by Russell Innes
Changeable weather conditions made for a challenging days racing during Round 3 of the Ipswich Kart Club Championship on Saturday the 1st of May.
The IKC 4SS Titles Meeting, also doubled as the 1st Round of the Coolum Karts 4SS Triple Crown Series and the 4SS classes were the feature classes. This resulted in a massive 69 4SS entries out of the total 213 starters on the day. 4SS Junior produced the largest ever field in Australia and were the absolute superstars of the race meeting.
With about 40 regular IKC club day competitors away at AKC in Adelaide, it presented some great opportunity especially in the Cadet and Junior classes for some new names racing at the front and it was exciting to see some new faces on the podium at presentation.
After qualifying only 11th with some issues, Jack Munro was dominant through the Heats and the Final in 4SS Senior Light. Fastest qualifier Justin Whittal, Hayden Hume, Samual Greenhalgh and Mitch Rice were amongst the placings during the Heats, Hume and Rice completing the podium in the Final behind the dominant Munro. Justin Whittal coming home 4th ahead of Jordan Marshall in 5th.
4SS Senior Medium was certainly a class that was considered pre event to be one that would be very hotly contested and that proved to be true. Scott Pearce and Kevin Johnston took a win each in the first two heats, with nothing between them, with Tim Baker and Brody Jarvis completing the placings. In on and off wet conditions in Heat 3 and some choosing wets and some staying on slicks, Tim Baker had a great win from Mark Walker and Harrison Arendt, Johnson and Pearce having a great duel on slicks on a wet track for 4th and 5th. In the Final, again on a still damp track and challenging conditions, Johnston and Pearce put on a great battle swapping the lead a couple of times before Johnston slid wide when it started raining again and Pearce went to the front for a small margin of victory. Jarvis completing the podium in 3rd. Baker and Arendt completed the top 5 placings.
The battle for the IKC 4SS Junior Title was highly anticipated as the 4SS Junior racing in South East Queensland had been sensational in previous weeks at Warwick and Cooloola race meetings and the youngsters in 4SS Junior did not disappoint. Jordan Briggs set a sensational time in qualifying to secure pole for the first two heats, ahead of Hayden Egan, Cody Scott, Finn Woodley and Cooper Crawford. Jackson Greenhalgh and Joe Bonnano both had issues in Qualifying and would face the challenge of starting from the back of the field in the first two heats. Woodley, Briggs, Egan and Scott all led at one stage in Heat 1 in what was a fantastic display of driving by all. Woodley eventually winning from Briggs and Egan. Henry Stratford coming through for 4th ahead of Scott. Egan won Heat 2 from Woodley and Scott. Greenhalgh charging through to 4th from the back of the field and Xander Jacobi in 5th. Heat 3 threw everything at the 4SS Juniors with a torrential downpour halting the race on lap 7 with only 6 drivers still staying on track, most sliding off in the terrible conditions. Briggs mastering the conditions best to win from Jacobi and Bonnano who was recovering from his bad qualifying result. Lachy Rice and Buster Bailey completing the top 5. Into the night and with the Final under lights, track conditions still remained damp and challenging, Egan, Briggs and Bonnano showing their class to master the conditions best, getting clear of the pack early and moving clear. Briggs led early before Egan took over and slowly built a small margin as Briggs fell back to be challenged by Bonnano. Egan eventually winning by over 3 seconds, Briggs just holding out Bonnano who had made a fantastic recovery from his qualifying drama. Woodley finishing 4th and Rice 5th.
After qualifying fastest, Jack Munro won Heat 1 in 4SS Supermaxx Medium in a very tight battle with Hayden Nissen and Scott Pearce. Pearce winning Heat 2, again with a very narrow margin from Munro and Nissen. Munro was unchallenged in Heat 3 with a dominant win ahead of Craig Nissen and Brynn Stewart. Munro went on to win his 2nd Feature Class on the day in the challenging track conditions in the Final. Hayden Nissen a few seconds back in 2nd and James Hogan having his best race of the day coming through to 3rd. Caitlin Ludbey doing very well in the wet conditions to bring it home 4th and Scott Pearce finishing 5th.
Kevin Davis set fast time in qualifying and had a comfortable Heat 1 win from Colin Palmer and Zachary Walvin. Heat 2 was a repeat with the same top 3 placegetters. Walvin started showing his speed in Heat 3 with a good win ahead of Palmer and Davis and went into the Final looking the likely pacesetter and in the very wet conditions absolutely dominated to win by almost 10 seconds from Davis and Jason Ramsay another 20 seconds further back. Edward Arendt and Thomas Ludbey finishing 4th and 5th.
After a few years away from karting, Brock Plumb has made an immediate impression on his return with a decisive victory in the Final of TAG Light. Lucas O’Connor, Hayden Hume and Thomas Gallagher, shared the placings around during the heats, but Plumb’s experience came to the fore in the wet Final and he was consistently a second a lap quicker than others to record a comfortable win from O’Connor and Hume.
Chris Williams has been the man to beat in TAG Heavy this year at IKC and he started the day with the Heat 1 win from Jessica Golding who has returned to karting after quite a few years away, but has lost none of her competitiveness and took a great 2nd place, with Scott Gray 3rd. Finlay Derry won Heat 2 from another returning karter Chris Farkas and Williams in 3rd. Williams had a strong win in Heat 3 from Derry and Farkas, setting up what was expected to be an exciting Final. Derry went to the lead early on a still damp track and held it throughout with Williams close behind, these two finishing well ahead of 3rd placed Farkas.
Louis Brown, Jordan Sell and Baxter Jarrett were the class of the field in Cadet 12 during the Heats, with Sell winning Heat 1 from Jarrett and Brown, Brown having a narrow victory in Heat 2 from Jarrett and Sell. In the wet Heat 3, Brown drove away to a big win from Sell and then Barrett. In the Final, still on a damp track, Sell was excellent in the early laps and went out to a good lead. Jarrett pulled him back a bit late in the race, with Brown holding down 3rd, but Sell’s early pace had established a comfortable margin in front and he drove to a well deserved victory ahead of Jarrett and Brown.
4SS Cadet had a small field of 4 starters, Caine Caldwell winning Heat 1 from Zac Mason and Blake Whittal. Mason comfortably winning Heat 2 from Caldwell and Whittal. Caldwell narrowly held out Mason in Heat 3 in the damp track conditions with Whittal again 3rd. In the very wet conditions of the Final, Mason had a comfortable win ahead of Whittal, these 2 the only finishers.
With the usual Cadet 9 frontrunners away at AKC, it presented an opportunity for others to challenge for podium placings and Caleb Myers led the way with a Heat 1 win from Gabriel Elkayam and Blake Haigh. Riley Curtis stepped up for the Heat 2 win from Haigh and Myers. Damp track conditions for Heat 3 were mastered best by Myers with a comfortable win from Elkayam and Haigh. It was extremely challenging track conditions for the Final and Elkayam saved his best for last with a strong performance to win ahead of Curtis and Harper May.
The huge TAG Restricted Light field threw up some varied results in the Heats with the random grid draws, Dion Jarvis getting the Heat 1 win from Miles Bromley and Justin McCartney. Heat 2 and regular frontrunner Melanya Rudd took a decisive win from Robert Mortensen and Cameron Hargrave. Rudd continued to show great pace in Heat 3 with the win from Mortensen and Hargrave again. Damp track conditions were challenging for the Final, but Hargrave went straight to the front and never surrendered it. David Vogel had been consistent without being spectacular in the Heats but was very quick early in the Final and quickly moved to 2nd. Rudd settled in to 3rd and these 3 circulated all race in that order. Hargrave winning from Vogel and Rudd.
After the passing of his father during the week, Adam Woods raced to honour his dad and took an amazing victory in Heat 1 of TAG Restricted Medium, followed by Craig Balke and Joshua Herne who has been totally dominant in TAG Restricted Medium at Ipswich so far this year. Balke took out Heat 2 from Herne and Guy Wouti. In the wet conditions for Heat 3, Herne completely asserted his dominance with an astonishing 26 second winning margin from Reece Forester and Joshua Dagg. Herne was again dominant in the still damp track conditions in the Final and drove away to a 12 second winning margin from Forester and Balke.
Peter Nolloth had a strong win in Heat 1 of TAG Restricted Masters from Michael McLean and Noel Smyth. He then backed it up with another Heat win ahead of Smyth and Nick Newman, before also taking the Heat 3 win from Newman and McLean. Phil Straughan had been a little off the pace of the frontrunners all day, but in the wet conditions of the Final he used all his years of experience to advantage to stay on track whilst others went off and went on to a narrow win ahead of Smyth and Francois Joubert.
The Open Performance field was a little down on numbers this round but still provided some good on track entertainment. Dan Hutchinson narrowly won Heat 1 from Leorra Devisser with Ethan Feather 3rd. Devisser turned the tables in Heat 2 with a great win from Scott Cleveland and Hutchinson. Cleveland made it 3 different Heat winners taking Heat 3 from Keyan Appleby and Feather in 3rd. After a very mixed day, Angus Mathers mastered the very wet conditions in the Final for a strong victory in his first outing in this class at Ipswich. Devisser challenged at times but had to settle for 2nd, with Cleveland completing the podium.
With the majority of the regular KA3 Senior runners contesting the AKC Round in Adelaide, the KA3 Senior field was a very small one this club round. Ryan Uhlmann dominated the 1st 2 Heats, before a DNF in Heat 3. Dylan Birse kept him real honest in the very wet and challenging conditions of the Final, but fell just short, Uhlmann 1st, Birse 2nd and Luke Ayres 3rd.
The KA4 Junior Light field was another class a bit down on numbers as many were away at AKC, but again this presented opportunity for other regular IKC Club Championship runners to contest for the podium. Billy Myers got off to a good start with the Heat 1 win from William Gallagher and Tom Dare. Gallagher went one better in Heat 2 with a win over Kayden Thompson and Tom Dare. He repeated the victory in Heat 3 from Myers and Thompson. Gallagher led early in the Final before an unfortunate DNF half way through, with Thompson taking advantage and going on to take the win from Myers and Hayden Sell.
Hayden Egan got off to a good start in KA3 Junior with the Heat 1 win from Slade Orsmond and Bryce Lane. Dean Silcock showed he was the one to beat though in Heat 2 and 3 taking the win in both. Egan and Orsmond shared the placings with a 2nd and 3rd each. Silcock, Egan and Orsmond were the class of the field again in the Final held on a damp track. Egan led early before Silcock took the lead half way through and went on to a small margin of victory over Egan with Orsmond close behind.
IKC’s next race meeting will be the non club championship enduro round, with the IKC Teams Enduro Challenge scheduled for the 5th and 6th of June. Full details of this race meeting will be announced over the next week.