Queensland teenager Max Walton has become the first SP Tools Australian Kart Champion-elect of 2023 at the penultimate round of the Championship at his home track of Ipswich on Sunday afternoon.
He overcame adversity in the elite Junior category – KA2, which included a non-finish on Saturday night with a chain coming adrift from the kart. He bounced back on Sunday to battle his way through from eighth on the grid in the final and although emphatically crossing the line first, the Parolin driver was dropped to third with a post-race front fairing infringement. Despite his challenges, he amassed enough points to hold an unassailable lead atop the standings with one round remaining.
- full results on Speedhive HERE
- official round photos on AKC Facebook HERE
- on demand video (requires subscription) HERE
This weekend’s round was won by Walton’s fellow Queenslander, Isaac McNeill, while BirelART’s Mika Lemasurier was the drive of the weekend, starting the final in 16th position, the Grove Racing Junior pushing through to eventually be classified second.
Walton will head off to Italy next week for the FIA Karting Academy Trophy final round that will take place in Cremona, Italy over the weekend in July 28-30. As the Australian representative, Walton leads the Trophy title after the second of three rounds.
Former World Champion – and SP Tools Australian Kart Championship regular over the years – Dutchman Marijn Kremers – put on a masterclass in the KZ2 Gearbox class. From the time his BirelART/Vortex machine was rolled onto the track, the Dutchman was never headed, dominating each session and winning the final by two seconds.
West Australian, Sam Dicker took his Flatout Karts machine to second position after a solid weekend which saw him snare the Championship lead.
Championship leader coming into the weekend, Jake Klarich suffered a post-race penalty for a driving infringement, which elevated young Sydney-sider, Leon Cordato to the podium.
Sunshine Coast-based Matthews brothers Declan and Jace had a day at the races, both claiming the win in their respective classes for the CXR Racing team.
Declan started the Finals by taking out the KA3 Senior final by 2.3 seconds and Jace’s X30 Championship defence is looking very solid heading to Melbourne after a 3.1 second win.
The KA3 Senior Title race is still alive between Keegan Fraser and Benito Montalbano.
Montalbano – who switched chassis to Tecno ahead of this round – finished behind Declan Matthews with Queenslander – Fraser – right behind him in third. Fraser, though, amassed more points through course of the heat races maintaining the margin at the top of the Title race.
Behind Jace Matthews in X30, West Aussie Jack Webster continued his good Championship form finishing second with Kurtis Tennant getting to the line in third.
Harrison Hoey took a popular home race win in TaG 125 having to fight his way from a few rows back. The Parolin driver carved its way through the order managing to get by the two drivers that were equal on the Championship lead coming into the weekend, Jake Spencer and Jackson Souslin-Harlow.
Last round winner and reigning Champion, Zachary Heard has kept himself in the shop window heading to the final round after immaculate performances during his heat races. Heard then went on to finish second behind Hoey, with Zackary Thompson rounding out the podium.
As for the other contenders, Souslin-Harlow finished fourth and Spencer sixth.
James Anagnostiadis took an emotional first SP Tools Kart Championship round win in KA3 Junior. A change in engine builders between rounds paid dividends for the second generation racer from Victoria.
He was embroiled in a race long battle with Queensland-based South Australian Jack Szewczuk – who had his best ever AKC round. After several heat wins, Szewczuk led for much of the race until Anagnostiadis got past and then eked out a lead to win by 1.4 seconds.
Round two winner, William Thompson kept them honest for the 16-lap duration and crossed the line a solid third placing – keeping him in touch with the leader of the Title coming into the weekend, Pip Casabene, who finished the final ninth.
South Aussie Riley Harrison left it until the last lap to execute a pass on Queenslander Basilio Micale to take the Cadet 12 round win.
The Junior Sprockets graduate from several years ago, crossed the line half a second in front of Micale, while Connor Meyer completed a sensational weekend with a third placed finish.
The big story from Cadet 12 was last round winner and Championship leader, Lana Flack not qualifying for the final. She missed the 40-place cutoff by six places. This has switched the advantage heading to the final round to her closest rival, Corey Carson who finished the final in fifth.
Carter Grother initially won the Cadet 9 Final, however, he was disqualified for a technical infringement post-race race handing Brock Nolan his second consecutive round victory. Local driver Riccardo Johnston claimed second with Pocket Rocket youngster Koda Singh rounding out the podium.
The next round of the SP Tools Australian Kart Championship, presented by Castrol will be conducted at Melbourne’s Todd Road facility over the final weekend in August.
2023 SP Tools Australian Kart Championship presented by Castrol
Round Four – Ipswich, QLD
Results – Top Three
1. Marijn Kremers
2. Sam Dicker
3. Leon Cordato
1. Isaac McNeill
2. Mika Lemasurier
3. Max Walton
1. Jace Matthews
2. Jack Webster
3. Kurtis Tennant
1. Harrison Hoey
2. Zachary Heard
3. Zackary Thompson
1. Declan Matthews
2. Benito Montalbano
3. Keegan Fraser
1. James Anagnostiadis
2. Jack Szewczuk
3. William Thompson
1. Riley Harrison
2. Basilio Micale
3. Connor Meyer
1. Brock Nolan
2. Riccardo Johnston
3. Koda Singh