)
It would be a challenge to name a better field ever assembled in VCS competition than the line up that greeted the starter in X30 Light. A mixture of Champions, experienced runners and young guns made for an intriguing story line.
The National Champion Brad Jenner was clinical in his dominance of the class, driving superbly in a display that won’t be forgotten in some time. Jenner topped every session and managed each of his victories to perfection.
Jack Bell, Jobe Stewart, Jacob Dowson, Jake Spencer and Daniel Rochford all spent time at the pointy end of the heats. Jenner was gone, but it was to be Stewart taking second in the finale, holding off Rochford in third. Bell and Sam Downing rounded out the top five.
1st Brad Jenner (GKCV)
2nd Jobe Stewart (PORT)
3rd Daniel Rochford (GKCV)
The DPE Kart Superstore Victorian Country Series is set to continue on April 17/18 at the Warrnambool Kart Club.
Thankyou to the following Series Sponsors:
- DPE KART SUPERSTORE
- REMO RACING / IAME
- DUNLOP KARTSPORT
- ALLSTAR GRAPHICS / 365 APPAREL CO
- TONYKART AUSTRALIA / BARON ENGINE DEVELOPMENTS
- PATRIZICORSE / VORTEX ENGINES / BRIDGESTONE KART AUSTRALIA
- MELBOURNE KART CENTRE
- CHAMBERS PORTABLE LINE BORING
- AHR MEDIA
- DARREN’S SPORTOGRAPHY
- PRO KARTING
- LS DESIGN
- BENDIGO BANK