by Mitchell McLennan, MMS Media & Commentating
Eastern Lions Kart Club had over 150 karters take to the track on Sunday to compete in the February round of the Club Championship.
With many locals having to go up against racers testing for the Australian Kart Championship and the Victorian State Championships, spectators were in for some high caliber racing.
Nikolaj Thomas and Braden Clark took victory in their KA3 Senior divisions over the weekend. Thomas took out Senior Light by qualifying on the front row of the grid in qualifying. Once racing started though Thomas didn’t look back, taking all three heat wins and the final! Earlier pole sitter Riley George gained enough points throughout the day to take second overall, over local driver Jaylen Paragreen rounding out your podium.
Clark took out the KA3 Senior Medium class after having a great battle all day with Samuel Gibson. Clark and Gibson both had heat wins but Clark was able to take the final, making it three wins out of four races for him. Gibson came home in second position overall with Ethan Briggs rounding out your podium.
Cruz Kelly made a statement in Cadet 9 by putting his Parolin on pole position by over two tenths. Jackson Brasher returned serve in the opening two heats by taking victory but Kelly was able to take the third heat and the final. Brasher after being run off in the final, still had enough points to come away with second overall with Jensen Damaschino rounding out the podium positions.
Hamish Campbell made the trip down to Puckapunyal for testing for the rest of the year and put on a dominant display in Cadet 12. Campbell took pole position and won all four races by big margins. Jack Jenkins chased hard all day and came home in second position overall, with Jai George rounding out the podium spots at his home track.
The 4SS Light, Medium and Heavy groups all run together in the race making for some fantastic racing and lots of karts out on track together. Brayden Slama was the class of the field in Light division taking out a clean sweep of race wins, from Tom Annesley in second place and William Wade rounding out your podium.
Matthew Lawson took out the win in Senior medium in a tight battle all day with German Osuna Sorensen who was able to take out the final race. Oliver Bonaccorso came home in third spot overall. Jacob Holland was also able to take a clean sweep in Senior Heavy, taking out all four race wins. Andrew Hall and Michael Browne battled hard all day rounding out the podium in the senior class.
Tim Monte and Liam Pollard took out their respective TAG 125 classes in style. Monte qualified on the front row but once racing started was undefeated taking out all four races wins. Jackson Lee challenged throughout the day but had to settle for second spot over earlier pole sitter Mark Covalea in third spot.
Pollard was dominant in TAG 125 Heavy taking out pole and all four race wins over Chloe Henderson in second spot. Victorian Combined Medium and Victorian Combined Masters run in the same field together and had two run away victories in Julijan Karlusic and Neil McAuley. Karlusic was one of the most dominate winners of the day taking pole position, all four race wins and a massive twelve second victory in the final. Steven Nicholls battled hard all day to gain enough points to take out second spot overall, over Jake Featherstone in third spot. McAuley was another to take the clean sweep in pole position and all four race wins. Former state champion Ian Branson battled hard all day but had to settle for second position over Garry Haywood in the final spot on the podium.
KA4 Junior Light had a three way battle all day between Joanne Ciconte, Benjamin Munro and Cooper Stapleton. Ciconte took pole position and a dominate open heat victory. Munro fought back hard in heat two and three taking both victories setting up a brilliant final. Stapleton got the best of the starts in the final, jumping into the lead. The three drivers then battled all race long, all within a chance of victory. Munro took victory by just under half a second to Ciconte and Stapleton rounding out your podium in that order.
Tyler Calleja took the win in KA4 Junior Heavy after having battles all throughout the day. Benjamin Classon took pole position and the opening heat win with Calleja not far behind. Calleja then went on to take the rest of the race wins and taking out the overall round win. Rio Campbell chased the winner hard and got within half of a second in the final, coming home in second place overall. Oliver Best ran near the front all day and came home on the final podium step in position three.
Victorian Combined Light and Victorian Combined Heavy were another class running in combined fashion with Spiros Anagstopoulos and Brett Jenkin taking victory. Anagstopoulos started on the front row in heat one alongside pole sitter Anothny Pethebridge. Anagstopoulos didn’t look back from there, making it four from four in terms of racing for the day. Pethebridge came home second on points for the day with Sebastian Perrone taking the third spot.
Jenkin took three from four victories in the restricted heavy class but battled hard all day with Zachary Marshall. Jenkin was able to take the win in the final by seven tenths to Marshall with Danny Lord, getting enough points to round out the podium in third spot.
KA2 and KA3 Junior raced together with plenty of talent on show in both classes. Amos Orr showed he was a man on a mission in KA2 taking out pole position and the first three race wins of the day. Current state champion Bouzinelos was able to fight back in the final and take the win. Orr had done enough though to take the overall points victory over Bouzinelos and multiple time state champion Toby Dvorak rounding out your podium.
Francisco Morales was in a fierce battle all day with KA4 Junior Light winner Benjamin Munro. The two drivers both took victories throughout the day but it was Morales who took victory on debut in the class. Munro had to settle for second spot with Jay Murray settling for third on full points.
The Eastern Lions Kart Club will be back for the next round of the championship on the last weekend in March. This will be competitors final chance to race at the circuit before the Victorian Open State Championships.