by Mitchell McLellan, MMS Media & Commentating
Karting Australia New South Wales held the second and third round of the Premier State Cup over the weekend. Running on the Newcastle Kart Club circuit, 130 karters took to the track with wild weather and tough conditions for racing.
Round two racing was on Saturday and round three was run on Sunday where the 2021 New South Wales State Cup Champions were crowned. Every driver had their eyes firmly on the blue-plate prize.
Reece Cohen took his first state championship in the premier KZ2 class. Cohen dominated the opening round and put his CRG on pole position on Saturday to start round two. Cohen won both the opening heats but the final was an epic battle between himself and former world champion Cody Gillis. Gillis led the entire race with Cohen hot on his heals. A last corner attempt by Cohen didn’t come off as Gillis took out round two of the Premier State Cup from Cohen and Cody Maynes-Rutty rounding out the podium.
Gillis took off where he left off on Sunday taking out the opening heat of round three. Cohen levelled things up in heat two in the wet conditions. Gillis dominated the rest of racing taking out heat three and the final claiming back-to-back round wins. Maynes-Rutty came home second overall and second in the championship with Cohen finishing third in the final. This was enough for him to take the title over Maynes-Rutty and Scott Chaston rounding out your top three.
Riley Blaxell was another driver to take his maiden state championship in the ultra-competitive Cadet 12 class. Blaxell had a points advantage going into the final two rounds on the weekend. Blaxell put his kart on pole position and won heat one to consolidate this lead. Championship rival Hamish Campbell took out heat two and the final making the title go down to Sunday and taking out the second round.
Round three on Sunday had Blaxell set the tone early, taking out both opening heats. Lewis Cordato took his first win of the weekend in heat three setting up an intense final. Hamish Campbell was able to take out back-to-back round wins but Blaxell took the championship in Cadet 12 and the overall champion junior driver in the premier state cup!
KA3 Senior Light
Recent junior graduate Jordan Shalala dominated the KA3 Senior Light class over the weekend. Shalala completed a clean sweep for the Saturday racing, taking out round two in dominant fashion over current state champion Oscar Priest and championship leader Bailey Sweeny. Priest bounced back on Sunday taking the opening two heats after Shalala got stuck in traffic. Shalala was able to bounce back in the final and make it back-to-back round wins sending out a serious warning shot to his fellow competitors of 2022. Priest came home in second for the round over Matthew Hill rounding out the podium. Bailey Sweeny came home in fifth place overall, doing enough to take the KA3 Senior Light state championship!
Beau Pronesti, Jackson Souslin Harlow and Nicholas Caruso all came away with blue plates in their respective classes X30 Light, TAG 125 Light and TAG 125 Heavy. Pronesti was the class act of the field, taking out every race win over the weekend in his class adding another state title to his karting resume.
Souslin Harlow put his kart on pole position in qualifying but Thomas Gallagher took the fight to Souslin Harlow, taking out the opening heat. Souslin Harlow then took the rest of the races, taking out round two of the series. In a great final on Sunday Gianmarco Pradel was able to take the third and final round over new state champion Souslin Harlow and Zachary Heard rounding out your podium.
Nicholas Caruso was able to take out both round wins in the TAG Heavy class. Caruso had a tough and close battle with Cody Brewczynski on Saturday. Caruso had it all his own way on Sunday taking out another round win and another state championship.
KA4 Junior Light
Aidan Williams and James Brett both turned their white kart numbers into blue ones over the weekend in the KA4 Junior Light and Junior Heavy class. Cain Keegan Jaques was able to take round win on Saturday over Luke Puddick and Williams rounding out the podium in the tough wet conditions.
Sunday was a much different affair with Victorian Samuel March taking out a clean sweep and the third round of the championship in the process over Williams and Ruben Dan. Williams’ two third placings and second in the final was enough to secure the young driver the Junior Light title.
KA4 Junior Heavy
Young James Brett took out all race wins in the Junior Heavy class for both rounds, making him a dominant winner in the Junior Heavy Class.
Liam Carr was the youngest state champion crowned over the weekend taking out the title in the Cadet 9 class. The recent Sapphire Cup champion put his kart on pole position on Saturday and took out the heat one win. Carr fought back in heat number two but Bianchini rounded out the day taking the round two win over Carr and Tait Owens.
Carr bounced back in a big way to start Sunday by taking both heat one and heat two putting him in a stronger championship position. Charlie Campbell fought hard to take his first race win of the weekend in heat three. Carr finished his championship in style taking out the final, round three and the Premier State Cup. Bianchini came home in second with Oscar Haddon rounding out your podium for round three of the series.
Nathan Mccarthy-Cox took out the state championship in the ultra-competitive KA3 Junior class. Oliver Saade put his kart on pole position to start Saturday. Jett Kocoski was the class of the field on Saturday taking out all three race wins from Mccarthy-Cox and Joseph Belardo in the final.
Toby Spinks who was second in the championship started Sunday in fine fashion taking out the opening two races of the day, making the championship go to the wire. Spinks was able to take the final and the round win but Mccarthy-Cox finishing second assured himself a podium finish and the all-important blue plate! Joseph Belardo came home in third taking home his second consecutive podium finish of the weekend.
Leon Cordato joined his younger brother Lewis in bringing more state titles home in the premier KA2 Junior class. Cordato started his weekend in strong fashion taking pole position and the opening heat one. Elliott Clearly struck back in heat two taking the win before Cordato took out the final taking out the round win. Jack Childs and Jett Kocoski rounded out your podium for the second round.
Jack Childs, Jake Rutkowski and Harrison Mitchell all took a heat one on Sunday setting up an exciting final. Harrison Mitchell was able to take out the final and the third-round win over Kamal Mrad and Dante Vinci rounding out your podium. Cordato had done enough to come home with the blue plate in the KA2 class.
TAG Restricted was one of the most exciting classes of the weekend having five different classes all in the one field. Blair Van Ree took pole position on Saturday with Angus Mclean and Lee Franks taking out heat one and two, showing how competitive the field was. Franks was able to convert heat two victory into a final victory, taking out the second round over Angus Mclean and Patrick Heuzenroeder rounding out the top three.
Mclean bounced back to take out heat one on Sunday with Van Ree entering the party to take out heat two. Gary Morris took out heat three making it the third different heat winner of the day, setting up a grand stand final. In dry conditions Dylan Muller was able to show fast pace, take the lead and not look back taking the win on Sunday. Van Ree came home on the podium in second spot from Stewart Walker in third.
The Premier State Cup and State Championships went to Christian Oom in Restricted Light, Blair Van Ree in Restricted Medium, Ryan Van Ree in Restricted Heavy, Stewart Walker in Restricted Masters Light and Herman Van Ree in Restricted Masters Medium.
In a tough COVID affected season, the Premier State Cup was a huge success. Karting Australia New South Wales will be looking to build on the series in 2022, where the action will recommence for the New South Wales Premier State Cups!