by Jade Stone
The Launceston Kart Club kicked off the 2023 karting season when it hosted the twenty sixth annual Wyllie’s Kart City Young Guns event on Saturday 21st of January.
Just over 70 competitors gathered at the Archerville circuit for a weekend of racing that provided drivers with some excellent weather conditions. This plus the introduction of new restrictors in three of the KA3 classes resulted in some lap record breaking times. Launceston Kart Club pair Oliver Wickham and Cooper Synfield walked away with lap records in KA3 Junior Light and Heavy respectfully with Hobart Matty Mayne lowering his own mark from two months ago in KA3 Tas Masters.
Easily the most impressive lap record to be broken was by Renee Hinds in TaG 125 Restricted Heavy, Hinds would demolish the previous lap record by over half a second in what would be her first race meeting back since taking over twelve months off to welcome her daughter Matilda into the world.
For the third straight year Dion Wyllie from Wyllie’s Kart City would be the naming rights sponsor of the biggest feature event in Tasmanian Karting for the Junior division.
- full results are on speedhive HERE
The feature race of the weekend was the Young Guns event which was held for the twenty sixth time. By winning the 2023 Junior feature Oliver Wickham became the first driver ever to secure the three peat of young guns wins after winning Cadet 9 in 2018 and 2019, plus Cadet 12 in 2020.
Oliver would start the race from seventh place and would hit the lead on lap five of the twenty one lap race and would never be headed. Second place went to his twin brother Jordan who started from sixth place. Hands down the drive of the race went to Cooper Synfield who started eleventh and finished the feature race in third. Synfield had the pace to match it with Jordan but couldn’t quite make up the ground he gave away by starting three rows behind. Fourth place went to Hobarts Harry Bresnehan who also did well to fight his way from tenth on the starting grid. Jaiden Marshall would round out the top five in fifth place.
On paper KA3 Tas Masters was easily won by Hobart’s Matty Mayne, however in all races for the weekend he was pushed all the way by current Tasmanian Statewide series champion Malcolm Watson. In the final Mayne would cross the line just over 1.5 seconds clear of Watson. Third and fourth was a tough battle between Clint Pease and state champion Shane Stonehouse with Pease crossing the line in third after some late race contact. Stonehouse would recover to finish fourth with fifth place going to Launceston’s Ken Jones.
The second final off the ranks was KA3 Junior Heavy which on paper was a very strong field with the top six drivers being within three tenths of each other in qualifying. In the final though it would be Cooper Synfield who recovered from a poor qualifying result to register a dominant seven second win over reigning State Champion Jonty Rowbottom in second and State Cup Champion Jaiden Marshall in third. Fourth place would go to Launceston’s Jack Taylor, with Jack Turnbull in fifth.
Cadet 9 saw Ethan Youd continue his hot form from the Archerville Classic in December to remain undefeated from his four races to secure enough points to win his first ever Wyllie Family Young Gun trophy. Second place would go to Wil Cairns who pushed Youd all the way in every race. Going into the final race Launceston’s Andy Rowlings was sitting in third place but a DNF in the final would drop him down to fifth position. Third place would eventually go to Eli White who recovered from a tough heat one result. Fourth place would go to Launceston’s Makenzie Leonard.
KA3 Junior Light was a family affair with twin brothers Oliver and Jordan Wickham convincingly locking out the front row in qualifying. In the final it would be Oliver taking an easy win from Jordan with Hobarts Harry Bresnehan in third. Fourth place would go to Lucas Furphy who was in his first race meeting in the Junior division, proving that once he moves into a class where he is weighted equal to other drivers, he will be a force to be reckoned with. Fifth place would go to current State Cup Champion Mitchell Conroy.
KA3 Senior Light was won by Callum Bishop who was in his first race meeting back after a fourteen-month retirement. He was pushed all the way in the final by State Cup champion Gemma Wyllie and William Blair who were only half a second behind at the end of the race. Fourth place went to North Western Kart Club member Cameron Jeffrey, with Isabella Mayne in fifth.
TaG 125 Restricted Heavy saw Renee Hinds utterly destroy her competition taking a twenty second victory in what would be her last hit out before attending the National Pink Plate event held in Albury Wodonga at the end of January. Second place would go to Marcus Howe with David Fidler recovering from a Heat 1 DNF to finish in third.
Cadet 12 would go down as one of the most hotly contested classes we have seen in years! After qualifying eleven of the fourteen drivers were separated by just over half a second, with seven of those drivers registering a top five finish from the four races. Once the dust settled it was Burnie’s Elenah Rankin who won three races which helped secured her first ever Wyllie Family Young Gun trophy. Second place would go to Mason Woods who was the only other driver to get a race win. Third place went to the Launceston Kart Clubs Ollie Garwood who was in just his second event in Cadet 12’s after moving up from Cadet 9 at the end of 2022. Fourth place would go to Casper Anderson who did well to fight back from a tough heat one result. Current State Champion Harry Warmsley bounced back from a heat one penalty and heat two DNF to finish the weekend in fifth place.
Racing returns to the Archerville circuit on Saturday May the 13th for the Saturday Night Lights/Phil Goss Memorial.