by Andrew Hayes, AHR MEDIA
The Portland and District Kart Club successfully hosted round 3 of the DPE Kart Superstore Victorian Country Series at it’s Yarraman Park Complex over the weekend, with 166 entrants taking to the track over the two days.
Saturday’s qualifying was held in perfect conditions, with beautiful sunshine covering the 752m circuit. The pace was just as hot as several classes were separated by less than a tenth of a second.
Racing on Sunday morning began in cold conditions that were tricky to negotiate early on. And whilst the temperature hovered around 11 degrees for a large part of the day, the racing was top shelf on a track that always produces entertaining contests.
Here’s how it all went down:
TAG LIGHT (11 Entries)
Tag Light was first up for qualifying, and there was plenty happening with some on track shenanigans raising a few eyebrows. When the clock stopped it was Warrnambool winner Riley Jabke on top (35.858).
Jabke was a narrow winner in both heats, under intense pressure on each occasion.
Max Fahey started on the front row alongside Jabke, and grabbed the lead into turn one. Fahey led the early stages with Jabke in pursuit until a mechanical issue ended his charge on lap seven. From there Fahey comfortably accounted for the rest of the field on his way to his second win of the series. Former Masters champion Steven Malkin ascended to finish second in the final ahead of Jay Racovalis. Daniel Findlay narrowly missed the podium after qualifying second, finishing fourth ahead of Mitch Arrow.
1st Max Fahey (SWEST)
2nd Steven Malkin (PORT)
3rd Jay Racovalis (BALL)
KA4 JUNIOR LIGHT (13 Entries)
There were some dominant performances across the weekend, and rightfully amongst them was that of SA’s Darcy Heyne in KA4 Junior Light. After clocking the pole time (37.323), he proceeded to win both heats comfortably.
Come final time and it was the continuation of the Heyne show, as he took a comfortable win to seal the clean sweep of the weekend. Mathew Basso did everything he could to stay in touch with Heyne, but ended up having to sustain a James Snaith charge to finish second. Snaith eventually settling in third. Aston Hill had to fight hard to finish fourth after some intense battles, ahead of impressive P-Plater Max Marriner in fifth.
1st Darcy Heyne (GKCSA)
2nd Mathew Basso (OAK)
3rd James Snaith (OAK)
CADET 9 (8 Entries)
Archie Bristow continued his stellar 2022 form to grab pole (40.390) by just under 4 tenths of a second in Cadet 9. Bristow’s rampage continued with two impressive heat race wins, the first by seven seconds, before a 5 second win in the second heat.
Bristow would continue his outstanding weekend in the final, by winning comfortably to complete his clean sweep of all sessions. Kurtis Polkinghorne added another podium to his VCS campaign by finishing second, ahead of Xavier Mifsud, who drove well to claim third. Mildura’s Kasey Waters got the better of a weekend long battle with Beau Chambers to claim fourth and fifth respectively.
1st Archie Bristow (BALL)
2nd Kurtis Polkinghorne (BALL)
3rd Xavier Mifsud (BALL)
TAG HEAVY (11 Entries)
Hometown Hero Scott King rolled onto his home track with a point to prove after a tough start to his 2022 campaign and made the perfect statement with pole (35.8660). Wins in both heats also bolstered his confidence as he put in two very accurate and measured performances.
King got away beautifully once again in the final and was well clear and managing the race through the early stages, however the script was turned on its head on lap 14. A big accident for Matty Serfozo brought out the yellows, and one lap later the seemingly untouchable King ground to a halt with an engine failure. The race never resumed and finished under yellow. Jayden Wallis led the one important lap to take the win, ahead of Warrnambool winner Ryan Cook. Nik Schmidt crossed the line third but a post-race penalty dropped him to fifth, allowing Ray Dumesny to grab a welcome third place trophy. Liam Pollard once again the top five in fifth.
1st Jayden Wallis (ELKC)
2nd Ryan Cook (WBOOL)
3rd Ray Dumesny (BALL)
RESTRICTED MEDIUM (17 Entries)
Another of the local drivers to put up a strong showing was Daniel Storer in Restricted Medium, making the most of his home track to grab pole (37.429).
Storer resisted some big runs and plenty of pressure to record two well earnt heat wins.
Putting his head down and getting to work, Storer led the field away in the final and settled into a good rhythm to build a small buffer on his pursuers. The script was all going to plan, but Corey (as McCullagh made a bold move at the sweeper to claim the win. Storer was a gallant second ahead of Cobden winner Beau Humphrey. Warrnambool winner Jack Ryan finished in fourth ahead of the consistent Nathan Rosenzweig in fifth.
1st Corey McCullagh (WBOOL)
2nd Daniel Storer (PORT)
3rd Beau Humphrey (ELKC)
X30 (10 Entries)
The fastest class of the weekend saw SA youngster Parker Scott continue his meteoric rise in X30 by taking pole position (35.232).
The heat race wins would go the benchmark man in VCS X30, Jacob Dowson getting his campaign well and truly back on track after a frustrating Warrnambool.
Dowson got the best of the start in the final, as Matthew Domaschenz rocketed to second from fifth on the opening lap. Dowson however was superior in the long race, cruising away to win his second round of the year. Scott tried gallantly to catch him, but ended up settling for a comfortable second spot on the podium. Jaxon Johnstone showed good speed across the weekend for third, ahead of an also impressive Will Missen in fourth. Domaschenz didn’t have the kart to maintain his opening lap heroics and landed in fifth place.
1st Jacob Dowson (GKCSA)
2nd Parker Scott (MGKC)
3rd Jaxon Johnstone (WBOOL)
Restricted Light (17 Entries)
Spiros Anagnostopoulos has been the class of the VCS Restricted Light class this season, and Portland was to be no different, as the flying 56 grabbed pole (36.667) once again. Spiros followed up strongly by adding two comfortable heat race wins to his already handy tally.
Andrew Rae got his nose in front at the start of the final, and led the opening three laps. From there it was once again the Spiros show, as he assumed the lead and got in the groove to record his third consecutive round win by 4.3 seconds. Shane Moreland qualified on the front row, but had to fight hard to find himself back in that position when the flag dropped in the final. Rae was consistent all weekend and settled in third, ahead of Tim Rankin who recovered for fourth after a qualifying shocker. Jacob Dowlin got going in the final for fifth.
1st Spiros Anagnostopoulos (ELKC)
2nd Shane Moreland (MGKC)
3rd Andrew Rae (PORT)
KA4 JUNIOR HEAVY (6 Entries)
Another driver who has constantly been the benchmark in their class is Zach Findlay in KA4 Junior Heavy, and he continued to build with another pole position (37.975) by just under 6 tenths of a second.
The heats were no problem for Findlay, as he went on his merry way to record two handy victories in comfortable circumstances.
Following on from his Warrnambool success, Findlay was once again the class of the field in the final, as he put in a top shelf drive to win convincingly. Lachlan Sharpe was speedy in the final and managed to get the better of Taylem Mackinlay for third and fourth respectively. Cobden winner Fletcher Shaw was home in fourth, ahead of Mia Mifsud in fifth.
1st Zach Findlay (GKCV)
2nd Lachlan Sharpe (OAK)
3rd Taylem Mackinlay (ELKC)
KA3 SENIOR MEDIUM (16 Entries)
Once again the Master from Horsham, Remo Luciani laid down the gauntlet to the young brigade in KA3 Senior Medium, and came out on top in qualifying (36.817).
Young gun Ethan Briggs and Luciani shared the wins in some of the hardest fought heat racing of the day.
With the trophies on the line, things heated up in the final, a hectic first lap allowing Luciani to put a buffer into the chasing pack. Luciani never looked back as he managed the race to take a third consecutive round win by just under 5 seconds. Ben Mouritz found himself in second by the middle of the journey, holding onto that position after dropping a couple of early spots. Matthew Nietz also had to work for his spot on the podium, denying local star Todd Chambers to finish third. Chambers home in fourth, ahead of Briggs in fifth.
1st Remo Luciani (WIMM)
2nd Ben Mouritz (OAK)
3rd Matthew Nietz (GKCSA)
CADET 12 (12 Entries)
The door was wide open for a new winner in Cadet 12, as the winner of the opening two rounds wasn’t entered. Stepping up to the plate was Jai George, claiming a big pole position (39.571).
George showed the field a clean pair of heels in both heat races, with the chasing pack giving their all to catch him.
After leading the field away, it wasn’t long before George was under fire from local gun Ewan Anderson, with Anderson taking the lead on the second lap. George continued to stalk the back of the Anderson kart, including some good racing for position. On lap nine the two got stuck together at the out grid corner, allowing Blake Purvis to swoop and take the lead. Purvis built a handy margin, however it wasn’t to be as a relentless George chased him down to retake the lead. From there George claimed his first VCS win by 1.6 seconds. Anderson also came knocking for Purvis, however Purvis prevailed by a very small margin. Anderson home third in his backyard, ahead of Lewis Kucina and Cayden Humphrey in fourth and fifth.
1st Jai George (ELKC)
2nd Blake Purvis (OAK)
3rd Ewan Anderson (PORT)
KA3 JUNIOR (6 Entries)
Leo Iannella grabbed the pole position that had been eluding him after winning the opening two rounds, claiming KA3 Junior pole position (35.958).
Iannella crossed the line first in both heats, however he and Hunter Salvatore were given penalties for starting infringements in the first heat, promoting Jacob Chandler to the top in heat one.
Chandler made the most of his front row start in the final to grab an early lead, whilst Iannella battled in the pack. Chandler’s opening laps set up a margin he would never relinquish, going on to record a memorable victory in the premier junior class. Iannella consolidated in second place, ahead back-to-back third place finisher Jay Murray. Lachlan Cutting and Salvatore rounded the top five.
1st Jacob Chandler (SGKC)
2nd Leo Iannella (MGKC)
3rd Jay Murray (OAK)
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT (18 Entries)
KA3 Senior Light continues to grow in depth and the competition is also intensifying round after round. After missing Warrnambool, it was Joel MacPherson going fastest in qualifying (36.120), with the top 3 less than a tenth apart.
MacPherson showed that he wanted to go on with it, adding two heat wins to his points tally.
James Sera got the best of the start of the final, but the action was behind him at the hairpin as MacPherson and Josh Elliston came together causing chaos through the field. MacPherson dropped back to fifth and had some work to do. He set out after multiple National Champion Sera, and grabbed the lead in the middle of the race before flexing his muscles for the win. Sera raced to a solid second place ahead of another of the local stars in Corey Herbertson. Angus Hall had his best race of the day to finish fourth, ahead of Elliston who remarkably got back to fifth after dropping to seventeenth.
1st Joel MacPherson (OAK)
2nd James Sera (OAK)
3rd Corey Herbertson (PORT)
VIC COMBINED MASTERS (14 Entries)
Two rounds into the 2022 VCS and no driver had stood on the podium twice in Masters. There is nowhere to hide in qualifying, and at the business end of the session it was Anthony Pethebridge posting the fastest time (36.927).
Ash Mitchell used his second starting spot in qualifying to double up on the heat wins and start the final from pole position.
Portland’s Daniel Rethus paced the field for the opening laps of the final after starting from the outside of the front row. Pethebridge however showed a remarkable turn of speed to recover from fifth to take the lead away mid race. Mitchell and Rethus got hooked together in the sweeper, ending their podium aspirations, allowing Phil Smith to move up into second. Pethebridge however was unstoppable on his way to the win. Smith was second over the line, but dropped down the order after a post-race penalty, allowing John Page to take second and be the first man to stand on the podium twice. Matt Crane was promoted to third, finishing ahead of Smith and Andrew Stubbs.
1st Anthony Pethebridge (ELKC)
2nd John Page (BALL)
3rd Matt Crane (HAM)
TAG RESTRICTED HEAVY (7 Entries)
Portland’s Kevin Hitchcock struck the first blow to take pole position in Restricted Heavy (38.340) making it two poles in 2022.
Mick Angwin struck back in the heats, comfortably accounting for the field in both encounters.
Angwin was unstoppable again in the final as he cruised to his third consecutive round win. Adrian Matherson drove a fine race to finish second ahead of Hayden Tucker in a fresh looking podium. Hitchcock finished in fourth and was left to rue slow starts in each event, with Bailey Petch finished fifth after derailing whilst in second early on.
1st Mick Angwin (BALL)
2nd Adrian Matherson (BALL)
3rd Hayden Tucker (WIMM)
The VCS now moves to the revamped Wimmera Kart Club in Horsham for Round 4 on August 13-14.
Thank you 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