words & photos by Bailey Dixon, The Karticle Media
Round three of the 2021 Golden Power Series here we go!
With exactly 280 karters entered in the meeting, the weekend was one of the largest the series has ever seen. The track had the capacity to make it work, with the Eastern Lions Kart Club circuit a whopping 1.064-kilometres long and with a grid capacity of over 40 karts. The weekend was packed full of every type of action, from red flag incidents to intense four-kart battles, from sunny weather to a slippery early-morning track, and so the highs were high and the lows were low at the Eastern Lions Kart Club.
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TaG 125 Light
In TaG 125 Light, Will Harper and Liam Ford battled it out for first, with only three tenths separating them across the line in heat one, and under two tenths in heat two. Heat three saw Ford drop to twelfth, leaving Harper, Luke Thomas, Declan Somers, and Hamish Fitzsimmons to fight for the win.
With more bad luck in the final, the gravel of turn one claimed Ford as a victim, releasing Thomas to duel with Harper for first. Thomas seized the lead from Harper in the penultimate corner, but Harper snatched it back, crossing the line first to claim top step of the podium. Thomas narrowly slotted into second followed by Fitzsimmons in third, with Declan Somers and Bailey Collins rounding out the top five.
TaG 125 Restricted Light
Gerry Westerveld and Brodie Doidge gave the illusion of a consistent lead battle for the weekend in TaG 125 Restricted Light, but heat two ruined this when Doidge was collected in an incident off the start. This incident shook up the leaders for the race, with Harrison Campbell and Ethan Warren battling over top three spots behind Westerveld, while Flynn Twyford ran fourth defending against challengers from behind.
Doidge returned in the final, taking the fight back to Westerveld for the lead in the concluding laps of the race. The pair took the chequered flag side-by-side, with Westerveld mere inches ahead. Doidge therefore took second, with Warren third, while Harrison Campbell and Ross Stubbs completed the top five.
Everything was up for grabs in KA3 Junior. Kristian Janev battled with Gianmarco Pradel to claim first in the first heat, only half a second separating them, before Pradel struck back to take the win in heat two. Brodie Thomson, Luca Belardo, Joshua Hee Keng and Cadel Ambrose scrapped over second place in heat three behind Janev once again.
The final saw the top six cross the line with less than seven tenths separating them, a chaotic final lap sealing Thomson’s win over Pradel and Jett Kocoski. Thomson’s battle with Pradel was the cause of the chaos, allowing the four behind to catch and bottlenecking the pack enough to make the win possible for anyone. Behind the top three, Kristian Janev finished in fourth place and Joshua Hee Keng crossed the line fifth.
Victorian Combined Masters
The regular culprits battled it out in Vic Combined Masters, with Simon Phillips beating Phillip Stradbrook to the win in heat one. Heath Jelbart seized the victory in the second heat, but Phillips and Stradbrook were at it again in heat three, crossing the line almost side-by-side.
On a weekend of highs, an incident for Phillips in the final cost him a podium. Amid a fight with Stradbrook and Jelbart, he lost control of his kart on the straight in front of the canteen and wound up in the tyre barrier. This gave the win to Jelbart, with Herman Van Ree in second, and Stradbrook in third. Barry Golightly and Leon Forrest rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.
KA3 Senior Light
Bodhi Bright beat Jaylen Paragreen to the line in heat one of KA3 Senior Light, and then took another victory in heat three ahead of Zackary Thompson. Breaking the pattern, Nicholas Trebilcock fended off Bright in heat two to take the win.
The final for this class featured the first red flag of Sunday, caused by a collision between Kait Martin and Elijah Brown, the result of which was Martin limping from her kart into an ambulance. When the race resumed over half an hour later, Ethan Bray came out the victor in a four-kart slog for the win, ahead of Paragreen in second and Thompson in third, while Bodhi Bright and Max Torcasio rounded out the top five.
Two red flags due to roll-overs occurred in the Cadet 9 class over the course of the weekend, one in the last race on Saturday, and the second on Sunday afternoon. Thankfully, both youngsters were able to walk away from their karts and into the ambulance to be checked over. The second heat saw the youngsters put ambition ahead of adhesion in slippery early-morning conditions, with many of them spinning and Lucas Costanzo taking the win by over eight seconds.
The final was where the second roll-over happened, with Levi Lord’s kart barrel rolling and sending him flying. He was able to run off the track, but he was still in need of an ambulance, which caused further delays in racing. When the Cadet 9 final restarted, it was Cruz Kelly who took the win by a tenth to Costanzo in second and Jensen Damaschino in third, with Jai George in fourth and Jedd Pickford in fifth.
TaG 125 Heavy
After the accident that occurred in the Cadet 9 final, TaG 125 Heavy was the first class to run a shortened final length. Jayden Wallis was the man to beat in both heats one and three, while Zach Morris took victory in the slippery second heat over Jackson Griffith.
In the shortened seven-lap final, Dylan Collett started off fighting with Wallis, Thomas Hughes and Jason McKay, before managing to pull away and gain a clear lead. From then on, it was the fight between Wallis and McKay over second that attracted the most attention. The final podium saw Collett take the top step, with Wallis in second and McKay in third, while Billy Westerveld and Zach Morris completed the top five.
KA3 Senior Medium
Taine Venables was the weekend’s clear victor in KA3 Senior Medium, winning heat one ahead of Benjamin Mouritz and Robert Xerri, then heat three ahead of Xerri and then Mouritz. Mouritz took the heat two win in the slippery early-morning conditions by a dominant 2.8 seconds over Daniel Hinds.
Venables gained an early lead quickly in the final, leaving Mouritz and Hinds to battle over second place. Hinds dropped back later in the race, coming under pressure from Braden Clark, Ben Chapman and Jensen Shearer in fourth, fifth and sixth. Across the line, Venables took the win, Mouritz came home second, Hinds third, with Braden Clark and Ben Chapman fourth and fifth to complete the top five.
TaG 125 Restricted Heavy
Another result of the rain overnight between Saturday and Sunday, the battle for first in TaG 125 Restricted Heavy heat two was between Brent Opie and Joe Brancati, while Brett Jenkin struggled down in third. This was unusual for Jenkin, who claimed first place in both heat one and heat two.
Come the final, the top three were quick to distance themselves from the pack. Jenkin pulled away in the lead, which left Ryan Van Ree and Marc Tune to scrap over second. As the race went on, Tune fell back into pressure from Brancati, Opie and Tony Baker. Final result was Jenkin on the top step of the podium, with Van Ree in second and Tune in third, while Tony Baker and Joe Brancati came home fourth and fifth respectively.
KA4 Junior Light
The first of the usually split classes – A vs B, C vs D, etc – the KA4 Junior Light category could stay as one group because of the larger grid capacity. This meant 33 karts on track at once. Xavier Avramides took a dominant victory in the first heat, before Toby Dvorak showed his skill to win heat two in cold and slippery conditions. Avramides struck back in heat three, winning and crossing the line with fastest lap of the race, setting himself up well for the final.
Avramides and Hall were quick to disappear on the rest of the field in the final, fighting amongst themselves for the win. Across the line, it was Avramides in first, Hall in second and Dvorak in third, with James Ceveri and William Thompson rounding out the top five.
TaG 125 Restricted Medium
Beau Humphrey was consistently a leader over the course of the weekend in TaG 125 Restricted Medium, taking victory in heats one and three and the final. In the first heat, Maximus Fahey and Jackson Rice challenged Humphrey for the win, before Rice and Humphrey scrapped in heat three again. Clayton Groves conquered the treacherous conditions early Sunday morning, winning heat two ahead of Blair Van Ree.
Rice lost engine power in the final and had to limp his kart home, leaving Humphrey free to take the win unchallenged, while Van Ree defended his second place against Groves in third. Fourth and fifth for the class went to Christopher Harvey and Kade Gibson.
KA4 Junior Heavy
In KA4 Junior Heavy, Zach Findlay stood out as a top performer for the weekend, winning heats one and three, while Grace Riddell took out the heat two victory. Ethan Briggs challenged Findlay in the first and third heat but dropped off in the final.
The final was the most impressive display for this category, with the lead battle between Findlay and Riddell demonstrating their prowess. Riddell was throwing everything she had at Findlay, ducking and weaving with three laps to go, two laps to go, one… She was so close, but just couldn’t get the run out of the final corner to take victory, ultimately taking the checkered flag one tenth behind Findlay in first. Brodie Thomson brought his kart home in third place, with Amos Orr and Hayden Millington completing the top five.
With 38 karts on track every race, the Cadet 12 class was the largest of the round. Alexander Yoannidis fought with Joanne Ciconte, Pip Casabene and Jack Jenkins throughout the weekend, staving them off in heats one and three, but failing to hold Ciconte back in the second heat where she took victory.
The final saw carnage off the start, at least eight karts facing the wrong way into the first corners, but the leaders were unfazed. Yoannidis again defended his lead against Ciconte and Casabene, in a thrilling battle that ended the weekend on a high. Yoannidis claimed the top step of the podium, Ciconte came home in second, Casabene third, while Jack Jenkins and Armand Hamilton crossed the line fourth and fifth to round out the top five.
A few serious accidents, red flags and treacherous slippery conditions couldn’t defeat the Eastern Lions Kart Club round. With its conclusion, the 2021 Golden Power Series is halfway completed!
Round four will take place in a little under a month’s time, at Bendigo Kart Club on June 5 and 6. However, if you are keen for more racing between now and then, Eastern Lions Kart Club is hosting a round of the Metro Series this weekend (May 15 and 16), and a round of the Australian Kart Championships on June 25 to 27. Both are great events that cannot be missed!
But until next month at Bendigo, this is The Karticle signing off!