by Andrew Hayes, AHR MEDIA
The Warrnambool Kart Club has successfully hosted round 2 of the DPE Kart Superstore Victorian Country Series over the weekend, with 176 entrants taking to the track over the two days.
Rain hampered much of practice on Saturday morning, before clearing for qualifying. Several sessions were held before qualifying was halted by the covering of a timing loop coming adrift and requiring repairs. The remaining classes were gridded on timed practice sessions.
Racing started in very wet conditions on Sunday morning, and cleared to beautiful sunshine for all the finals. There was some stellar driving as conditions moved from wet to slick tyres, providing plenty of entertainment for the fans at the racetrack.
- Top 3 in each class below; full results on speedhive HERE
- Lots more photos on Darrens Sportography Facebook HERE
Here’s how it all went down:
TAG HEAVY (11 Entries)
The resurgence of TaG Heavy continued, as numbers climbed into double figures for the second consecutive round. Local driver Ryan Cook announced his arrival in the class by claiming the coveted pole position (33.127) by less than a tenth.
Often the benchmark in this class in VCS competition, Scott King claimed both the heat race wins in wet conditions.
King led the final away and looked comfortable in the early laps, keeping Cook at bay until an axle issue started to slow the 4 kart, he conceded to the leaders before parking it on lap 9. The turn of events released Cook, who proceeded to open a sizeable lead, which he converted into his first VCS round win. Liam Pollard put in mature drive in the final after looking solid all weekend to claim second, ahead of a storming Alex Baker, who had finished a best of 9th in the heats. Nik Schmidt was fast, but had to rebound several times to claim fourth ahead of Kyle Pettenhofer.
1st Ryan Cook (WBOOL)
2nd Liam Pollard (ELKC)
3rd Alex Baker (WIMM)
TAG RESTRICTED MEDIUM (19 Entries)
SA’s Jack Ryan made his intentions clear from the outset by prevailing by three tenths in qualifying (34.420), a huge margin given the top 11 were within a second.
Ryan and 2021 Warrnambool winner Daniel Storer would share the heat wins and also the runner up positions to set themselves on the front row for the final.
Ryan got the best of the start and led the field away, as Cobden round winner Beau Humphrey followed closely. Humphrey would be shuffled down the field on the opening lap, as Ryan stretched his legs in the lead. Ryan went on to win the final comfortably in a polished performance. Storer converted his front row start into a second place, while Nathan Rosenzweig peaked at the right time to claim third place. Lachlan Hill was fourth in his first medium race, ahead of Mal Mason who had run strongly in the heats.
1st Jack Ryan (MGKC)
2nd Daniel Storer (PORT)
3rd Nathan Rosenzweig (GKCSA)
X30 (12 Entries)
Jacob Dowson picked up exactly where he left off in Cobden, with the SA driver collecting a second pole position in succession (32.548), with the full field within six tenths.
Dowson was outstanding in the opening heat to win comfortably, while it was Warrnambool’s own Jaxon Johnstone who took the honours in heat 2.
Jack Bell would escalate to lead at the end of the first lap of the final, before Dowson resumed his position at the head of the queue. By lap 5, fellow SA driver Ryan Morgan come barnstorming through into the lead, and whilst challenged, he prevailed in a beautiful drive to win. Late race contact between Dowson and Matt Domaschenz, who had come from the fifth row, saw Dowson drop down the order and Domaschenz cut the track to resume his position. Parker Scott managed to put a move on Domaschenz on the final circulation to grab second place. Bell was fourth home, ahead of local driver Nik Ryan.
1st Ryan Morgan (SGKC)
2nd Parker Scott (MGKC)
3rd Matt Domaschenz (PORT)
RESTRICTED LIGHT (18 Entries)
Round 1 winner Spiros Anagnostopoulos was brilliant as he claimed the qualifying bragging rights, with his first pole position of the year (33.778). A second covered the top ten karts.
Tim Rankin grabbed the opening heat victory, whilst Spiros set the fastest time, and proceeded to rebound to win heat two.
Rankin made the best of the start to lead the early running of the final, but it wasn’t long before Spiros began to make his presence felt. Spiros making the decisive move on lap 4, and never being headed on his way to the victory in a fine display. The top five from the start shared those positions between themselves in this one, with Rankin home in second place. Andrew Rae clinched the final spot on the podium after running at the front most of the weekend. Round 1 Masters winner Ash Mitchell took fourth place, ahead of Ross Stubbs in fifth.
1st Spiros Anagnostopoulos (ELKC)
2nd Tim Rankin (WBOOL)
3rd Andrew Rae (PORT)
KA4 JUNIOR HEAVY (8 Entries)
Taylem Mackinlay struck first in KA4 Junior Heavy to punch out his first pole position (36.365) of the 2022 season after being very competitive in the opening round.
When it came time to run the heats, it was Zach Findlay who stepped up to dominate proceedings, including an 11 second win in the opener.
Findlay lead the final away as Mackinlay was shuffled down to sixth from the front row. Findlay was untroubled as he pressed on to claim another VCS round win. Mackinlay charged his way back to the podium to seal second in a solid weekends work. A last corner pass from Hugo Garraway sealed third place, as he made a clutch pass on Laura Fahey, who had ran as high as second in the final. Rio Campbell clinched fifth place in the main event.
1st Zach Findlay (GKCV)
2nd Taylem Mackinlay (ELKC)
3rd Hugo Garraway (MILD)
KA3 MEDIUM (16 Entries)
SA Driver Matthew Nietz leads the young breed regularly, and at Warrnambool he also led all comers to snare pole position (34.098) in an incredibly tight session, less than a tenth separating the top 5.
Nietz won the opening heat in wet conditions, before Luke Fong almost brought the house down in heat two, as he passed Remo Luciani on the final corner to win, storming home on slicks in the drying conditions.
Luciani led the field away in the final, with plenty of contenders in pursuit. By mid race Nietz made a move for the lead, but Luciani had enough in the tank to return serve and resume the top spot. Luciani went on to win a pressure filled final, proving he is still the VCS benchmark in this class. Todd Chambers had looked threatening throughout the weekend, and was right on Luciani’s hammer, settling for second in the end. Ben Mouritz showed genuine pace in the final to land on the podium in third ahead of Nietz and Ethan Briggs, who showed he would be one to watch in the future.
1st Remo Luciani (WIMM)
2nd Todd Chambers (PORT)
3rd Ben Mouritz (OAK)
CADET 12 (13 Entries)
Ewan Anderson made his first VCS start of 2022 and let everyone know he was back by grabbing pole position (36.640) by less than a tenth in Cadet 12.
Riley Harrison won everything at the first round, and added the opening heat to his collection, before Anderson used slick tyres to full advantage on a drying track to score a classy heat two win.
Anderson and Harrison lined up on the front row, in an anticipated match up in the final. The two were never far apart, with Harrison leading the early running. Anderson eventually made his move on lap 10, but couldn’t hold the position, as Harrison regained the lead. They eventually settled in those positions in a fine display of driving from the two young guns. Lewis Kucina looked to be in tune with his kart as he moved up the order to snare the final podium spot. Blake Purvis and Anashe Manyau finished in fourth and fifth.
1st Riley Harrison (OAK)
2nd Ewan Anderson (PORT)
3rd Lewis Kucina (BALL)
KA3 JUNIOR (8 Entries)
The premier junior class would see Thomas Patching at the top of the charts after having to revert to the timed qualifying session in what was a developing story.
Just as he did at Cobden, Leo Iannella put in some big first lap efforts, and it set him on the path to wins in both heat races, including a masterful display in the rain in the first.
Thomas Patching was at the head of the queue in the opening laps of the final, before Iannella and also Hunter Salvatore pounced on lap 3. From there the top two were line of stern as Iannella grabbed a second consecutive round win, finishing just ahead of Salvatore in second. A last lap, last corner incident between Patching and Cutting and a flat tyre for Tyce Hodge saw the battle for the final podium spot blown wide open, allowing Jay Murray to come from sixth a lap earlier to a thrilling third. Jacob Chandler had battled Murray all weekend and came home in fourth, ahead of the limping Hodge.
1st Leo Iannella (MGKC)
2nd Hunter Salvatore (OAK)
3rd Jay Murray (OAK)
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT (17 Entries)
A bizarre turn of events saw KA3 Senior Light qualifying, and all the following sessions cancelled due to the covering of a timing loop coming adrift. The remaining classes would be gridded on the timed practice session held before qualifying. Fastest in timed practice was Corey Herbertson (33.751).
Herbertson continued his front running pace from Cobden, winning both heats under pressure from the chasing pack.
The final was once again an all Herbertson affair, as he put together a clean sweep of all sessions on his way to a very impressive win. Jake Santalucia and Jenson Teleskivi rounded the podium after running at the pointy end all weekend, remarkably the top three stayed in position for the duration of the final. Angus Hall started fourth and finished in that place, followed home by SA’s Josh Elliston.
1st Corey Herbertson (PORT)
2nd Jake Santalucia (OAK)
3rd Jenson Teleskivi (OAK)
VIC COMBINED MASTERS (14 Entries)
There was a familiar name at the top of the timed practice session in Masters, with Phil Smith filling his regular spot at the top of the charts (34.459).
Both heat races were won by large margins, Smith converting in the first, Peter Gigis the victor in the second.
Gigis led the field away in the final, and it wasn’t long until Smith began to challenge after starting down the order after a broken chain in the second heat. The challenge would only last until lap seven, when he suffered a similar fate in the final. From there is was all Gigis, as he raced to a well earned, yet comfortable victory. John Page was a quiet achiever as he found himself in third and then second, claiming the latter spot on the podium. Leon Forrest completed the podium after falling victim to the scales in the timed qualifying session. Daniel Rethus held third for several laps, but had to settle for fourth, ahead of Andrew Stubbs in fifth.
1st Peter Gigis (OAK)
2nd John Page (BALL)
3rd Leon Forrest (WIMM)
RESTRICTED HEAVY (5 Entries)
A small field of the big fellas gathered for the second round, and it was Mick Angwin taking pole position (36.057).
Angwin also took both heat race wins, under pressure from Kevin Hitchcock.
Saving his best for the final, Angwin put in his best drive of the weekend to win comfortably from Hitchcock who had also driven very well in the changing conditions. Hayden Tucker filled the final podium spot, claiming a solid third place. Adrian Matherson got the better of Jason Kilcullen in the battle for fourth.
1st Mick Angwin (BALL)
2nd Kevin Hitchcock (PORT)
3rd Hayden Tucker (WIMM)
CADET 9 (7 Entries)
Ballarat’s Archie Bristow was a rocket from the outset in Cadet 9, taking a commanding pole in timed practice (37.699), topping the charts by more than a second!
Bristow was nothing short of dominant in the opening heat to cruise to an 11 second win in the wet, but was kept a bit more honest by Kurtis Polkinghorne on his way to back to back wins.
Making it a commanding clean sweep of the event, Bristow proved too speedy in the final, stretching his legs to a 9 second win. Polkinghorne drove well to complete his set of second place finishes, and was the only driver to really take it to Bristow. The battle for third was a ripper, as relative newcomers Lawson Effingham and Beau Chambers battled it out for the last trophy. In the end it was Effingham getting the silverware in his first open meeting, ahead of Chambers, who is improving with each outing. Alana Gurney completed the top five.
1st Archie Bristow (BALL)
2nd Kurtis Polkinghorne (BALL)
3rd Lawson Effingham (WBOOL)
KA4 JUNIOR LIGHT (15 Entries)
SA’s Darcy Heyne set the quick time in timed practice (35.231), as he continued to be at the pointy end, just as he was at the Cobden round.
The heat races were both won by James Snaith, the first was comfortable in the rain, however there was substantially more pressure in the second on a predominantly dry track.
Starting from pole position, Snaith lead the early laps before both Mathew Basso and Heyne slipped by on lap 5. The battle between those two came to a head just a lap later as Heyne ran over the back of Basso on the infield right hander and put them both out of contention. Snaith grabbed the lead back with both hands and finished the deal to win the final, and in turn, all the races on the day. Aston Hill found form at the right time of the day, and drove superb race from 9th to claim a resounding second place. Akasha McEachran completed the podium, getting reward for her recent strong form. Max Marriner exploded onto the scene to claim fourth in one of the most exciting debuts seen in VCS competition in recent times, whilst Basso recovered for fifth.
1st James Snaith (OAK)
2nd Aston Hill (GIPP)
3rd Akasha McEachran (BALL)
TAG LIGHT (13 Entries)
TaG Light is starting to gain some traction in its return to the series, and decent numbers lined up at the second round in Warrnambool. Moving over from X30, it was Riley Jabke who set the marker in timed practice to secure pole position (32.984).
Jabke grabbed the opening heat win by the narrowest of margins over Luke Bergens, before Bergens returned serve to cross the line first in the second heat.
Bergens and Jabke lined up on the front row together, ready to rumble for the final. Jabke led the majority of the race with Bergens pressuring him all the way. With the laps winding down, Bergens threw everything at Jabke, but couldn’t topple the Tecno driver, as he recorded a solid win. Bergens had to settle for second, ahead of round one winner Max Fahey. Jono McKean had some dramas through the weekend, but finished well in fourth, ahead of Daniel Pegg in fifth.
1st Riley Jabke (GKCV)
2nd Luke Bergens (MILD)
3rd Max Fahey (SWEST)
The VCS now moves to Portland for Round 3 on June 18-19.
Thankyou to the amazing VCS Sponsors:
- DPE KART SUPERSTORE
- REMO RACING / IAME ENGINES
- MELBOURNE KART CENTRE
- SOUTH WEST CONVEYANCING
- MJ PRESSURE WORKS
- TONYKART AUSTRALIA / BARON ENGINE DEVELOPMENTS
- CHAMBERS PORTABLE LINE BORING
- ALLSTAR GRAPHICS / 365 APPAREL COMPANY
- CENTRAL VIC KARTS & PARTS
- PRO KARTING
- PCJ DATA & ELECTRICAL
- AHR MEDIA
- DARREN’S SPORTOGRAPHY
- BENDIGO BANK