by Mitchell McLellan, MMS Media and Commentating
Well over three hundred karters graced the track across fourteen classes, for the 36th running of the Panduit City of Melbourne Titles at the Go Kart Club of Victoria over the weekend. Both days were run under dry conditions with some great racing deciding the 2022 champions!
Bradley Jenner was able to add another major title to his ever growing resume in the TAG 125 Light class. Jenner had pressure across the weekend from Fabcon racer Jamie Rowe and Pro Karting entry Will Harper. A first corner incident in the final changed the weekend with Rowe, Daniel Rochford and Supercar driver Nick Percat all out at turn one. Jenner was able to pull away and open up a massive eight second margin to take the win. Zackary Thompson, who ran fourth most of the final, made his way up into second spot when Harper and Angus Wallace came together while battling for position. Jake Spencer was able to come home on the podium in third from Wallace and Hyundai Excel racer Marcus Fraser.
Jenner was looking to claim his second title of the weekend in X30 Light when he put his Australian number one Melbourne Kart Centre entry on pole position. Pro Karting Kristian Janev, Lando Norris entry Jesse Lacey and Tony Kart Australia driver Jack Bell weren’t far behind. Jenner was able to win both heats on Saturday, but Janev took out heat three and Jenner was starting down the order for the final due to a post-race heat three penalty. Janev was able to lead in the early stages of the final but had pressure from behind from Lacey and Bell. Jenner along with Jackson Souslin-Harlow were storming through the field and up into the top five. Jenner got to second position but didn’t have enough to stop Kristian Janev from taking victory in an epic final. Jenner was up on the podium in second, with Souslin-Harlow fighting to third spot. Lacey was able to come home in fourth, with Bell behind him.
Cadet 9 was nothing short of the Archie Bristow show! Bristow was able to take pole position by a massive half a second over New Zealander Iver Spence and Jasper Partouche. Bristow won all three heats my massive margin with Xavier Mifsud, Spence, Sebastian Tander and state champion Jay Kostecki all battling for the minor positions. Bristow put on a clinic in the final, opening margin every lap and taking victory by phenomenal seventeen seconds! Mifsud after a race long battle with Tander was able to come home in second spot! Tander rounded out the podium with Oliver Williamson and Koda Singh rounding out the top five.
Denzil Sargent took a brilliant pole position in KA4 Junior Heavy by three tenths of a second over Victorian front runners Benjamin Classon and Taylem Mackinlay. Mackinlay took heat one on Saturday over Alexander Cirone, with Sargent fighting back to take heat two and Classon in second spot. Cirone was able to be the third different heat winner after Sargent and Classon were both involved in a first corner incident. Grace Riddell, after being down the order all weekend, took the lead on lap one in the final. Riddell made an uncharacteristic mistake at the dog leg leaving Cirone, Isabel Rowe and a recovering Sargent to battle for victory. Rowe and Cirone both had their turns at the front of the field with Cirone taking out his maiden City of Melbourne Title. Rowe came through to finish second over Sargent on the podium in third. Classon starting off the back of the field charged his way up to fourth position over Hugo Garraway in fifth position!
The premier KA2 Junior class had drivers from all over the country, taking to the starter with Lando Norris karter Lewis Francis taking pole position over Rush Performance’s Jett Kocoski and Patrizicorse’s Mika Lemasurier in third. Francis and Lemasurier shared the heat wins on Saturday with Kocoski, Toby Dvorak, Jack Webster and Max Walton all battling for the minor spots. Francis had a dominant Sunday, taking a six second win in heat three and the all important final on Sunday afternoon! Webster was able to come home in second spot after working his way forward from Lemasurier in third. DJM Race Engineering pilot Dvorak just missed the podium in fourth with Parolin Australia driver Jaxson Burns rounding out the top five!
KA3 Junior had a massive field with over thirty drivers facing the starter. Victorian James Anagnostiadis took the all-important pole position over Lewis Francis and Pro Karting’s Benjamin Munro in third. Anagnostiadis took out all three heat wins with Francis, Munro, Leo Iannella and Hunter Salvatore all racing for positions behind. Anagnostiadis was able to break clear in the final and take a clean sweep winning the race by three seconds over Salvatore in second spot. Jack Beeton made his way onto the podium in third, with Francis just behind in position four and Pip Casabene rounding out the top five drivers.
Spiros Anagnostopoulos took out the all important pole position in TAG Restricted Light over Pro Karting’s Sebastian Perrone and A1 Engines Motorsport’s Ryan Dealy. Perrone was able to take home both heat wins on Saturday, with Anagnostopoulos fighting back to take heat three with Dealy and Mark Seddon fighting behind. Perrone was able to lead the early stages of the final but Anagnostopoulos and Dealy were able to break clear and battle for the win in the back half of the race. Dealy, try as he might, wasn’t able to take victory with Anagnostopoulos taking the title! Dealy finished in second spot over Perrone rounding out your podium. Alec Christopoulos moved his way through to fourth with Daniel Nankervis rounding out your top five drivers!
Victorian State Cup Champion Taine Venables took pole position in KA3 Senior Medium over rising star Ethan Briggs and Benjamin Mouritz. Cory Arnett who qualified sixth on the grid moved forward and was able to take out all three heat victories with Venables, Zach Findlay, Mouritz all battling behind. Jackson Souslin-Harlow was also entering the battling with a second in heat three after qualifying down in tenth on the grid. Venables, Souslin-Harlow were all in the battle in the early stages of the final with Souslin-Harlow and Arnett making it a two kart battle in the back end of the race. Souslin-Harlow was able to cling on to a tight victory over Arnett in second spot. Todd Chambers made his way up into third spot over Findlay and Venables rounding out your top five.
New Zealand national champion Zach Tucker made the trip across to Australia and took pole position in Cadet 12 over Pulse Tuning entry Jack Jenkins and fellow New Zealander Marco Manson. The New Zealanders stole the show with Tucker winning all three heats, with stable mate Aryan Lala and Manson not far behind. Victorian’s Cayden Beacham and Blake Purvis made their way into the front pack as the weekend went on, setting up a fascinating final. Tucker and Beacham were battling at the front in the final with Purvis, Manson and Riley Harrison making it a five kart train at the front. A lap kart incident brought heart break to Purvis ruling him out of the race, with Harrison moving into the top three. In a heart stopping final lap, Tucker was able to make a move back into the lead on the second last corner to take victory over Beacham and Harrison. Manson recovered for fourth spot with Jackson Brasher rounding out the top five drivers.
James Anagnostiadis took his second pole position of the weekend in KA4 Junior Light over Queensland state champion Xavier Avramides and Energy Corse Australia driver Jack Beeton. Anagnostiadis was able to take both heats on Saturday, with Avramides and Pro Karting’s Pip Casabene racing on his back. Alpha Motorsport driver Samuel March had a horror day Saturday but was able to bounce back for an unlikely third heat victory. Casabene and Avramides battled in the early stages of the final for victory before an incident mid race took the Queensland state champion out of contention. March was able to take the lead and not look back, taking victory over a recovering Anagnostiadis. Will Thompson out of A1 Engines Motorsport was able to work his way up onto the podium in third with Casabene and Beeton rounding out your top five.
Jason Pringle turned back the clock taking an all important pole position in TAG 125 Heavy over former national champion, Matthew Wall and current Victorian State Champion Leigh Nicolaou. Nicolaou and Pringle were able to take a heat win each on Saturday, with Nicolaou taking the final heat win Sunday morning. Wall, Rick Pringle, Trent Harrison and Ryan Cook were all battling behind. Nicolaou was able to get the jump in the final but had pressure from behind from both Pringle brothers. In a hard fought victory, Nicolaou was able to hang on and take out the City of Melbourne title over Jason and Rick Pringle. Cook was able to come through just off the podium in fourth from Harrison rounding out the top five.
TAG 125 Restricted Medium was a great battle all weekend with Beau Humphrey taking pole position over Blair Van Ree and Josh Fielding. State champion Joshua Herne was able to take out heat one, with former Victorian State Cup champion Brett Jenkin taking the second and third heat, putting him off pole position for the final. Jenkin and Humphrey battled in the early stages with Mikhali Triantafillidis, Phil Smith and Herne all entering the battle. The race changed complexion when Jenkins pulled off on the side of the road with a mechanical issue. Triantafillidis was able to take the lead and hold his nerve in the final few laps to take victory over Herne and Humphery. Michael Powell was able to work his way to fourth spot with John Reynolds rounding out your top five.
Lady racer Aiva Anagnostiadis took the all important pole position in KA3 Senior Light over Jesse Lacey and Mebourne Kart Centre driver Jake Santalucia. Santalucia was able to take two of the three heats, with MFK racer Nicholas Sacco taking the other heat and moving his way into contention. Lacey, Anagnostiadis and Joel Macpherson all worked their way into the top five battle. Lacey and Sacco were able to get to the front two spots in the final and battle it out for race victory. In a dramatic finish, Lacey was able to hold his nerve and take out the City of Melbourne title over a determined Sacco. Santalucia rounded out your podium in third spot with Anagnostiadis and Max Torcasio rounding out your top five drivers.
Victorian Combined Masters was another extremely close field with Benjamin Czapor taking pole position over Simon Gwilliam and Alan Roberts. Gwilliam was able to take the first two heat wins but Peter Gigis made his way into contention, taking the final heat win before the final. Czapor, Roberts, Glenn Riddell and Ian Branson were all battling in the top five looking to the final. The final changed complexion in the early stages with Riddell, Czapor and Gwilliam all involved in incidents, ruling them out of contention for the race win. This left a fast Gigis in full control where he was able to take a commanding victory by four seconds. Ringwood Kart Centre driver Branson moved up onto the podium in second spot over Garry Haywood. Panduit Racing driver Darren Formosa and a recovering Glenn Riddell rounded out the top five drivers.