report by Andrew Hayes, AHR Media
images supplied by Darren’s Sportography
The Hamilton Karting Club hosted round two of the DPE Kart Superstore Victorian Country Series on the weekend, following a three month hiatus since round one at South West Kart Club.
Around 170 entries took to the 700 metre Buckley Park Raceway in perfect conditions. Beautiful sunshine engulfed the undulating circuit after chilly starts to both days.
The racing was intense, with solid fields in most classes leading to thrilling racing.
The meeting wasn’t without incident, as a number of karters in heat three of KA3 Junior Light were eliminated as the result of a big accident upon the calling of a full course yellow. SA driver Levi Jones was hospitalised, and later transferred to Melbourne, but is now recovering at home from his bruising involvement.
The run down for each class is below. Full results are on speedhive HERE.
KA3 JUNIOR LIGHT (21 Entries)
A very solid field of KA3 Junior Light was the opening class for the weekend, and certainly provided some entertainment. South Australian Noah Enright was a speedy addition to the field and he made a straight up impression by claiming pole position (31.668).
Round One KA3 Junior Heavy winner Mathew Basso would claim all three heat wins, despite trailing a penalized Enright to the flag in the opening heat.
Basso and Jayden Dellar led the field away in the final, and whilst Dellar looked threatening, Basso saw off every challenge thrown at him. But charging through the field in a hurry was Enright, and by the middle of the 16 lap final, he was in striking distance of the leaders. Not long after, Enright claimed the lead and from there went on to win convincingly. Basso was rock solid in second with Dellar rounding the podium in third. Cooper Frith and Dallas Greene rounded the top five.
1st Noah Enright (SGKC)
2nd Mathew Basso (OAK)
3rd Jayden Dellar (BALL)
TAG LIGHT (24 Entries)
Round 1 winner Jaxon Johnstone made the perfect start to his round by snatching pole position (30.446) by a tiny margin.
Johnstone was a man on a mission in the heats, and greeted the flag first on each occasion.
Come final time, Johnstone and Matt Domaschenz squared up on the front row as they had so many times before. Domaschenz shadowed Johnstone for the distance and looked set to pounce when the time was right, but Johnstone withstood the pressure and recorded a fine win. Domaschenz was the runner up for the second consecutive round. Andrew Rae had been pacey all weekend, until a small mistake on the penultimate lap allowed Parker Scott to snatch third place. Rae was home in fourth, ahead of current Super2 driver Kai Allen.
1st Jaxon Johnstone (WBOOL)
2nd Matthew Domaschenz (PORT)
3rd Parker Scott (MGKC)
TAG RESTRICTED MEDIUM (19 Entries)
The defending VCS champion Beau Humphrey laid down the marker in qualifying for Restricted Medium, taking pole position (32.198).
Humphrey was exceptional in the heats, going undefeated in all three editions.
2022 final round winner Darryl Henman got the early jump in the final and looked good until a passing attempt from Humphrey went wrong at Siberia, slowing both and ending the hopes of another of the contenders, Max Lumsden. Portland’s Kobe Trigg and Mt. Gambier’s Grady Hutchesson were big benefactors and grabbed the chance to fill the top two spots to the chequered flag. Humphrey recovered to snare third, ahead of Warrnambool pair Jackson Hodgetts and Jeremy Kiensrod.
1st Kobe Trigg (PORT)
2nd Grady Hutchesson (MGKC)
3rd Beau Humphrey (ELKC)
TAG RESTRICTED LIGHT (17 Entries)
Making a splash on return to VCS competition, it was Gerry Westerveld who topped the charts in Restricted Light (31.639)
Westerveld was smooth and fast in the heats, edging away to win all three comfortably.
Westereld had Spiros Anagnostopoulos for company on the front row of the grid, with Spiros in the midst of a run of SEVEN straight round wins! Westerveld was again away well in the final, and led Spiros, who had to overcome Max Marriner on the opening lap. The two raced nose to tail for the duration, with Westerveld sustaining the pressure to take a tight win. Spiros was in his back pocket for second ahead of the consistant Marriner. Jayden Christensen had a turbulent weekend before settling in fourth, ahead of Jacob Dowlin in fifth.
1st Gerry Westerveld (ROCH)
2nd Spiros Anagnostopoulos (ELKC)
3rd Max Marriner (BALL)
KA3 JUNIOR HEAVY (6 Entries)
Visiting Tasmanian Harrison Duske made his presence felt in KA3JH qualifying, taking a hard fought pole position (32.582).
Duske claimed the opening two heats, and the third went to Chelsea Humphrey, who had also finished strongly in the proceeding two heats.
The final was another hotly contested event between Duske and Humphrey. Whilst all finishing positions were settled by the end of the second circulation, there was certainly plenty of pressure at the front of the pack. In the end, it was Duske who took a start to finish win, finishing just ahead of the gallant Humphrey. Fletcher Shaw rebounded from a qualifying DQ to finish in third, ahead of Thomas Motta and Jack Gatt in fourth and fifth.
1st Harrison Duske (STKC)
2nd Chelsea Humphrey (ELKC)
3rd Fletcher Shaw (OAK)
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT (15 Entries)
Andrew Hollis took the opportunity to be the lead driver at Thomas 7 Motorsport, and snagged a big pole position (31.805), with the top five separated by less than a tenth.
Robert Graham took over from there to pace the field in all three heats.
Graham was looking to sweep the racing element of the weekend, and managed to do so with a comfortable start to finish win. Riley George was second for the second consecutive round, mixing it in the front pack all weekend. Rio Campbell rocketed through the field in the final after an earlier penalty to storm home in third. Hollis just missed the podium in fourth, just ahead of Thomas Patching in fifth.
1st Robert Graham (OAK)
2nd Riley George (ELKC)
3rd Rio Campbell (OAK)
TAG HEAVY (11 Entries)
Warrnambool’s Ryan Cook missed the opening VCS round at Cobden, but certainly let his rivals know he was back by recording pole position (31.086) in qualifying.
Cook capitalized on his starting position to claim the opening two encounters, before Scott King threw down the gauntlet to win heat three.
Cook once again started the final on pole and got away nicely. Scott was joined by Adam King to try and overcome Cook. After Scott tried for a few laps, Adam took his turn, eventually waving Scott through to turn up the pressure on the consistant Cook. Just after the halfway point, the decisive move came from Scott at the end of the straight, and Adam followed suit soon after. They would run to the flag in that order, Scott, Adam and Ryan taking the silverware. Jay Racovalis and Aidan Solomon completed the top five.
1st Scott King (PORT)
2nd Adam King (PORT)
3rd Ryan Cook (WBOOL)
CADET 12 (18 Entries)
Cadet 12 is always hotly contested in VCS, and this round was no exception. SA’s Dominic Mercuri was on top when the clock stopped, claiming pole position (34.101).
Mercuri emerged victorious in heat two, but it was Blake Purvis who claimed the first and third stanzas.
Purvis and Mercuri led the field away, and quickly settling into an enthralling battle. Lucas Costanzo joined them at the front of the order, but dropped back during the race. Mercuri held the front running until Purvis made a decisive move on lap 10, which proved to be the winning move, holding on to win by just under a second. Mercuri was second after a rock solid weekend, ahead of Costanzo, who had dropped back to fourth early on. Oscar Corless was home in fourth, ahead of Cadet 9 graduate Kurtis Polkinghorne in fifth.
1st Blake Purvis (OAK)
2nd Dominic Mercuri (SGKC)
3rd Lucas Costanzo (ELKC)
KA3 SENIOR MEDIUM (12 Entries)
KA3 Senior Medium has long been the domain of Remo Luciani, but there was some questions to be answered following some recent health concerns for the master. He answered them emphatically by taking pole position (32.184) over his younger peers.
Hitting the ground running in the heats, Luciani, the recent inductee into the Motorsport Australia Hall of Fame, claimed the victory in each of the three events.
It was always going to be a hard task to beat Luciani in the final, and Matthew Nietz and Ben Mouritz gave it everything, but inevitably come up short. Luciani was superb, and many in the gathered crowd appreciated seeing him, not only winning, but just back behind the wheel. Mouritz managed to overcome Neitz in the closing laps to cement their podium positions. Fraser Hie and Adam Henriksen both overcome some challenges to finish in fourth and fifth.
1st Remo Luciani (WIMM)
2nd Ben Mouritz (OAK)
3rd Matthew Nietz (GKCSA)
VIC COMBINED MASTERS (18 Entries)
Anthony Pethebridge continued his grip on pole position (32.347) by taking his second consecutive Masters pole in 2023.
The heat races were eventful and provided three different winners, confirming the competition was fierce. Jason Domaschenz greeted the flag in the first, Pethebridge in the second, and Heath Jelbart jagged the win in the third.
It was Domaschenz who made the most of the start to take up the front running in the final, with Jelbart slotting in behind for the early laps. Pethebridge didn’t take long to move ahead of Jelbart, going after Domaschenz. Domaschenz was up for the challenge though, and sustained the heat to take the win over Pethebridge by just one tenth of a second. Jelbart continued his good work by taking third place, ahead of the highest finishing local, Ron Taylor in fourth. Leon Forrest rounded out the top five.
1st Jason Domaschenz (VIC)
2nd Anthony Pethebridge (ELKC)
3rd Heath Jelbart (BEN)
CADET 9 (6 Entries)
Round 1 winner Alana Gurney was off to a flying start in Cadet 9, laying down the fastest time in qualifying (34.780).
Gurney made the most of the prime starting position to claim the opening heat, before Jarvis Hindle came from behind to win heats two and three.
With his confidence building, it was Hindle who controlled the final, leading from start to finish, winning his first VCS round. A solid points haul for Gurney, as she was a comfortable second, ahead of Lawson Effingham, who was super consistant in third. Hudson Millard made great gains over the weekend to finish fourth, ahead of Jaxon Boyle in fifth.
1st Jarvis Hindle (ELKC)
2nd Alana Gurney (OAK)
3rd Lawson Effingham (WBOOL)
The DPE Kart Superstore sponsored series is on track next for Round 3 at the Warrnambool Kart Club on June 17/18 2023.
Thankyou to the 2023 VCS Sponsors:
- DPE KART SUPERSTORE
- REMO RACING
- KARTING AUSTRALIA
- SOUTH WEST CONVEYANCING
- CHAMBERS PORTABLE LINE BORING
- ALL STAR GRAPHICS
- THOMAS 7 MOTORSPORT
- GLOSS FINANCE
- CENTRAL VIC KARTS & PARTS
- MELBOURNE KART CENTRE
- AHR MEDIA
- DARREN’S SPORTOGRAPHY