With just 1 month to go to the “Blue Plate” AKRA NSW State Titles on Nov 27/28 weekend, the Karters came out in droves for the last Round of the Wollongong Kart Raceway’s 2021 Club Championship in October.
With 90 plus entries, it was chokers at the Kembla Grange Track in Wollongong on Sunday October 24.
The karters started piling in on Friday setting up.
Saturday the place was half full and the campers ready for Saturday night festivities, and come Sunday it was spilling over the scemes.
The team at WKR, (staff and volunteers) had worked throughout the 3 month lockdown making more improvements. 32 Bags of cement/bitumen were used to fix rough spots and bumps around the track, and the verdict was positive with many comments that the track is much smoother now.
And a Big Hit item was the NEW Kart Shop – Well the OLD Kart Shop. You see the shop Homebush Karts in Sydney that WKR just bought had a landlord that wanted the property back and now the Business had to move, and the Track at Kembla Grange was the obvious choice.
With that all said and done the Karters came out to play. The weather was perfect and the on track Racing had sensational moments.
Wollongong Kart Raceway has developed some of Australia’s best racing drivers with the likes of 2015 V8 Supercar Champion and 2013 Bathurst Winner Mark Winterbottom, 2010 V8 Supercar Champion James Courtney, V8 Supercar Winners Michael Caruso and Dean Canto all started their racing in Junior J’s at Kembla Grange as kids.
Well now we have a new breed of Juniors drivers following the same steps. One Junior having just clocked up his 18th straight race win. 1 more meeting and it will be a full 12 months being undefeated.
Another young fella who just started, (I really mean just started) had his first Race Meeting and won first time out against bigger kids. A performance likened to a young Ayrton Senna winning his first kart race against bigger kids.
He comes from a good blood line with his Father and Uncle both Champion Drivers and Coaches so he is in good hands. It was impressive enough that a call from V8 Supercars team owner Brad Jones (BJR) came later Sunday night to sign up this kid now at the tender age of 6 years old.
The 23 TAG drivers put on a great show with the top 5 all coming apart on the 2nd last lap. The Senior National Class of 25 was tight all day with the top 6 fighting hard till the end. And we had a bunch of those super fast and cool OPEN Shifter Karts that just get the hairs on the back of your neck standing straight up.
All in all it was a great day at the Track, well done to all.
Junior Performance – The Green Plate stays on top.
8 Junior performance drivers faced the starter in the heats and one of the heats highlights was Presley Rosenberg leading 4 race laps for the first time. Well done Pres.
AKRA Australian Champion Deniel Vermeulen and Isaac Demellweek duked it out in the all important final. Vermeulen on the pole held out Demellweek at turn 1 at the start and these two broke all 1.5 metre social distancing rules for the full race distance. They were never more than a kart apart as Demellweek shadowed the Green Plate Kart ahead. If ever there was a hole or a climpst of a hole to put his nose cone in Demellweek was going to send it. But to Vermeulen’s credit she kept a clean line and drove without faults and held on for a close win.
Jack De Boynton recovered from an early woopsey and managed to get himself back up to 3rd place which was a great result with Bailey Cahill and Jordan Johnson rounding out the top 5.
1 Deniel Vermeulen
2 Isaac Demellweek
3 Jack De Boynton
4 Bailey Cahil
5 Jordan Johnson
Presley Hovanyecc has been the star all year in Junior National. Hovanyec has now racked up 18 straight wins, that’s heats prefinals and finals. And on this day he streeted the field.
Last year at the 2020 AKRA State Titles Hovanyecc came of age with a great runner up position and looks to go into the 2021 AKRA State Titles as clear favourite. Makism Petrovic was next best with young Jack Morgan close behind in 3rd.
Young Immy Barnett in her new kart did very well and battled at the front all day for the minor places and just held out Ben Malouf for 4th place. Aska Sendall, Mia Johnson and Ellie Fisher followed behind.
1 Presley Hovanyecc
2 Maksim Petrovic
3 Jack Morgan
4 Immy Barnett
5 Ben Malouf
6 Aska Sendell
7 Mia Johnson
8 Ellie Fisher
Once-upon-a-time there was this young kid from Brazil who won his first kart race as a little boy against bigger kids then went through the motorsport categories and made his way to Formula 1. He became a superstar and won 3 World Championships. That kid was Ayrton Senna.
Wollongong Kart Raceway has seen the start of many racing careers and today was the start of another.
At only 6yrs of age young Oliver Williamson (remember that name) had his first race meeting. Oli does come from a good blood line with Father Tom and Uncle Cody Gillis running one of Australia’s best race Teams but Oli on this day had to do all the steering.
Oli only got his first kart 6 months ago and had been practising plenty, even in the backyard at home.
Williamson won his first heat with this year’s star driver Jack Bugatto winning Heat 2 with Lawrence Rosenberg winning the Prefinal.
The final was a close battle with all 3 and Mason Andaur joining the clan, but as the race settled down it turned into a battle of two’s. Oli held the lead with Jack right behind looking for a way past and Mason and Lawrence battling it out for the final podium position. The fight up front was intense with the parents sweating bullets in the pits.
Williamson and Bugatto were never more than a kart apart and the composure and skill from these two drivers was first class. Williamson got to the line 1st only 3/10ths of a second ahead of Bugatto for a fantastic win with Mason and Lawrence following behind. Little Nadia Vermeulen and new boy Jett Thomas rounded out the top 6.
Later that day V8 Supercar Team Owner Brad Jones received the results of Oli’s win and rang to congratulate young Oli and offer to sign up the young driver. Oli replied with appreciation and thanked Mr Jones but declined the offer by saying “sorry Mr Jones but I’m going all the way to Formula 1, V8 Supercars are just too low for me. But if you have Mr Red Bull’s Phone (Helmet Marko) number that would be rather helpful.”
1 Oliver Williamson
2 Jack Bugatto
3 Mason Anduer
4 Lawrence Rosenberg
5 Nadia Vermeulen
6 Jett Thomas
SENIOR NATIONAL LIGHT
This class produces some great racing every month at WKR. With 22 entries you can see battles happening all around the track.
Luke Paterson had the measure in the Lights in heat 1 and was helped a little by Ross Jones having a troubled relationship with his kart chain yet again. Jones swears blind that the chain is still good after only coming off 4 times this year alone, that the rest of the drivers have vowed to pitch in $2 each to help the old poor codger out.
Miracles do happen and Jones and his old dodgy chain not only lasted the next race but got to the chequered flag before anyone else. Gary Cosis was close enough behind in 2nd to catch said chain if it parted company.
Pre-final and Paterson was too good and led home Graer Great Grandpa Michael Russell and a close Cosis with Jones talking to and praying to his chain once again.
Final’s time and Pateron had it all sorted out and just stretched his lead every lap. Was just too good. Grandpa looked content with 2nd and got the break from the fighting bunch behind as the fight grew stronger with Alexis Spiteri, Cosis, Jones and Kieran Eccles.
With 1st and 2nd all sorted the battle for the last podium spot was intense. They all had a shot at 3rd place at times and it wasn’t until the last 2 laps when a kerfuffle broke out and the ensuing result saw Spiteri sideways, Eccles moving upto 3rd with Jones and Cosis 4th and 5th with Spiteri recovering for 6th.
Steven Brett in a WKR Hired Race Kart (because it was too hard to get his out and fix it hahaha…) did ok for an amateur with Granddaughter Amber Rusell behind. Rich Uncle Brian Quill came home in 9th with first time racer Kurtis Dent performing exceptionally well for 10th.
1 Luke Paterson
2 Michael Russell
3 Kieran Eccles
4 Ross Jones
5 Gary Cosis
6 Alexis Spiteri
7 Steven Brett
8 Amber Russell
9 Brian Quill
10 Kurtis Dent
SENIOR NATIONAL HEAVY
Corey Barlow started as top dog on the day. Corey battled with the Lights and didn’t look out of place in heat 1 winning the Heavies, while heat 2 he came from a back row start and clawed his way past many to be only a few tenths of a second behind Old Man Barlow Mick in 1st and Trent Mullholland 2nd at the flag.
Pre-final Corey was in control ahead of Mullholland and Old Man Mick Barlow.
In the Final it happened again. Corey out front in control with Mullholland and Mick Barlow tooth and nail for the minor placings. Daniel Zammit stayed with 2nd and 3rd until later laps dropped off. Dave Patch rounded out the top 5.
1 Corey Barlow
2 Trent Mullholland
3 Old Man Barlow
4 Daniel Zammit
5 Dave Patch
6 Joshua Reynolds
7 Wynter Smith
8 Emily Braz – Dad I need a Red Kart – They are faster
9 Maltese Mafia Chris Spiteri
10 Brian Liston
It’s getting hot upfront in TAG Light with 7 drivers, all potential winners and placegetters. The Heat wins went to Andrew Sibraa and Scott Appel with Pina Racing Team drivers German and Bryan, Berkeley’s Adam Somerville, last round winner Billy Finnegan and Round 2 winner Tim Hudson all showing potential in the heats. On top of all that was Bryan Pina’s fastest lap of 27.054 in heat 1 was very impressive and 3/10ths faster than anyone else.
Bryan Pina carried that pace in the pre-final to cross 1st ahead of Sommerville and Hudson with Finnigan and German Pina 4th and 5th respectively.
The final turned out to be a doo-zey with these top 5 all fighting and changing positions. You just couldn’t tell who was going to win with multiple lead changes and plenty of jostling. Bryan Pina looked to have that smiggin of extra pace but both Hudson and Finnegan kept fighting hard and the overtakes were relentless. German Pina had steadily crept up one place at a time and got upto 3rd place with 1 and a half laps to go.
BUT… fast Brother Bryan tried and attempted a move on leader Finnegan into turn 4 but Finnegan had in covered just enough and the end result was Bryan Pina locking up and going sideways and messing up the momentum for his brother who was sitting right behind.
End result saw Finnegan now safe on the last lap for the win and 4th place Hudson now found himself in 2nd with Sommerville a surprised 3rd. Sibraa, just on the edge of the top 3 came 4th with an annoyed German Pina 5th. (Hey Bro,,,,,, mama would have be proud of us with a 2nd and 3rd, now we don’t get the special Sunday Dinner, you stupid)
Jake Greentree followed them all home 6 seconds back in 6th ahead of Heat 2 winner Appel, Anthony Oste, Jacob Tarrant, Bryan Pina and gee i need new tyres Mark Attard.
1 Billy Finnegan
2 Tim Hudson
3 Adam Sommerville
4 Andrew Sibraa
5 German Pina
6 Jake Greentree
7 Scott Appel
8 Anthony Oste
9 Jacob Tarrant
10 Bryan Pina
11 Mark Attard
David Chew and Rod Harvey took the heat wins with Jarrod Harvey, Chris Jackson and Craig Murrell taking up the other top 3 spots.
In the Pre-Final, Chew and Rod Harvey duked it out, trading fastest lap times all under 28 seconds. Chew crossed 1st and with a fastest time of 27.85 with Harvey behind with a best of 28.86. Chris Jackson followed home in 3rd with a close battle for 4th with Mista edging out Jarrod Harvey by 4/10ths and Michael Reynolds another 3/10ths behind.
The final was more of the same with Chew and Harvey only millimeters apart and Chew just held on to the win by 3/10ths of a second to Rod Harvey. Mista survived for a well eearned 3rd with Reynolds and Bruce Scott rounding out the top 5.
1 David Chew
2 Rod Harvey
4 Michael Reynolds
5 Bruce Scott
6 Aaron Metcalfe
7 Chris Jackson
8 Reece Wagner
9 John Glassington
In the Light’s It has come to be a fashion statement or a dress rehearsal but it was 1st heat win to current AKRA State Champion Ian Beeraz only 2/10ths ahead of William Lucas. These two have been at it for a few months now and heat 2 was exactly the same but Lucas 2/10ths ahead of Beeraz this time. The minors in the heats were shared between Andrew Morton, Jai Morton, Alan Price and West Tigers New signing Paul Curry
Price mixed it with Beerez and Lucas in the Pre-Final but the Final was all Beerez. Lucas, Price and Morton engaged in a battle that was very entertaining with Lucas a clear 2nd with a very happy Morton 3rd. Spectators were not sure if it was Morton’s million dollar kart or just brilliant driving skills that kept Price off the podium and gave Morton the Huge Trophy. Price held out Jai Morton and Tiger’s Paul Curry
CLUBMAN HEAVY & SUPER HEAVY
Chris Green in a refurbished and restored Kart 55 and Robert Seton shared the heat wins and the Pre-Final but in the important final Seton had it almost to himself. Cousin of Glenn Seton and keeping the Seton family name up in lights Robert Seton took a comfortable win ahead of Tony Smith in his green Tony Kart. Green had trouble at the start and lost a few seconds to the front bunch and the gap was just too big for him to make up.
In Superheavies it was current AKRA State Champion Phillip Trott the class act ahead of Chris Tye and James Miller.
1 Ian Beeraz
2 William Lucas
3 Andrew Morton
4 Alan Price
5 Robert Seton
6 Tony Smith
7 Jai Morton
8 Phillip Trott
9 Chris Tye
10 James Miller
11 Chris Green
12 Paul Curry
The fast boys came out to play and some sensational lap times were achieved. William Lucas was the star of the field and recorded a sub 26 second lap time of 25.73 seconds, a lap time rarely seen. 2nd was David Purdy making use of his new tyres with Rob ‘Bert’ Wardle 3rd.
1 William Lucas
2 David Purdy
3 Rob Wardle
Well that wraps up. Next meeting is the AKRA NSW State Titles on November 27/28.
With a number of karters unable to race in October due to Covid they are keen to return and even some new ones are sure to make the November 27/28 the biggest of the year.