by Bailey Dixon, The Karticle Media
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
Laurence Binyon (‘For the Fallen’)
With Anzac Day occurring on the last Sunday of the month this April, it meant that kart clubs around Australia were forced to move their race days to Saturday 24 out of respect. The Albury-Wodonga Kart Club’s April Club Day was no exception. Three heats of ten laps for each class starting from midday, then a Time Attack on a changed track layout, capped off with a club barbeque at the end of the day to cement an enjoyable Saturday afternoon.
The combined junior classes were the first out the gate when racing began, though the track was already dialled from the morning practice time for all AWKC members. Piper Muller took off like a rocket, leaving the rest of the field behind in her KA3 Junior kart. This left Blake Tracey and James Brett to battle it out for second place overall and first in class, while Eddy Cooper (running with kart issues) staved off Jesse Cannell for third in the KA4 Junior Light class. Hayden Macauley cut some decent laps in his slower KA4 Junior Heavy kart, while newcomer Luka Walls participated in his first club day. His family had a bit of bad luck on the day, with Luka failing to start the first heat, but he got out there and raced, and it is something they can build on in the future.
Victorian Combined Light saw Flynn Twyford dominate, winning every single race and achieving the fastest time in the Time Attack to boot. Behind him Jade Macreadie and Myall Hoffman were scrapping away throughout the day, for different positions. In the first heat they fought for second place, while it was a battle for third in the second and third heats, behind Zara Horn, who made the trip down from Sydney to attend Saturday’s club day.
The middle class for the day, Cadet 12 featured the most substantial field of the club day. With random grid again this club day, the first heat was both exciting and intense in its action. After a very confusing start where half the pack started racing while half were still forming up, and a subsequent restart where Taylor Taborsky wound up in the gravel trap of turn four, the action ramped up. Quick out the gate, Noah caught up to the back of Eli within the first three laps, and the pair began their thunderous charge through the field. Working together, they made their way up into third and fourth before Noah sent a move on Eli, moving him up into third place, where he started to chase down the leaders. Noah caught and overtook Dylan on lap six, with Eli not far behind. Then it was just Ryan in the lead that had to be reeled in, and Noah and Eli were flying! Three laps to go… two laps to go… last lap… and Noah took a dive down the inside of the hairpin, only three corners before the chequered flag, moving him up into the lead! Ryan however, was not giving up, and he battled his way back into the lead on the next corner, earning himself a hard fought and well-deserved victory in the first heat. I think it is fair to say that the Cadet 12 class really provided some breathtaking action this April club day. Further, in this class, Charlie Walls was enjoying his first club day, going strong out the gate and setting up a solid foundation for his racing career.
With only four racers in Cadet 9, this was a very chilled category of racing. Ashleigh Brett claimed victory in the first heat, with newcomer William Boniface making strides and crossing the line second. Merik Nesbitt and Koa Patten finished third and fourth for this heat, after Koa went for an overtake down the inside of turn one and accidentally locked his brakes, spinning them both around and costing them a significant amount of time. In the second heat, Merik took the top spot with William only seven-tenths behind him across the line. Meanwhile, Ashleigh and Koa were stranded on the side of the track. Merik took out another win in the third heat, with Koa finishing a miniscule two-tenths behind, and William coming home third. For William Boniface, this was the first race meet he has competed in, and he pulled some excellent results for just getting the feel of racing. Keep it up mate!
In the combined class of Victorian Combined Medium and 4SS Senior Medium, David Galley took out the first two heats, before Phil Crosskell fought back to win heat three and get the fastest time in the Time Attack (by less than a tenth). The first heat saw an interesting battle for second between Gerard Hudson and Matthew De Jager, while in the second heat the action was Phil hunting down David for the lead. The third heat and the pair were battling over first place, with Phil taking the win by only two-tenths over David in the final chequered flag for the day. Furthermore, the third member of the Walls racing team, Michael Walls, was racing in this class for his first club day. Due to this, the statistic arises that the Walls family is now the only current AWKC family to have a racer in the Cadets, Juniors and Seniors classes.
Having started around midday to allow some practice time, the AWKC April Club Day finished late into the afternoon. Trophies were awarded, and a friendly club barbeque was held to bring a greater sense of community.
Furthermore, the new concept of pairing up two racers from different classes to increase the interaction between club members seemed to be a hit, and trophies were also awarded for this based on the combined points from both racers.
Mark Chaston, who organised the teams, recognised the concept as a great success.
“There was plenty of great teamwork seen during the day with drivers helping with kart setup and driver coaching, but equally importantly there was lots of encouragement from the fence for teammates from family and friends. Every family had two drivers to support on the day. The general vibe in the pits was fantastic with kids playing downball on the out grid between races, grandparents becoming cheer squads and lots of people meeting other families and making new friends,” he said.
The top three teams for the day:
- ‘Boomers’ – William Boniface + Blake Tracey
- ‘Thunderbolts’ – Hayden Macauley + Matthew De Jager
- ‘Opals’ – Merik Nesbitt + Myall Hoffman
Importantly, there is no AWKC Club Day next month due to the Supercars Championship racing at Winton Raceway on the last weekend of May.
The third round of the Golden Power Series is taking place in just two weeks, on May 8 and 9, at the Eastern Lions Kart Club in Puckapunyal. You’ll find the Karticle there, covering all the action, so I look forward to seeing many of you there!