by Russell Innes
Townsville Kart Club has hosted a hugely successful 2023 Queensland Kart Championships with some brilliant racing held across the three days of competition from June 30 to July 2. 221 entries lined up across the 11 Classes on offer and all classes had four practice sessions, qualifying, four heats and a Final, so Townsville Kart Club as Hosts of the Championship provided all competitors plenty of on track time under the beautiful weather conditions.
- full results on speedhive HERE
Brock Nolan on his home track was very fast in Cadet 9 to qualify on pole, ahead of Carter Grother, Lukas Loeskow, Riccardo Johnston and Beau Chambers. Heat 1 and Nolan led all the way for a comfortable victory. Grother and Loeskow battled for the minor placings, swapping positions quite a few times before Loeskow held on for the final few laps for 2nd, with Grother 3rd. Grother and Loeskow both challenged Nolan early in Heat 2 before Nolan edged away but over the last few laps both Loeskow and Grother reeled him in and it was a very tight 3 way battle over the last lap, Grother taking the lead and the win, followed by Loeskow and then Nolan. Loeskow however getting a 2 place penalty and dropping to 4th which elevated Nolan to 2nd and Paige Flack to 3rd. Nolan again led away in Heat 3 whilst Grother was a 1st lap casualty and out of the race. Nolan was never seriously challenged in this one and romped away for an easy win over the 12 laps. Loeskow and Paige Flack battled early for 2nd place before settling into a steady gap between the. Loeskow in 2nd and Flack 3rd, however it tightened right up at the end and Flack took advantage and narrowly grabbed 2nd at the end, dropping Loeskow to 3rd from Johnston and Chelsea Flack. Post race though, Nolan got a 10 second start penalty, elevating Paige Flack to the win from Loeskow, Johnston and then Nolan. Nolan again led the early laps in the 15 Lap Heat 4, but Loeskow reeled him in on lap 7 and took the lead. Paige Flack was 3rd and Grother back in 4th fending off a challenge from Johnston. Loeskow still led on lap 10 from Nolan, Paige Flack and Johnston now ahead of Grother. Nolan was working away on finding a way past Loeskow and on lap 13 he got it done and retook the lead of the race and edged out just a small margin in front. Flack,Johnston and Grother were still battling for 3rd to 5th and as the laps wound down this was the battle to watch. After 15 laps Nolan had stretched his lead to over half a second from Loeskow, these two well ahead of Johnston who snuck up the inside of Flack on the last lap to claim 3rd, Flack 4th and Grother 5th. For the Final, Nolan and Loeskow were the front row, followed by Paige Flack and Johnston, with Grother and Chambers on the 3rd row. Nolan led away from Loeskow and Grother quickly up to 3rd and these 3 started to gap the rest of the field. Grother moved up to 2nd on lap 3 and set about planning a move to get past Nolan which he was able to do on lap 5 and take the race lead. Loeskow also pulled a move on Nolan on lap 6 to take 2nd. The 3 frontrunners ran close for the next 6 laps, but on lap 12 the race complexion changed dramatically as Loeskow went to the race lead and Nolan and Grother got tangled up and both lost considerable time, allowing Paige Flack through to 2nd. With only 7 laps to go, Loeskow now had a sizable lead out front from Flack, with Grother and then Nolan a long way back. In what was a very exciting conclusion to the race though, Flack started reeling in Loeskow, whilst Grother was also making considerable time on Flack. The result was that as they started the last lap it was condensing at the front and all 3 were in with a shot for the win. Loeskow had to go defensive in the last few corners and Flack and Grother were looking for the opportunity. Grother did the big dive down the inside on the last corner to get past Flack and then got a great run off the last corner as Loeskow went defensive. Loeskow though was able to hold on for the win, only half a kart length ahead of Grother who had finished superbly. Flack very close behind in 3rd followed by Nolan and Johnston.
Jack Larsen set the fast time in Qualifying for Cadet 12, followed by Riley Harrison, Caylen Burke, Lana Flack and Riley Grande. Larsen, Harrison Basilo Micale and Flack were all involved in a very tight battle throughout Heat 1. Larsen initially leading then Harrison, then Flack, with Micale very close to leading at stages. Things settled a bit as they got to lap 10 with Flack getting a little advantage in front and holding on to win from Larsen and Micale. Heat 2 was a ripper with Larsen, Micale and Burke all leading at one stage in the early laps. Flack again though worked her way forward to the front by lap 8 and drove away for a comfortable win. Micale Burke, Harrison and Roman Krutil scrapped over the minor placings over the last few laps, Micale finishing 2nd ahead of Harrison, Krutil and Burke. Flack would start Heat 3 from pole ahead of Harrison, Micale, Larsen, Burke and Krutil. Flack was well in command though and led this Heat all the way after a great start. The battle behind between Harrison, Micale, Burke and Corey Carson was entertaining though. Micale led this group initially before Carson moved up to 2nd on lap 8 and as they completed the 12th and last lap, Carson, Micale and Harrison were very close with Burke just off their tail. Micale made the most of the last lap shuffling though and took 2nd from Harrison, Carson and Burke. Heat 4 and again Flack got away well and led early, but the pursuing pack of Micale, Harrison, Burke, Krutil and Larsen were able to reel her back in and on lap 7 Micale moved through into the race lead, taking Harrison with him and dropping Flack to 3rd. Flack then set about getting the lead back and got back past Harrison on the next lap before passing Micale on lap 9 and again led the race. The race would only go to lap 10 and be red flagged and the race declared completed, with Flack 1st, Harrison getting by Micale for 2nd and Krutil also finishing strong to take 3rd from Micale in 4th and Burke 5th. On to the 20 lap Final and the front row would be Flack and Harrison, followed by Micale and Burke. Flack again got away well and led from the start with Micale, Krutil and Harrison having a great battle behind, followed by Burke and Carson. By lap 5 Flack had a small but in command lead, whilst Harrison had control of 2nd from Micale and Krutil. The race order at the front remained stable for the next 10 laps before Krutil made a move for 3rd on lap 15, dropping Micale to 4th and then on lap 17 getting past Harrison for 2nd. Flack though was in control and finished off the 20 lap Final with a 1 ½ second victory over Krutil, Harrison, Micale and Burke. Post race disqualifications though for Krutil and Micale elevated Harrison to 2nd and Burke to 3rd.
Michael Janusz led qualifying in KA3 Junior Heavy, followed by Ari Wedlock and Charlotte Page. Janusz led Heat 1 all the way for a comfortable win from Page who made the most of the first few laps when Wedlock fell back to 5th. Wedlock would work his way back to 3rd after the 12 laps having to pass Lachlan Evennett and then Jure Portelli. Janusz was out early in Heat 2 and after Portelli led the 1st lap, Wedlock went to the lead and was never challenged. Lucas Lesmes got a great start and moved up to 3rd early on leading a group of Cody Metcalf, Connor Scott and Cody Scott. By lap 8 Lesmes had got close to the back of Portelli and made the move to take 2nd. Metcalfe was having a great race and he also got to Portelli and made a pass for 3rd on lap 9. Portelli wasn’t done though and retook 3rd on lap 10, but the battle wasn’t over and as they completed lap 12, Metcalf again took over 3rd spot and just held out Portelli as they reached the chequered flag. Wedlock led from the start in Heat 3 but Janusz was a mover through the pack and by lap 5 had got up to 2nd and was trying to bridge the gap to Wedlock. He slowly whittled the gap down and as they started the 2nd last lap the gap was only 3/10ths. Wedlock had enough up his sleeve though and won by a narrow margin from Janusz with Evennett a considerable distance back in 3rd from Lesmes and Portelli. Wedlock would start Heat 4 from pole with Evennett beside him and Lesmes and Portelli on row 2. Janusz with his Heat 2 DNF was only 5th in points so would start on row 3. Evennett got the best of the start and led the 1st 2 laps before Wedlock took over at the front with Janusz already up to 3rd. A lap later Janusz was in 2nd and chasing down Wedlock. He made short work of it and by lap 6 had the race lead. Evenett was still 3rd followed by Portelli and Page. Portelli was out on lap 8 and the top 5 was now Janusz, Wedlock, Evennett, Page and Lesmes. Wedlock made a renewed charge for the lead and on lap 12 go back past Janusz. Janusz wasn’t having it though and again took the lead on lap 13 and he and Wedlock staged a tremendous battle over the remaining 2 laps, but Janusz was able to just hold on to the win, marginally from Wedlock, with Page taking 3rd off Evennett on the last lap and Jaxson Fischle sneaking through on Lesmes to steal 5th on the last lap. The Final therefore was shaping up to a cracking race between Wedlock and Janusz and it didn’t disappoint as both boys put on an impressive performance. Wedlock led initially before Janusz took over leading on lap 8. Wedlock sat on him though and on lap 13 he went back to the front. Janusz again came through on lap 15 to lead, but Wedlock stuck to him and as they started the 2nd last lap, Wedlock again moved to the front. They raced very close and fair over the last 2 laps, but Wedlock was able to hold on very narrowly from Janusz. Overshadowed a bit was the battle for the minor placings between Evennett, Page, Metcalfe and Lesmes, but Evennett was able to edge away from the group to secure 3rd, whilst Metcalfe held out Lesmes for 4th.
Michael Janusz managed to do the double and also put it on pole in KA3 Junior Light, narrowly ahead of a brilliant performance from Annabel Kennedy, with Seth Huth, Ky Burke and defending champion Xavier Avramides all very close behind. Janusz, Kennedy and Huth ran as the front 3 early in Heat 1, before Luke Trost started moving forward. On lap 7 he took 3rd from Huth, before moving into 2nd on lap 8. He was being followed through by Avramides who also moved up to 3rd pushing Kennedy back to 4th. The race complexion changed dramatically on lap 10 as Kennedy lost a heap of spots and Avramides dropped all the way back to 32nd. Janusz still led from Trost but Isaac McNeill had stormed through from 13th on the grid to now be 3rd. Goin into the 12th and last lap Janusz still led but Trost and McNeill were right behind him and in an entertaining final lap Trost and McNeill were both able to find a way past. Trost 1st, McNeill 2nd and Janusz 3rd. Kennedy got the best of the start in Heat 2 and led early from Janusz, Huth, Trost and Burke. Janusz took over the lead on lap 3 from Kennedy with Trost now 3rd. Burke had some good pace though and he started moving forward and into 3rd on lap 6, into 2nd on lap 7 and took over as race leader on lap 9 and dropping Janusz to 2nd. McNeill again had moved forward from his low starting spot and took over 3rd on the road on lap 9. Burke, Janusz and McNeill all moved clear of the pursuing pack and held the top 3 spots to the completion of the 12 laps. For Heat 3 Trost and Janusz would be the front row followed by Burke and McNeill. McNeill made the best start and led after lap 1, but Burke was the one with pace and took over at the front on lap 2 from McNeill. These two were able to just slightly edge away from the huge pursuing pack led by Trost. Whilst Burke and McNeill held steady in 1st and 2nd, Trost had to try and hold out the pursuing pack of Jye Flynn, Tyson McGill, Janusz and Kennedy. Flynn found a way past on lap 8 whilst McGill also followed through on lap 11. Burke winning with a relatively comfortable margin of 1.3 seconds from McNeill, followed by Flynn. Burke would start from pole in the 15 lap Heat 4 and with a good start was able to lead all the way. McNeill got shuffled back a bit from the outside of the front row but worked his way back past Flynn and Trost to move back into 2nd by lap 5 but Burke had established a small margin and McNeill sat comfortably in 2nd for the rest of the race. The battle for 3rd though was big as Trost, Flynn, McGill, Avramides and Max Walton all battled. Flynn held 3rd at the halfway mark, but McGill took over at the front of this pack on lap 10 and held on for 3rd. Going into the Final and Burke and McNeill were the front row, followed by Trost, Janusz, Flynn, McGill, Kennedy, Huth, defending champion Avramides and local Nicholas Speed. Burke got the best of the start whilst McNeill lost out big time and dropped to 5th behind Trost, Flynn and Avramides who made a great start. Avramides was on a charge and moved up to 3rd by lap 2 behind Burke and Trost. He then moved past Trost into 2nd and set off in pursuit of Burke and by lap 7 had hunted him down and taken over the race lead and looked very comfortable to defend his title, but on lap 9 it all went pear shaped as Avramides pulled to the side of the track. Burke again took over the lead of the race with McNeill now up to 2nd, followed by Flynn, Trost and Kennedy. The race settled a little for a few laps with Walton the only forward mover as he took over 5th from Kennedy and then 4th from Trost. Trost would slip back further on lap 13 as Kennedy moved past. Burke still led comfortably at lap 15 from Flynn who had pushed McNeill back to 3rd. Walton was 4th and Kennedy 5th and that’s how they remained over the last 5 laps. Burke first across the line from Flynn, McNeill, Walton and Kennedy. Unfortunately post race tech inspection resulted in a disqualification for Burke, which elevated Flynn to the Championship win from McNeill and Walton.
From the outset of Qualifying in KA2 Junior it was going to be a very close contest between Max Walton, Mika LeMasurier and Ky Burke. Walton topping Qualifying marginally from LeMasurier and Burke. Walton led early in Heat 1, but LeMasurier made a brilliant move at Turn 3 on Lap 2 to take the lead and Walton then dropped further back as Burke and Dominic Penman moved through. Walton quickly recovered to get back to 3rd but LeMasurier had established a small but significant margin at the front and was able to comfortably lead to the finish whilst Burke worked hard to hold Walton out and take 2nd. In what was a very tight and entertaining Heat 2, Walton led Burke and then LeMasurier all the way but it was so close throughout the 12 laps, the 3 finishing nose to tail and well clear of the rest of the field. Walton again led from the start in Heat 3, but his task was made easy when LeMasurier and Burke had a coming together which dropped Burke well back and LeMasurier was able to rejoin in 3rd behind Lachlan Evennett. Walton led comfortably throughout whilst LeMasurier quickly got back to 2nd and Burke had to work really hard to move back to 3rd getting past Penman and Evennett. After 12 Laps Walton had an easy win and LeMasurier moved aside on the last lap to let Burke through to 2nd. Walton, Burke and LeMasurier settled in to an early groove in Heat 4 as they were probably saving a little bit of tyre life for the upcoming Final, all 3 lapping a little slower than the day before. LeMasurier moved past Burke on lap 6 and then chipped away at Walton and took over the lead on lap 9. Isaac McNeill had been very quiet in this class up until this Heat and he was running fastest on track as he moved up to 3rd on lap 9 pushing Burke back to 4th. Walton retook over at the front of the race from LeMasurier and McNeill was quick to also pounce and grabbed 2nd. Penman was also on a bit of a charge and also relegated LeMasurier another spot on lap 11. Walton and McNeill were now battling for the lead and McNeill got by on lap 12, whilst LeMasurier was working hard to try and get back past Penman for 3rd. He finally did it on lap 13 but McNeill and Walton had moved up the road a bit and 3rd was all he was going to able to salvage. McNeill 1st, Walton 2nd, LeMasurier 3rd, Penman 4th and Burke back in 5th. On to the 20 lap Final and Walton was on Pole from LeMasurier, Burke, Penman and McNeill. Burke managed to get the best of the start from the 2nd row and led after the first lap from Walton, Penman, LeMasurier and McNeill. Walton soon took over leading the race from Burke and these two started to just edge away from LeMasurier who had found a way past Penman. The 3 frontrunners were circulating unchallenged for the remainder of the Final, Burke tailing Walton whilst LeMasurier worked away on pulling the gap back to the front two. As they approached the last few laps Burke was really trying to apply pressure to Walton and this allowed LeMasurier to slowly get to them and it really tightened up on the last lap as the 3 frontrunners approached the last couple of corners. Burke and LeMasurier both got great runs off the last corner as Walton was forced to defend and as they went to the line the 3 fanned out and lunged for the line. Walton half a kart length ahead of Burke and LeMasurier another half a kart length behind in what had been a very entertaining race. McNeill was a fair way back in 4th whilst James Raaymakers saved his best for the Final with an excellent 5th.
Jack Munro indicated he would be the one to beat in TAG Restricted Light after topping qualifying comfortably. Lilly Stevens was brilliant in grabbing 2nd fastest from Caleb Noble, Emily Calwell and Ethan Blackband. Munro led all the way in Heat 1 but Stevens kept him pretty honest with a solid drive to 2nd. Blackband and Riley Van Den Broek were battling for 3rd throughout, Blackband just holding on to finish slightly ahead of Van Den Broek, while Robert Mortensen moved forward from 6th on the grid to finish 5th. Stevens got the jump on Munro initially in Heat 2 but Munro moved to the lead on lap 4 and from there gradually stretched his lead out over Stevens to almost 1 ½ seconds at the end of the 12 laps. Calwell held on to 3rd throughout just keeping Mortensen at bay, with defending state champion Jacinta Hoey finishing 5th. Munro got a better start for Heat 3 and led all the way. Stevens stayed pretty close but never had an opportunity to challenge for the lead, these two well clear of the battle behind between Mortensen, Blackband, Hoey, Van Den Broek and Jessica Golding. Mortensen holding on to finish 3rd just ahead of Blackband and Hoey. Again, Munro got a good start and led all 15 laps in Heat 4. Stevens had a great battle with Mortensen, these two running close throughout, but Stevens held on narrowly. Calwell had a great drive from her 9th place starting position to work her way past Shane Roberts, Golding and Hoey to eventually finish 4th, Hoey in 5th. The start of the Final was a messy affair with multiple drivers eliminated including Hoey, Golding and Calwell, whist Stevens dropped way back. After all the initial jostling Munro was in front from Mortensen, Luc Jacobson, Blackband and Thomas Glasson. With his main challenger Stevens way back down the field, Munro was unchallenged and comfortably built a sizable lead and at half distance was almost 4 seconds clear of Mortensen, with Blackband now 3rd from Jacobsen and Glasson. Roberts and Van Den Broek were moving forward though and Roberts was soon into 5th place and on lap 17 passed Glasson for 4th. The next lap Glasson was a retirement and Van Den Broek took over 5th place. After 20 laps, Munro had won comfortably by almost 7 seconds from Mortensen with Blackband not far behind him in 3rd. There was a big gap then back to Roberts in 4th ahead of Van Den Broek 5th.
Gav Whitmore set the pace in TAG Restricted Medium qualifying ahead of Josh Herne, Michael Curcio, Bradley McNaught and Michael Oro. Things got off to a terrible start in Heat 1 as Josh Herne was thrown out of his kart in turn 2. A lengthy delay followed as Josh was attended to by the medical team and then was transported to Townsville Hospital by ambulance. Once racing got back underway with a complete restart, Whitmore led all the way for a comfortable win. Curcio was 2nd early on before McNaught caught and passed him. Rudy Farkas and Alan Czislowski were running close behind, but positions didn’t change as the laps wound down. Whitmore 1st followed by McNaught, Curcio, Farkas and Czislowski. Whitmore would lead all the way in heat 2 from McNaught for another comfortable win. Oro was 3rd all race until the last lap when Czislowski pounced and finished 3rd, Oro 4th and Jordain Fegatilli 5th after passing Farkas on lap 7. Whitmore again led McNaught all the way in Heat 3 for another comfortable win. Czislowski, Farkas and Curcio battled behind the two leaders. Curcio moved past Farkas on lap 10 with Oro also following him through. Curcio and Oro then also both pounced on Czislowski on lap 11 dropping him to 5th and that’s how they finished the Heat. Whitmore had not been challenged so far and it wouldn’t change in Heat 4 as he drove away to another solid win. McNaught ran 2nd initially before Curcio made a move past on lap 2, but McNaught came back on lap 5 to grab 2nd and slowly pulled away from Curcio. Farkas, Czislowski and Oro again battled in the midfield. Farkas getting the better of it and finishing 4th with Oro 5th. On to the 20 lap Final and whilst Whitmore was briefly challenged at the start he once again had too much speed for everyone else and drove gradually drove away. McNaught slotted into a comfortable 2nd and had a lonely 20 laps as the battle behind between Curcio, Farkas, Oro and Czislowski was the pack to watch. Oro was the mover in the pack and gradually picked his way forward to take 3rd off Curcio on lap 8. Farkas dropped out on lap 13, leaving the running order as Whitmore, McNaught, Oro, Curcio and Czislowski. The next lap Czislowski made his move forward and took 4th from Curcio and that’s how they all ran to the finish.
Russell Vellacott led the way in Qualifying for TAG Restricted Masters ahead of Noel Smyth and Evan Broughton. Vellacott led early in Heat 1 before suffering a mechanical breakdown.
Smyth took over at the front and Broughton was holding 2nd but he too became a DNF on lap 10.
Wayne Ohl and Paul Baxter battling for 3rd were now fighting for 2nd. Smyth was a comfortable winner from Baxter and Ohl. Vellacott again led early in Heat 2 before Smyth found a way past on lap 4. Broughton again held down 3rd from Ohl and Baxter. Smyth still led at half way but Vellacott was keeping him real honest. Broughton was solid in 3rd whilst Baxter had secured 4th and Brett Jenkin had moved to 5th. Positions remained stable for the 2nd half of the race, Smyth just holding out Vellacott, with Broughton 3rd and then a bit of a gap to Baxter followed by Jenkin. Smyth got the best of the start in Heat 3 whist Vellacott fell way back to 7th on the first lap. Baxter, Broughton and Ohl were racing for 2nd, whilst Vellacott was quickly back to this group to start moving forward. On lap 6 he moved up to 4th pushing Broughton back a spot. It took him until lap 11 to get past Ohl and now hold down 3rd behind Smyth and Baxter, but on the last lap he was also able to get by Baxter and recover to finish 2nd behind Smyth. Baxter 3rd, Ohl 4th and Broughton 5th. Smyth had won all 3 Heats so far and was looking to continue his form in Heat 4. Baxter initially led before Smyth took over at the front, whilst Vellacott because of his earlier DNF was starting back in the field a bit. Smyth led comfortably whilst Vellacott worked his way through the field passing Glen Stallbaum on lap 6, followed by Baxter on lap 8 and then taking 2nd from Ohl on lap 11. Smyth was up the road though with a good 3 second margin. Vellacott was able to reduce the margin a bit over the remaining laps but Smyth still won comfortably from Vellacott, Baxter, Ohl and Peter Muller in 5th. On to the 20 lap Final and Smyth would go from pole with Baxter beside him and Vellacott and Ohl on the 2nd row. Baxter was away best and led Ohl and Smyth, followed by Stallbaum, Jenkin and Vellacott. Vellacott had good pace though and very quickly moved up to 3rd behind Smyth and Baxter. Smyth took over the front running on lap 4 and Vellacott followed him through as Baxter was pushed back to 3rd with Muller and Jenkin behind. Vellacott tailed Smyth until lap 11 and made the decisive move for the race lead, whilst Muller was having a sensational drive now up to 3rd at the expense of Baxter. Vellacott had great pace at the front and slowly started edging away from Smyth and by lap 17 was a second clear. Muller still held 3rd but was 3 seconds further back. Vellacott eventually crossing the line after 20 laps well over a second clear of Smyth with Muller 3rd, Baxter 4th and Broughton in 5th.
Marcos Flack qualified fastest in KA3 Senior Light with Jai Brown, Benito Montalbano, Declan Matthews and Keegan Fraser making a quality field at the front. In Heat 1 Flack led early from Montalbano and Brown, but on the 2nd last lap Montalbano pounced for the lead and took the win. Brown trailed off a little bit for 3rd but held off Matthews and Fraser close behind. Flack, Brown and Montalbano each had a go leading early in Heat 2 before Montalbano settled in at the front, going on to win again from Brown, Flack, Matthews and Rayner Costello. Montalbano led all the way in Heat 3 but had Brown very close behind. Flack ran 3rd initially before Brodie Norris came through and grabbed 3rd, dropping Flack to 4th with Matthews 5th. Brown got away the best in Heat 4 and led the first few laps before Flack made his move and went to the race lead on lap 3. Despite close attention from Brown, he was able to hang on to the lead for the remainder of the 15 lap race and had a narrow win from Brown. Montalbano ran 3rd early before Norris again had good pace in the 2nd half of the Heat and took 3rd from Montalbano. Matthews again best of the rest with 5th. The Final started in dramatic fashion with Brown not able to greet the lights out and Montalbano with his most likely challenger out of the race was leading well and looking a likely winner, but it all came unstuck on lap 14 of 20 when he pulled off track and was a DNF. Behind him, Norris Matthews and Flack had been fighting for what looked like the minor podium spots and Matthews had just got past Norris for 2nd and with Montalbano out, he now went to the race lead. The race order also changed dramatically behind him as Flack dropped well back and Costello and Ryan Uhlmann were moving forward rapidly and found themselves in 2nd and 3rd place on track. Matthews was not safe in front though as Costello and Uhlmann were right on his tail over the last couple of laps and it tightened right up as they negotiated the last few corners and the long run to the finish line. Matthews was able to just hang on for the win, with Costello having a fabulous drive to 2nd and Uhlmann saving his best for last with a great drive to 3rd. Norris was 4th with Fraser 5th.
Harrison Hoey set the pace in qualifying for TAG Heavy, ahead of Regan Payne and Brock Plumb. Hoey was unchallenged in Heat 1 leading all the way from Plumb who got the better of Payne off the start. Riley LeGarde, Will Marshall, Brent Reading, Nicholas Garioch and Jared Neinert were in a bunch fighting for positions 4 to 8 with LeGarde initially holding down 4th at he front of the group but he fell back near the end of the 12 laps and Marcshall came through for 4th ahead of Reading in 5th. Hoey again went unchallenged in Heat 2 leading all the way for a comfortable win. Plumb again as running 2nd early but Payne got by him on lap 8 to take 2nd and hold it till the end. The battle behind the front 3 between Garioch, Marshall, Reading, LeGarde and Neinert was again close with Garioch leading the group most of the way, but Marshall took over 4th on lap 9, dropping Garioch to 5th. Once again Hoey was able to lead all the way in Heat 3 as Payne and Plumb had a great battle for 2nd, Payne eventually getting by Plumb on lap 7 and edging away. Garioch was able to hold Marshall out this time to secure 4th. Hoey made it 4 from 4 in the 15 lap Heat 4 with another solid win from Payne and Plumb. Plumb led Payne for the first half of the race, but once Payne got past he edged away again. Garioch, Reading and Marshall battled throughout for 4th, 5th and 6th, with Neinert also getting involved early on, before Marshall took control and secured 4th and Reading 5th. Hoey had won all 4 Heats with relative ease and come the Final he just streaked off into the distance with a 3 ½ second lead after only 5 laps. Plumb and Payne again battled for the minor placings, whilst Reading was the leader of the next group also consisting of Sam Houston, Neinert, Justin McCartney, Marshall and Garioch. Hoey was over 5 seconds clear of Payne by lap 10 with Plumb in 3rd just staying within striking distance of Payne. Reading had consolidated 4th on the road with Houston 5th. With 3 laps to go Neinert challenged Houston and took over 5th as Gav Whitmore and McCartney also lined up behind. Houston fought back though and on the 2nd last lap was able to regain 5th spot from Neinert. Hoey going on to win by almost 10 seconds from Payne, Plumb, Reading and Houston.
Jace Matthews was fastest in TAG Light qualifying from Harrison Hoey, Shaun Jaques, Jackson Souslin-Harlow and Seth Chellingworth. Matthews led the 1st 5 laps in Heat 1 before Hoey took over the lead as Matthews DNF’d. Jaques and Souslin-Harlow battled for 3rd and 4th early on before Souslin-Harlow got past Jaques and with Matthews retirement moved up to 2nd on the track. Remy Haller and Chellingworth held down 4th and 5th and the front of the field remained the same to the end of the 12 aps, Hoey winning from Souslin-Harlow, Jaques, Haller and Chellingworth. Matthews got a great start in Heat 2 and led Hoey all the way for a strong Heat win. These two well clear of Souslin-Harlow who had worked his way past Haller and Jaques. Jaques held on to 4th place but Jett Adamson drove up through the midfield to grab 5th at the end. Hoey would be untroubled in Heat 3 winning by over 3 seconds. Matthews drove brilliantly to work his way forward after starting way back in the pack courtesy of his Heat 1 retirement. He had to work his way past Haller, Jaques and Souslin-Harlow, just getting him on the 12th and last lap. Hoey 1st, Matthews 2nd, Souslin-Harlow 3rd, Jaques 4th and Haller 5th. Hoey again was really untroubled in Heat 4 leading all the way over the 15 laps. Again Matthews worked hard to work his way forward and get past Chellingworth, Jaques and Souslin-Harlow. He got by Jaques on lap 7, but it took a while to go by Souslin-Harlow until lap 12. Hoey was too far gone up the road though and Matthews despite being fastest on track, could not peg him back. Hoey winning by almost 2 seconds, Matthews 2nd, Souslin-Harlow 3rd, Jaques 4th and Joshua White a great drive to 5th. On to the 20 lap Final and whilst Matthews looked like the only one that could find a way to challenge Hoey for the title, his task was difficult as he would be starting the Final from only 6th spot. Hoey got a clean start to lead from Jaques, Haller and Souslin-Harlow with Matthews 5th. Souslin-Harlow soon moved up a spot pushing Haller back to 4th and he then went back another spot on lap 4 as Matthews got past. Hoey had already established a 2 second buffer at the front from Jaques by lap 5, whilst Matthews moved up another spot passing Souslin-Harlow. It took Mathews another 2 laps to go by Jaques and move to 2nd on the road but Hoey was now 3 seconds clear at the front. Hamish Fitzsimmons was a big mover in the pack and had worked his way forward to get by Souslin-Harlow on lap 10 for 4th place and quickly followed on lap 12 to go past Jaques for 3rd spot. Whilst Matthews was trying hard he could only marginally reduce the gap to Hoey out front and after 20 laps Hoey was the winner by just under 2 seconds from Matthews, Fitzsimmons 3rd, followed by Jaques and Souslin-Harlow.
Congratulations to all the 2023 Queensland State Champions; Lukas Loeskow, Lana Flack, Ari Wedlock, Jye Flynn, Max Walton, Jack Munro, Gav Whitmore, Russell Vellacott, Declan Matthews and Harrison Hoey x 2. Massive congratulations also to the hard working team at Townsville Kart Club who ran a sensational championship event.