by Mitchell McLellan, MMS Media & Commentating
The city of Melbourne had its first Go Kart meeting in nearly six months over the weekend at the Go Kart Club of Victoria. Over 165 karters took to Todd Road, under sunny skies and a dry track for racing.
With state and national champions competing over the weekend, the racing was always going to be hard and fast.
- full results are on speedhive HERE
James Lodge made the X30 class his own, showing a dominate display in his field. Lodge in his Parolin entry put his kart on pole position and from there, never looked back. James took pole position and all four race wins in dominate fashion. Jake Santalucia kept the undefeated driver honest in the final but was no match for Lodge, coming home in second position with recent junior graduate Ethan Brown rounding out the podium.
Victorian State Champion dominated the Cadet 9 field showing why he had the blue plates on his kart. Flynn took pole position and dominated all three heats and the final by large margins, showing he’s likely to be one of the front runners at the Australian Kart Championship in Monarto next month. Flynn left Archie Bristow, Lewis Kucina and the rest of the field to battle for the rest of the podium. Bristow came home five seconds adrift in second spot with Kucina a second and half back in third spot.
Former KA4 Junior Heavy State Champion Zach Findlay put his Arrow entry on pole position and looked to have the weekend covered. A strong win in heat one, two and three had Zach off pole position in the strong Junior Heavy field. Findlay led off pole position but had Taylem Mackinley for company in the final. In what was an exciting finish Zach was able to hold on and make it a clean sweep over Mackinley in and exciting final race! Jack Turner came home three and half seconds adrift of the front two in third spot.
Australian Kart Champion Lewis Francis was another driver to make a clean sweep of proceedings in the ultra-competitive Cadet 12 category. Francis had company in the early races with Jack Jenkins shadowing the Australian Kart Championship leader. The Parolin entry was able to drive away and take a strong victory in the final over Cooper Stapleton and Aston Hill with Jenkins coming home in position four.
Victorian Combined Masters was a great battle all day between pole sitter Alan Roberts, second place starter Ian Branson and third qualifier John Pringle. Roberts took out heat one, with Branson leveling it up in heat two. Roberts took out heat three and had himself off pole position in the final. In a tight close battle Branson was able to come out on top and take victory. Roberts came home in second position from Pringle and Darren Formosa only four tenths behind in fourth.
Nathan Lucas put his kart on pole position in the Victorian Combined Medium class over Benjamin Moss and Jeremy Cusack. Once racing began Moss went into a different mode and was able to take a clean sweep of the races in dominate fashion. Moss took out the final by over four seconds over Lucas, Cusack in third with Nicholas Flodstrom just behind in position four, in a close battle for the final podium spot.
TAG 125 Light and Heavy were a combined class with Cooper Johnstone and Mikhalo Triantafillidis taking pole position in their respective classes. Both Johnstone and Triantafillidis were unbeaten for the rest of the day in their respective classes. Stelios Triantafillidis challenged Johnstone early in the final but had to settle for second spot with Tim Monte rounding out the podium spot. Liam Pollard came home in second spot in TAG Heavy a couple of seconds behind the round winner.
KA3 Junior was one of the biggest and most hotly contested classes of the weekend. Hunter Salvatore put his Tony Kart on pole position over Stefan Karajcic and Brodie Thomson. After qualifying in fourth spot, Kristian Janev took out heat one over Amos Orr and Salvatore. Salvatore and Janev then traded victories in heat two and three setting up for an exciting final race. The final was one of the races of the day with five karts at the front, all a chance to win. Janev was able to hold on and take the win over a fast-finishing Ben Munro in second spot. Toby Dvorak rounded out the podium with Orr and Salvatore rounding out the top five.
Pip Casabene was able to take out pole position in KA4 Junior Light by a dominate four tenths over Alexander Cirone and William Thompson. Weekend early favorite Benjamin Munro had an issue in qualifying, putting him out of sixth in the heats. Munro showed why he was one of the best junior drivers in the country, taking out both heat wins from sixth on the grid! Munro was able to make it a clean sweep of four race wins over pole sitter Casabene in second spot. Thompson was able to hold off Jack Plumb rounding out the podium in third.
Former state cup champion Alexander Grutteria took pole position in the Vic Combined Light Class over Spiros Anagnostopolous and Nairn Miller in third. Anagnostopolous was able to take all three heat wins after Grutteria struck trouble in both of the heats, resulting in two DNF results. The final was an exciting affair with Anagnostopolous battling for the lead with Nairn Miller and Grutteria charging through the field. A red flag incident unfortunately brought about an end to an exciting final with Grutteria coming through to win the final! Aaron Dowers came through to take second position over Miller rounding out your podium. Anagnostopolous was involved in the red flag incident and didn’t finish the race.
Steven Tsesmelis put himself on pole position in a hotly contested KA3 Senior Light session. Only five thousandths of a second separated Tsesmelis, second place qualifier Jake Santalucia and third place qualifier Marcus Pisani. Tsesmelis took out the opening heat with Santalucia leveling things up in heat two. Tsemelis took out heat three and the excitement was building to a hectic final. The top four were all nose to tail in an exciting battle but Tsesmelis was able to hold his nerve and take the round win. Robert Graham came home in position two over Santalucia in third. Pisani came home just off the podium in fourth with James Lodge rounding out your top five.