by Marilyn Weier
After much “on again, off again” and calendar shuffling, the fourth round of the Queensland Superkart Club Championship Series was finally held at Queensland Raceway on August 21-22.
Round 4 , or maybe it should have been renamed the on, off and on again Round. Originally ours on the QR calendar we then lost it to the V8’s and given a date for two weeks earlier. No racing was done that weekend due to then a Covid Lockdown and then we were given back this date again when the V8’s weren’t able to come to Queensland and instead of being a one day meeting it was spread over two.
A beautiful sunny day saw the Superkarts take to the track for qualifying. Tim W was running in a piston but once this was done set the fastest time to put his kart on Pole. He found the track a bit slippery and made some minor adjustments. Ewan Burg was next on the grid and a new Club member. He comes from Endro Karts as well as Extreme Karting. He has always loved speed and saw the Superkarts race about 15 years ago and knew he wanted do it one day. He took up an option on a 250cc Twin owned by Lee Swindle. This kart had been sitting in a shed for the last 7 years and so he has spent the last 8 months rebuilding everything. At this point though he is more looking for seat time and learning to get him ready to do more serious racing next year. Steve Cloake discovered after his Kart wouldn’t start for the 3rd race in the last round that it had seized when he forgot to Loctite the bolt holding the power valve assembly together. The bolt from it went into the piston and seized it. Fortunately, it only seized one of the pistons. While qualifying he thought he had seized it again. After running in the new piston, he was lacking power but was relieved to find he had a loose fuel line and so it was only starved for fuel. Brock Nicholas in his PVP 250 Inter was gridded behind Steve and was happy with how everything was running.
Doug Amiss and Tim Philp had their 125cc National Karts running well, with Doug just qualifying ahead of Tim. Chyrss, the only Jamieson running this weekend was just behind them but felt his kart was lacking power. Didn’t know why, felt he just had to suck it and see if any adjustment would help. After been missing from the grid for a couple of race meetings because of work commitments Todd Bothamley was back and set the next fastest time. This is only his second time at this track and was looking to find the best way around it and better his times. Greg and Kyle’s Karts had spent the time between Round 3 and 4 in Tim W shed and they worked with Tim and Bernard on many weekend’s as well as time spent during the week by Tim, to get them ready. Greg went out in qualifying and set a time that was just behind Todd so was happy with that. Greg and Kyle. along with Tim and Bernard were at QR Friday to test to make sure they were going and found more problems. Out on the track Kyle’s kart started missing, but a changed Rectifier appeared to fix this, and Greg had a broken earth wire, handling problems and had left his choke on. These problems all appeared to be sorted by the end of the day. However, Saturday morning, Kyle’s engine refused to fire and so he spent qualifying and the time to the first race along with help from, Bernard, Tim, Craig and Greg changing back to the rectifier that didn’t want to work on Friday, put in a new wiring loom, they also felt the kill switch was faulty. They were able to get it sorted for the first round and fixed later in the day. Liam was on old tyres and was only able to post a time of 1.25. Paul Davis burnt his clutch on the out lap and was out for the day.
Peter had used the time between Rounds to change his smashed engine from Round 3 to his spare engine and set the fastest time in the NGB Light Class. David in his NGB Heavy was right behind him. Paul was happy with qualifying as was Ben who set a PB of 1.27.9 before breaking his chain on the last lap. Jeff Cook had brake issues and couldn’t set a good lap and Amber Bothamley was also struggling to set a fast time and qualified just behind Jeff. Leighton was missing for this round due to a broken finger.
Another new member, Ricky Keane rolled out for qualifying in an 85cc kart, although he is looking to upgrade to a 125cc. Ricky has come from Motorcross and decided he wanted to do his racing lying down after breaking so many bones he needs a letter to get him through Airport security. He found it a bit slippery but looking forward to racing.
250cc Internationals and National
Tim had pole, but the outright power of Ewan’s Twin engine saw him pass Tim by the first corner. Tim closed up on him by the end of the back straight but Ewan held him off till lap 3 where he passed him between turn 1 and 2. Once past him Tim held Ewan out till on the last lap when Tim opted not dive bomb a couple of Rotaxs into turn 6 who were dicing in front of him. Ewan took the opportunity to stick his nose in and was able to use his extra horsepower to drag Tim down the straight to take the chequered flag and the overall win. Steve was circulating around behind them but was struggling to get power out of the corners. On the 2nd last lap Doug in his 125cc arrived on him through turn 5 with more speed than Steve. He tried to go down the inside but they connected. Doug was able to keep going with only tyre marks on his side pod Steve spun off and was out for the rest of the weekend when it appeared damage had been down to his gearbox as he was unable to change gears. Brock spent a couple of the earlier laps mixing it up with the 125cc’s before putting some distance on them. Towards the end of the race he found he was unable to change gears as he went down the main straight, fortunately a bit of wiggling got it to sort out and he was able to continue around and pick up 3rd.
Ewan had pole for the 2nd race and lead Tim into the first corner. Tim stuck his nose up beside him down the back straight but couldn’t hold him through turn 3. Ewan then spun off at turn 4 when his balaclava impeded his vision. He then waited until it was safe to come back on the track but this gave Tim too good a lead and he was able to cruise around and pick up the overall win as well as the win in his class. Brock mixed it up again with the 125cc’s for the first couple of laps before putting a gap on them to and pick up another 3rd in his class.
Sunday saw another beautiful sunny day with only blue skies. Ewan had also experienced clutch problems in the 2nd race on Saturday. He tried bleeding them Sunday morning, but it didn’t fix the problem, but he was able to get a push start from Liam and once running he could race. Tim had poll but Ewan’s extra horsepower saw him take the lead by the 1st corner. Tim hung in there and had him back through the 4th corner and it looked like it was going to be a good race between the two of them when Ewan pulled into the pits, his wheel nuts had come loose. This left Tim to circulate around taking both win in class as well as overall win. Brock changed his head inserts before this race but forgot to retighten it. The coolant hose came off on the warm up lap and pulled off at Corner two.
Ewan’s wheels coming loose had damaged both the hub and the wheel. Fortunately he had a spare hub and with a loan of two wheels from Tim he was back out for the 4th heat. Another push start from Liam, but this time a push from Bernard to get his kart momentum and then Liam pushing him got him going again creating less stress on Liam’s clutch. Tim was again on pole and for the first couple of laps it looked like we were in for a good race when Ewan passed Tim by turn one but Tim was back in front out of turn 2. Ewans horsepower would get him back in front but his tyres were lacking grip and Tim got back in front of him on turn 4 and appeared to be headed for another outright win when with one and a half laps to go, going through turn three a head stud snapped causing a coolant leak and he pulled off the track. Ewan lack of grip on his tyres made him feel like he was drifting not racing but he was able to finish the race.
Chryss’s tweaking after qualifying and making sure the round pegs were in the round holes saw improvement in his times and he joined Doug and Tim P to diced for the lead in this class with only split seconds separating them. This close racing was made a little bit more interesting by Brock in his 250cc Twin also mixed it up with them for a few laps before pulling away. Doug was in front on the 6th lap and looked like he could go on to win it when arrived at turn 5 and found Steve in the middle of it and struggling to find power to get out of corners. Doug tried to go down the inside of him but they connected. Doug was able to continue on and finish but this allowed Tim get the lead back and cross the finish line ahead of Chryss and Doug. Greg and Liam circulated around behind them with Greg feeling his kart wasn’t handling well and used the time between races to realigned the front of his Kart. All the hard work done on Kyle’s kart after qualifying paid off and he was able to make it out and finish, although back from the rest of the 125’s. Todd lost it through turn 4 on the 3rd lap and sat the rest of the race.
Doug, Tim and Chryss took up where they had left off in the first race and entertained us with more close racing .with Brock again in amongst them for the first couple of laps before he was able to put a gap on them. With one lap to go Doug thought he had it won but was baulked by Jeff in his NGB Light and this allowed both Tim and Chryss to get past him for a repeat of the first race placings. Todd had a moment on the first lap and so was playing catch up for most of the race. With one lap to go he caught up with Liam who was still struggling for speed with his old tyres and they had a coming together and they both spun off and DNF’d. Kyle camber bar broke during this race but he was able to continue on and finish the race. Greg made it out for the warm up lap but his throttle cable snapped at the start. He was able to do a quick left turn back into the exit of the pits and with some duct tape and zip ties he was able to do a temporary repair and get back out. He was a couple of laps down but happy to finish. He thought his surge problem had come back and was relieved to see when he came back into the pits that he had left his choke open.. Despite all of this he bettered his best time by 2 seconds.
Sunday morning and it appeared Doug had found some extra speed over night as he got away to a good start and stretched the gap to Tim and Chryss but commented after the race it was a bit boring. Tim followed him around but couldn’t challenge for the lead with Chyrss just behind him and was looking for some youth juice to put in his tank when he came back to the pits. Greg stalled his engine in marshalling and had to work his way through the field to get back to his grid position and he felt he didn’t get his tyres warm enough and spun through turn 2 on the first lap. However he was able to get going again passing Kyle on the 5th lap to finish in 4th. Kyle with a loan of a camber bar from Doug was back out but still trying to finding the fastest line through some of the corners. While still not up there with the faster drivers he improved his time over the weekend with his fastest time in race 3 four seconds faster than his first race. Todd lost the back end through turn 2 and spun off, tried to keep it going but it stalled. Paul, had replaced his clutch over night but both he and Liam stopped on lap 3.
Doug and Tim P took up where they had left off at the end of Saturday and spent the entire race swapping spots around the track and then trying to drag each other down the main straight. Chryss still looking for some youth juice could only enjoy the show. On the final corner Doug got his nose in front and held it in the drag down to the chequered flag to win by eight hundredths of a second. Chryss finished behind them with Liam next across the Line. Tod, Greg and Kyle all had DNF’s Tod went to deep into turn 3 and spun off, Greg broke a chain and Kyle found the limits of his kart through turn 3 and also spun off.
NGB Lights NGB Heavy and 85cc
Peter set a cracking pace right from the first lap with David (H) and Paul hot on his heels. Peter took 1st in his class with David crossing right behind and also in first. Paul locked up in turn 4 on lap 6 to avoid hitting Peter and although he continued he wasn’t able to catch back up and finished behind David but in 2nd Ben was in the mix time but stopped on the 4th lap with chain and sprocket problems. Jeff was at the rear of this group but Amber had improved her qualifying times by 4 secs and was looking to take 5th off him but a moment in lap 5 saw her loose time and she followed him over the line for 6th. Ricky pulled into the pits on the 3rd lap as his quick shift cable was coming out and didn’t make it back out again.
Peter wouldn’t have it all his own way in the 2nd race as the long break between races gave Ben time to go home and get a new sprocket and replace both it and his chain. David balanced his wheels with 75 gms of lead and this stopped a vibration he had and gave him more confidence through the corners They had a three way battle throughout this race and they went three wide across the finish line with Peter beating David by 0.28 of a sec. and ahead of Ben by 0.8 of a sec. Amber’s time improved by another couple of seconds and she and Jeff were going wheel to wheel till the 6th lap when going into turn 4 Amber’s clutch and she conveniently spun off to her right which allowed Tim Weier, who was coming up fast behind them, a clear path through the corner and continue merrily on his way. Jeff was also able to avoid Amber and continue on to finish the race. Ricky fixed his quick shift cable and circulated finishing a couple of seconds behind him. Paul did PB of 1.27.1 on lap 2 and then going through the bump in turn 1 on the nest lap he did a full 180 before going backwards of the track with a bit of landscaping at the same time and was a spectator after that.
A good night sleep seemed have energised the NGB Light and Heavy class and it was on for young and old in this race between Peter, David and Ben with Paul with tacking onto the back of them. Tim lapped this group just before he took the chequered flag. Peter was very happy this happed as her was only 0.3 of a second in front of David and Ben. They weren’t quite so happy as they both felt if they had one more lap, they would have got him. Paul despite having a bit of a spin on turn two early in the heat was able to keep going and finished only ar second behind them. Amber and Jeff resumed their dice and this time Amber managed to get her nose in front as the cross the line but only just. Good entertaining race all round. Liam and Paul came together on the 4th lap and DNF. Ricky discovered when he arrived at the track on Sunday, found that he had blown the base gasket. He felt he must have done it at the end of Race 2 and was unable to race on Sunday.
Last race of the weekend and it felt like the Lights and Heavy had saved the best for last with positions being swapping constantly for the entire race and so close to each other you could have thrown a blanket over them. An added excitement to the race was on the 2nd last lap. Tim in his 250cc kart past them down the back straight but the head stud snapped off his engine causing a coolant leak as well as a huge reduction in power and speed as he went into turn 3 so the Lights and Heavy suddenly arrive at turn 3 with Tim in the middle of it. Peter, Ben and David went to the left and Paul snuck through on the inside, all managed to pass him without incident. David made the most of this moment to stick on Peter’s tail and managed to get beat him across the finish line by 0.2 second with Paul and Ben hot on their tails. Ben was very happy with his day. He set a personal best time in qualifying and then bettered it in both Race 1 and 2. finishing with a PB of 1.27.2846. Amber’s Kart stopped from a mystery mechanical problem on the warm up lap and wouldn’t restart.
So ended another weekend of racing, lots of close and entertaining racing. Good to see new members getting their karts on the track and adding to our numbers and we will be back in 4 weeks time at Lakeside for out last race meeting of the year.
Look forward to seeing you all out there.