The third round of the Queensland Superkart Series took place at Queensland Raceway on May 22. Marilyn Weier reports (images by Action Sports Photography Australia).
15 Karts went out to qualify for this round under a clear sunny sky and it was good to see the Crisp brothers in their 250cc Nationals, back on the track with Gareth setting the fastest qualifying time, despite his saying afterwards, he felt it was running badly, possibly fuel or ignition. Tim was using old tyres for qualifying but still managed to set a time only 1.14 seconds slower than Gareth. Lachlan had a faulty plug and didn’t get it changed in time to make out. We also said welcome back to Steve Cloake, who has been missing since last year when he was experiencing problems with his 250cc International. He now has two of the latest barrels on his kart and is hoping this will solve the problems that had him sidelined.
Our other driver in this class, Brock Nicholas is returning to racing after 10 years. He started out in 250cc Nationals but moved into the Twins when he wanted to race against Carlos Chemaz, Steve Cloake, Michael Nicholas and other that were in the 250 Inter class at the time. His kart was originally Carlos’s but it has passed through a few hands before Brock bought it. This is the first time he has been on the track in this kart so he spent qualifying settling in and getting his gearing sorted.
Todd’s work commitments meant he wasn’t able to make this meeting either, but Jon Bothamley ably filled in for him again setting the fastest time for the 125’s. Tim Philp had a problem free qualifying to take second in the 125 class. Round 2 winner Greg Hack, was 4 seconds slower than the last race meeting and wasn’t sure why considering Drene Jamieson had rebuilt his brakes after last round and he couldn’t finally stop with some confidence. After the last round Kyle, discovered his fuel tank was a fibreglass one and was delaminating, clogging up his filter. With the help of various club members including Liam Hoy for fabricating the tank, Ross Frazer for dropping it off to Tim and Bernard he now has a new petrol tank and barrel after his original was missing some nickasil. However he was still having fuel problems through Turn 2 and so cleaned his carby out.
Peter was missing from the NGB Lights this meeting after he had a major seize when he was practicing on Friday afternoon. The engine was totally destroyed and will need to be replaced. However he took on the roll of Spanner man till lunch time. While disappointed for Peter, this did raise some “excitement” in this class as they felt this gave them an opportunity to get on the Podium. Leighton set the fastest time with Paul Buckley and Ben Longland hot on his tail. Ben found his Kart was hesitating when it reached 10 grand and so opted to clean the plug and fuel system before the first race. Mark had made some setting changes in practice on Friday and was happy with how it was going and Jeff also had a trouble free qualifying. Amber was away for this meeting.
David, who fortunately realized not long after he left home, that he hadn’t packed his nose cone and did a quick turnaround to get it, snapped a chain but set the fastest time for the NGB Heavies, before doing this. Glen had a nut come adrift from the front sprocket, but his chain stayed on.
250cc National and Internationals
Race 1 An excellent start from Tim saw him get in front of Gareth and lead into the first corner. Steve passed Gareth on the back straight but Gareth passed him back by Turn 3 and went after Tim. By the second lap Gareth was back in front and there was a bit of position changing on the next lap before he started to pull a gap on him. Tim was trialling a different set up with his new nosecone but it made things worse and he had a lot of understeer and he could only follow Gareth around and watch him take the chequered flag. Lachlan was not far behind Tim but was lacking speed. He wasn’t sure why but was hoping the few changes he made, would make a difference for the next race. Steve found it hard to push for speed with no one to challenge him when Brock looped it into Turn 6 on the roll out lap as he grabbed first gear locking the rears on his PVP.
Race 2 Tim had another good start. He had changed back to his old nosecone and immediately felt the difference with his lap times being just under a second quicker. He led for the first three laps before Gareth closed up on him and passed him through Turn 6. They swapped spots for a couple of laps but with two laps to go, Tim got a good run through turns 1 and 2 to drag him down the back straight braking as late as he could and then blocking any passing move out of the corner and held on to take the win. Lachlan wasn’t far behind them, till the 6th lap when two head studs came out and it started losing coolant and he felt that stopping was the best thing to do. Steve was feeling more comfortable back on the track and was consistently 3 seconds faster than his times in the first race despite the problem of his Kart bogging down at times. He thinks it could be one of the cylinders. Brock snapped his gear linkage and didn’t finish.
Race 3 and with pole position adding to his good start Tim lead for the first 5 laps before Gareth after a couple of attempts made the pass stick and took the lead. Tim was looking to have a run at him with a lap to go but he was baulked by traffic and Gareth was able to hold his lead for the win. Lachlan didn’t start this race due to possible rings stick. Brock circulated around and finish despite fuel and other teething issues. Steve’s kart ran hot at marshalling, reaching a temperature of 105 degree. He shut it off to allow it to cool but then wasn’t able to get it to start despite the efforts of the pushers pushing him all the way down to the pit exit
Race 4 and it was a very quick turn around with only 2 categories between race 3 and 4 as QR made sure our last race was still in daylight hours. As the field left pit lane, Gareth was left behind when his radio didn’t work. Tim led the slowest rollout lap ever as he hoped to give Gareth enough time to swap radios and get back to his grid spot as the winner of this race would take the overall win for the day and he didn’t want to win by default. As he came down to turn 4 and 5 Tim could see Gareth flying down the back straight and knew he would catch up in time. As it turned out thought the field did a couple more roll out laps as they waited for smoke that had drifted across the track from the Skid pad and creating visibility issues. Once the green flag was waved Tim did his best start for the day and took off hoping to make a big enough break on Gareth. The small adjustment in tyre pressure made the kart handle even better but he still kept waiting for Gareth’s nose cone to poke itself down his inside, but it never came. Gareth tried to go with him but between overheating problems, traffic and fatigue from the short turn around and this being a longer race, Tim crossed the line about 10 seconds in front of him. It was a good day of racing thought and from a spectators point of view it was good to see them duking it out on the track. Brock, made progress with his sorting his kart out and finished behind them setting a best time that was around 7 seconds faster than his qualifying times.
Race 1 andTim (Philp) and Jon set a cracking pace in the first heat swapping spots throughout the race with Tim just keeping his nose in front as they took the chequered flag. Greg, clung onto their tails despite still having problems for most of the race. He did swap places with Steve (250cc Twin) a few time before taking out 3rd in the 125cc’s. Kyle stopped on the 5th lap when his high tension spark plug was just loose enough to stop his engine and his exhaust also fell off.
Race 2 saw the resumption of close racing and dicing between Tim and Jon with Tim again just getting the better of Jon as they crossed the finish line. Greg, along with help from Tim and Bernard had spent the time between the 1st and 2nd race fixing an oil leak. When he tried to start in marshalling it wouldn’t fire. There was no fuel in the carby for the kart been turned on its side to fix the oil leak. They did eventually get it started and Greg was able to get around in time to be in his grid spot when the green flag was waved. Kyle, stopped on the 4th lap when his accelerator cable stuck open after it melted on the exhaust.
Race 3 Tim and Jonlooked like it was going to be a repeat of the first two races and it was for all but the last lap when Jon spun off at Turn 3 and was unable to get going again, leaving Tim to take his easiest win for the day. Greg didn’t enjoy this race when his rear brake leak with fluid getting on his back tyre causing it to slip and slide. However he managed to finish the race inheriting 2nd place after Jon spun off. Kyle’s woes continued and he stopped on the 5 lap when the rivets tore through the outer skin of his muffler and it fell off again.
Race 4 Tim had been using today to do some testing on his engine and had not had any negative results from this but decide for the last race to leave it alone and just get out there and race. He and Jon resumed their close racing but unfortunately for Jon one of his seat mounts broke on the 4th lap and he had to retire. Kyle came out and managed to complete one lap before it just cut out and that was the end of his race day. He had come out on the Practice day on Friday and it had run fine throughout the morning, but nothing wanted to go right today time to pull it apart in the break and give it some TLC.
NGB Heavy and Lights
Race 1 and David, complete with nosecone, set a cracking pace to lead this field around and even had some close racing with Kyle in his 125cc before Kyle stopped on Lap 5. David went on to take an easy win from Glenn who hadn’t been paying attention to the Karts in front of him on the roll out lap and when they braked into Turn 6 he ended up spinning off to avoid them. He able to get back onto the track but was late for the start and although able to work his way up through the field was unable to catch David. The Lights were close up going into the first few turns, dicing for positions but they started to spread out with Ben appearing to have fixed the problem he was having in qualifying and he and Paul enjoyed dicing all the way to the chequered flag where Paul took the first win by half a nose cone. He was very happy with this as it was his first race win. Mark circulated around only a couple of seconds behind them with Jeff finishing just behind him. Jeff is still getting a feel for this track and went into the Kitty litter at Turn 3 early in the race but was able to keep going. . Despite having a problem free qualifying and setting the fastest time, Leighton’s kart just stopped on the roll out lap later.
Race 2 was a much closer affair with the Heavies and the Lights mixing it up most of it. Leighton checked his electrical, fixed his earth problem and made some setting changes and had the speed to challenge David finishing just behind them but both taking the win in their classes. Ben and Paul took up where they left off in the first race with Paul just finishing in front of him. Glenn, Mark and Jeff were also in the mix early on but spread out as the race continued crossing the line in that order.
Race 3 and once they had sorted themselves out through the first few corners, David was out in front and cleared out to win comfortably. Paul and Ben resumed their dicing with Paul once again just finishing in front of Ben. Glen and Mark chased each other to the chequered flag and Jeff stopped after the first lap when he had brake issues. He was feeling a lack of brakes going into Turn 3 with and decided that that was safe to retire for the day. Leighton didn’t start due to a flat battery.
Race 4 and it was already on going into Turn 2 on the first lap, when David and Ben took close racing to another level and touched wheels. They both went sideways up the track but managed to hang on and rejoin the race. David worked his way back through the field to finish first again. Paul was just in front of these two when this happened and he was able to continue on to the chequered flag unchallenged. Ben still finished in second but lost too much momentum to catch backup to Paul. However he and Leighton enjoyed some close racing till the last lap when Leighton stopped with a broken chain. Glen, although not able to match David’s pace he mixed it up with the Lights. Mark circulated around at the back of the field but feels he is improving and his lap times show this with his fastest lap set in race 3 was around 2 seconds faster than his best lap in Race 1.
So ends another days good racing. We are not back here now till the 21st of August, plenty of time to go over those karts and be ready to come out for some more close racing!
1st Brock Nicholas
2nd Steve Cloake
1st Timothy Weier
2nd Gareth Crisp
3rd Lachlan Crisp
1st Tim Philp
2nd Greg Hack
3rd Jonathan Bothamley
1st David Dyson
2nd Glenn Wiggins
1st Paul Buckley
2nd Ben Longland
3rd Mark Buckley