by Russell Innes, Ipswich Kart Club
Ipswich Kart Club started their 2023 Club Championships on Saturday the 4th of February with a massive 295 starters across 17 classes and 13 Groups on track. As an indication of the interest across the country in competing at IKC club race meetings, representation came from 15 clubs across the country and 4 states.
After a blistering hot Friday practice day, weather conditions were much cooler on the Saturday with some persistent showers early in the day making it challenging for everyone throughout the 1st 2 rounds of Heats with choices being made between wet or dry tyres.
- full results are on speedhive HERE
Cadet 9 and Cadet 12 were the 2 Feature classes contesting the IKC Cadet Titles and this race meeting was also the 1st Round of the 3 Round Queensland Pineapple Cup for KA2 Junior and Gearbox classes.
Carter Grother set the pace in Cadet 9 qualifying with Harlen Bell 2nd fastest from Jeremy Broadbent in 3rd. Grother was untouchable in Heat 1, running away for a 5 second win from Bell and Oliver Flack who drove brilliantly from a low qualifying spot. Cruz Kelly and Broadbent rounded out the top 5. Wet track conditions in Heat 2 was challenging for everyone, but Grother was really stamping his authority with a massive 13 second win over the 10 laps. Samuel Grande had a good race to come through to 2nd ahead of Bell, Flack and Leighton Thorley. Track conditions had improved for Heat 3 but Grother again led easily to win from Bell, Kelly, Brock Nolan and Broadbent. Grother wrapped up a dominant day by leading the 14 lap Final all the way to a 7 second win from Bell, Kelly, Flack and Riccardo Johnston.
Riley Curtis put in a great lap to lead Cadet 12 qualifying from Lana Flack, Zander Watts, Basilo Micale and Michael Qunitiliani. A very wet track for Heat 1 made it difficult for everyone but Flack was superb and romped away to an easy 6 second win from Cooper Folley, Jack Larsen who had a brilliant drive from 15th on the grid, Gabriel Elkayam who also came from a lowly 17th on the grid and Watts rounding out the top 5. Flack pretty well led all the way again in Heat 2 but was really challenged by Micale who fell just ½ a second short after 10 laps. Folley was 3rd, with Brock Helm 4th and Alester Flack 5th. Folley was the one to challenge Flack early in Heat 3 before she again asserted her dominance. Alester Flack moved to 2nd by lap 6 with Maxim Kirwan into 3rd and getting to grips with the Ipswich track. An unfortunate rollover for Jack Jensen brought out the red flag on lap 7 and the race was declared with Lana Flack 1st from Alester Flack, Kirwan, Folley and Watts. Lana Flack was dominant in the Final, edging away over the 14 laps to win by over 5 seconds from Alester Flack, Folley, Micale and Kirwan.
The Ipswich Kart Club Cadet P Program has been hugely successful over the last year and a total of 19 drivers were entered for the Cadet 9P and Cadet 12P class, 12 of them having their very first race meeting. The Cadet P drivers had challenging conditions for their 1st 2 Heats with a wet track and it all threw up some mixed results. Leo Prommnitz just held out Archer Bailey in Heat 1 of Cadet 12P, with Ayrton Hobday in 3rd but 1st of the Cadet 9P’s. Jake Jenkings was 4th across the line but 3rd of the Cadet 12P’s with Olivia Walton 5th and 2nd in Cadet 9P. In Heat 2 Brodie Rose was able to challenge Prommnitz and held him out in a very close finish with Bailey 3rd. Hobday again led home Walton in Cadet 9P with Walter Hillier 3rd. Conditions had improved a lot for Heat 3 and in what was the race of the day, all 19 finished the race and the battles throughout were sensational to watch. Prommnitz and Bailey ran very close at the front throughout but Prommnitz was again able to win narrowly. Rose was 3rd, whilst Hobday again led home the Cadet 9P’s from Walton who had a fantastic dice with Jacob Brook-Lenehan.
In the Final, Charles Newman, Prommnitz, Rose and Bailey had a thrilling 4 way battle at the front early on, before Rose and Bailey came to grief and dropped out of contention. Prommnitz was then able to take the lead and edge away from Newman over the 8 laps of the Final to win comfortably. Jenkings worked his way into 3rd holding out Ewan Dragun and Jensen Berridge in Cadet 12P. Hobday had a comfortable win in Cadet 9P ahead of another thrilling battle between Walton and Brook-Lenehan. Brook-Lenehan getting the better of the dice and taking 2nd in Cadet 9P with Walton 3rd, Scarlett Mitrovic 4th and Oskar Kozak 5th.
Defending Class Champion Georgie Yeadon started strongly in 4SS Junior with the Heat 1 win in the wet, from newcomer Tarelle Stockman and Jaxon Duong. Yeadon again was strong in Heat 2 and led virtually all the way before Jett Saraghi snuck through to win on the last lap with Liam Ioannidis in 3rd. Yeadon, Buster Bailey and Saraghi had a good battle for the lead early in Heat 3 before Saraghi DNF’d, Yeadon narrowly winning from Bailey with Stockman 3rd. Yeadon again led early in the Final before Bailey and then Saraghi caught and passed her. Bailey and Saraghi then battled for the lead with Saraghi getting the better and edging away for a 3 second win from Bailey and then Yeadon.
In the very wet Heat 1 conditions for KA3 Junior Heavy, Oliver Acquasanta had a massive win from brother Max and then Cody Scott. Heat 2 still in wet conditions was a lot closer, Oliver Acquasanta winning again but only narrowly from Lucas Lesmes who challenged throughout and took the lead for a lap mid Heat, but Acquasanta went on to win from Lesmes and a great drive from Sam Simpson into 3rd. Charlotte Page had been quiet in the 1st 2 Heats, but started showing her speed in Heat 3 on a now dry track and battled with both the Acquasanta brothers for the lead. Max getting the better though to win narrowly from Page and then Scott who grabbed 3rd from Oliver Acquasanta. Onto the Final and Max Acquasanta led the early laps whilst brother Oliver fell back early. Page started challenging for the lead and took over in front on lap 9 to take a very narrow victory from Max Acquasanta, with Cody Scott finishing 3rd ahead of Oliver Acquasanta and Lesmes.
A capacity field of KA3 Junior Light was led in qualifying by Luke Rinaldi, a superb effort from Charlie Stratford in 2nd and Hamish Campbell 3rd. The KA3 Junior Light field was met with a drying track condition for Heat 1 and Brodie Norris who had only qualified 14th was a big mover early and by lap 3 had taken the race lead from Sebastian Bennett and Patrick Buckley. Baxter Jarrett was also moving forward and by lap 5 had moved into 3rd behind Norris and Marcus Lio who had made an inspired tyre choice and quickly moved through from 27th on the grid to 2nd on the track. As track conditions neutralised, a lot of movement for positions happened over the remaining 3 laps, but Norris remained clear out in front with Jarrett securing 2nd and Rinaldi hanging on for 3rd, Tyson McGill 4th and Buckley 5th. Isaac McNeill who had failed to start qualifying and therefore started 40th, drove through the field for a fantastic 6th. Fully wet track conditions greeted the field for Heat 2 and again there was a lot of movement for positions up and down the field. Rinaldi was comfortably leading out front from Buckley, but Maddie Feather was the mover in the field from 13th on the grid and by lap 5 was up to 3rd and on the tail of Buckley. She moved to 2nd on the final and 8th lap, leaving the final result as Rinaldi, Feather, Buckley, Norris and Jarrett. The start list for the first 3 rows of Heat 3 would thus be, Rinaldi, Norris, Jarrett, Buckley, Feather and McNeill. Rinaldi lead early but Norris went to the front on lap 3 with McNeill quickly moving up to 3rd and these 3 continued to have a close race throughout. Norris just holding out Rinaldi and McNeill. Jye Flynn had found some pace once the track conditions were dry and moved up to 4th with Jarrett 5th. Norris, McNeill and Rinaldi were the class of the field in the Final, these 3 quickly moving away out front and having a tight race for the lead, with Jarrett and Buckley battling over 4th and 5th. Norris led all the way but McNeill and Rinaldi were very close behind and after 10 laps Norris won narrowly from McNeill and Rinaldi, Jarret getting the better of the battle for 4th with Buckley. The results of this race are provisional though as a protest and subsequent appeal are in place.
Maddie Feather set a cracking time to lead KA2 Junior qualifying, ahead of Max Walton and Dominic Penman. Walton led from the start in Heat 1, briefly challenged by Isaac McNeill mid race before winning by over 2 seconds from Feather and Mika LeMasurier. Walton, Feather and Penman all led early in Heat 2 before Walton got out to a small lead to take the win from Penman and Ryan MacMillan. Walton lead all the way in Heat 3 for a small win from MacMillan and Feather. Feather got the best of the start in the Final and led a close battle throughout the 14 laps for a very small margin of victory from Walton and MacMillan in 3rd.
In the TAG Restricted classes, Robert Mortensen, Jacinta Hoey and Jack Munro all had a Heat win in TAG Restricted Light. Jake Czislowski and Josh Frew also amongst the placings in the Heats. In the Final Frew led early, then Hoey, then Mortensen. Once Mortensen had got to the front and Hoey and Munro had come together and were out of the race, Mortensen was able to edge away for a comfortable 3 second win from Frew and Nathaniel Harrison. In TAG Restricted Medium, Dean Silcock made the best of the difficult track conditions in Heat 1 to win from Allan Mayes and Rudy Farkas. Mayes led all the way in Heat 2 to win from Farkas and Jackson Gray. After a bad 2nd Heat, Dean Silcock came back strong in Heat 3, taking the lead from Mayes early and then winning comfortably , Mayes 2nd and Dylan Menz 3rd. Dean Silcock and Mayes battled early in the Final before Ryan Silcock who had a DNF in Heat 1 and started the Final from P9, came through to also join the battle at the front. By lap 6 the Silcock boys were out front alone and battling for the lead, older brother Ryan going to the front on lap 10 and holding out younger brother Dean over the last lap to win by a very narrow margin. Bradley McNaught came through from 8th to grab 3rd.
TAG Restricted Masters had a big field of 19 starters. Christopher Williams got off to a strong start with the heat 1 win from Kevin Johnston and Ben Spalding. Noel Smyth had a big win in Heat 2 in the tricky wet conditions, from Evan Broughton and Johnston. Williams and Johnston had a close battle in Heat 3, Williams leading most of the way to win from Johnston whilst Smyth had to work his way forward from a lower starting spot to be right on their tail at the finish. On to the Final and Johnston was out early, with Williams leading for the first few laps before he also DNF’d, leaving Smyth to take the lead and a big advantage over Gavin Soward who had come through from 10th on the grid to 2nd. Smyth winning by a big margin of over 9 seconds, Soward 2nd and then another 6 seconds back to Lee Robinson in 3rd.
The small KA3 Senior field were pretty close all day, Ryan Uhlmann winning Heat 1 from Rohan Gresham and Lachlan Platten. Gresham winning Heat 2 from Uhlmann and Keegan Fraser. Heat 3 and it was Fraser’s turn to win, ahead of Uhlmann and Platten. In the Final, Gresham, Fraser and Uhlmann put on a great show, Gresham prevailing to get the win by the smallest of margins from Fraser and Uhlmann.
A super talented field of TAG Heavy had really wet conditions for their 1st Heat and Brock Plumb was superb, starting from position 11 on the random grid to move to the lead by lap 4 and win comfortably from Hayden Egan and Andrew Gilliam. Brendan Nelson had an issue in Heat 1 and was a DNF, but made up for it in Heat 2 with a strong start and led all the way with Plumb his only challenger. Sam Houston was the best of the rest in 3rd. Plumb made it look easy in Heat 3 with a runaway win by over 5 seconds from Houston and Jared Neinert. Plumb again was comfortable in the Final, edging away to win by over 4 seconds. Houston, Neinert and Nelson were very close all race in the battle for 2nd, Houston just edging past Neinert to grab 2nd on lap 6 of 10. Neinert was able to hold out Nelson for the final step on the podium.
Jack Wells had a great win in Heat 1 of TAG Light, from Angus Gardener and Jordi Marcon, whilst in Heat 2 Rohan Gresham was strong and just held out Harrison Hoey for the win, with Kyle Taffe 3rd. Hoey started asseting some authority with a strong Heat 3 win from Wells and Gresham and followed it up with a strong run in the Final leading comfortably when the race was red flagged and called. Wells was 2nd and Jett Adamson had a great race to move up to 3rd.
X30 was added to the programme but not as a club championship class and attracted a good quality field. Kayden Thompson had his 1st Heat win since moving to Seniors ahead of Cohen Day and Lachlan Costa. Declan Somers romped it in for the Heat 2 win on a wet track, finishing well clear of Declan Matthews and Jace Matthews. On to Heat 3 and better track conditions as the rain had gone and the track was now dry. Jace Matthews winning narrowly from Thompson and Declan Matthews. Thompson started on pole for the final and had a lot of pressure from Jace Matthews throughout the 10 laps but held on for a narrow win from Matthews. Sam Seccombe completed the podium in 3rd.
Defending Club Champion Keyan Appleby got off to a strong start in Queensland Open Performance with the Heat 1 win ahead of Zane Morrison and Jason Smith. In a very wet Heat 2, James Hogan had a strong win from Pete Sattler and Smith. By Heat 3 track conditions were good and Morrison showed his pace to win from Hogan and Appleby. Hogan though saved his best for last and got the better of the battle with Morrison in the Final for a narrow win. Scott Cleveland had been pretty quiet all day but came through in the Final for 3rd.
Taylah Agius set the pace in Qualifying for the Gearbox class, putting down a strong lap to be comfortably ahead of Bailey Sagaidak and Henry Johnstone. Sagaidak though had very strong pace in Heat 1 winning comfortably from Johnstone and Lachlan Murphy. He repeated the dose in Heat 2, again ahead of Johnstone and Agius and followed it up with another dominant display in Heat 3 again ahead of Johnstone and Agius. Johnstone though got the best of the start in the Final, whilst Sagaidak fell back to 4th behind Agius and Scott Sorensen. Whilst Sagaidak moved forward and eventually got back up to 2nd passing Agius on lap 12 of 14, Johnstone had established enough lead to still just hold out Sagaidak in a very close finish. Johnstone winning the 1st Round of the Queensland Pineapple Cup from Sagaidak and Agius.
The 2nd Round of the IKC Championships will be on Saturday the 4th March and the Feature Classes will be 4SS Junior, 4SS Senior and 4SS Super all contesting the IKC 4SS Titles. The 4th March race meeting will have qualifying for all classes, 2 Heats and a Final, all on the A Track configuration.