words by Andrew Hayes, AHR Media
photos supplied by Darren Isaac, Darren’s Sportography
The Wimmera Kart Racing Club has hosted Round 4 of the DPE Kart Superstore Victorian Country Series at it’s Horsham based circuit over the weekend.
146 competitors were treated to an immaculately presented facility, as they ran on the converted layout for the second consecutive year.
Conditions were good for qualifying and racing on Saturday, before damp conditions slowed the early proceedings on Sunday. Once the track dried there was some fantastic racing, which was also littered with some amazing individual performances.
The event ran smoothly, meaning patrons were on the road home in good time on Sunday afternoon, largely thanks to the efforts of the home club, volunteers and officials.
Here is a run down of proceedings:
TAG HEAVY (9 Entries)
Representing the home club, it was Aidan Solomon who put in a commanding performance to claim a classy pole position (29.377).
Solomon was fast and smooth on his way to claiming the opening two heats before Scott King emerged after an aborted qualifying session to win heat three.
Solomon got the best of the start and set the pace early in the 18 lap final, with King in hot pursuit. Lap 15 saw King make the decisive move, going on to claim victory for the fourth consecutive round. Solomon was a star performer in the class, and settled for second at the drop of the flag. Ryan Cook claimed third after bouncing back from a big impact with the tyres in heat three as a result of his steering wheel coming off in his hands. Ray Dumesny and Jay Racovalis were pacey in patches, and finished fourth and fifth.
1st Scott King (PORT)
2nd Aidan Solomon (WIMM)
3rd Ryan Cook (WBOOL)
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT (18 Entries)
Riley George has been super consistant in KA3 Senior Light all year, but he signalled his intentions in Horsham by taking pole position by 2 tenths (29.618).
George was challenged, and matched, but never beaten in the three heat races, crossing the line first in each encounter.
The final would see a deserved breakthrough for George, who would lead every lap to win his first ever VCS round by 2.7 seconds, ending a run of five consecutive second place finishes. Dallas Greene was right in the mix all weekend, taking home second place ahead of Thomas Patching who worked his way into third. A veteran in KA3L terms, Andrew Hollis finished fourth, ahead of Jasper Frith in fifth, who set a cracking time to take the fastest lap in the final.
1st Riley George (ELKC)
2nd Dallas Greene (GKCV)
3rd Thomas Patching (OAK)
CADET 12 (22 Entries)
In a strong field of Cadet 12’s, it was Oscar Corless who was at the top of the charts when the clock stopped, claiming his first VCS pole position (31.993).
When the heat racing started it was Hamilton and Warrnambool winner Blake Purvis who stepped up to claim heats one and two. Dominic Mercuri is always a strong competitor, and he emerged to win heat three.
Purvis made a great start in the final to give himself a little bit of breathing room. He was able to control the race from there to take a start to finish victory, his third round in succession. Mercuri gave chase but settled for second place in the end, ahead of Corless, who marked his first podium of 2023 in third. Kurtis Polkinghorne and Bryce Felmingham were the best of the rest in fourth and fifth.
1st Blake Purvis (OAK)
2nd Dominic Mercuri (SGKC)
3rd Oscar Corless (ELKC)
KA3 SENIOR MEDIUM (10 Entries)
Zach Findlay continued his blistering City of Melbourne form to smack down the sub 30 second pole time in KA3 Senior Medium (29.912)
Findlay was clinical in the heats, edging out to win by comfortable margins each time.
Findlay was on a roll come final time, but Matthew Neitz certainly didn’t let him off the leash in the early stages, sticking with him for several laps. As the laps rolled through Findlay turned on the after burners to scorch to a 2.6 second victory, to rediscover his VCS junior form. Nietz was super consistant in second place, ahead of the home town master, Remo Luciani in third. Seth Burton looked threatening on his way to fourth, ahead of an unlucky Ben Mouritz in fifth.
1st Zach Findlay (GKCV)
2nd Matthew Neitz (GKCSA)
3rd Remo Luciani (WIMM)
VIC COMBINED MASTERS (13 Entries)
Anthony Pethebridge continued his dominant 2023 in masters by steaming to a comprehensive pole position (30.069).
Pethebridge made every post a winner in the heats, to claim each encounter by varying margins.
Saving his absolute best for last, Pethebridge turned on one of the most dominant performances of the weekend to claim the win, his third of 2023, by the handsome margin of 7.8 seconds. Heath Jelbart impressed again aboard his Tecno kart, edging Jason Domaschenz, the pair finishing second and third. Neil McAuley had a lonely run to fourth place, ahead of Mark Heemskerk, who had risen to fifth from eighth.
1st Anthony Pethebridge (ELKC)
2nd Heath Jelbart (BEN)
3rd Jason Domaschenz (VKA)
CADET 9 (8 Entries)
Jarvis Hindle proved his skills on the big stage at the City of Melbourne just a week earlier, and channelled his efforts into his first VCS pole position by the smallest of margins (32.351).
Hindle and Alana Gurney have been matched up incredibly closely all season in VCS and it was no surprise to see them sharing the spoils in the heats. Hindle won the opening two heats before Gurney struck back in the third.
Hindle got the best of the start, but had Gurney right in his back pocket, until Gurney made her move to take the race lead on lap 11. Gurney drove beautifully to withstand the Hindle pressure, which all culminated on the final lap. Entering the back straight for the final time, Hindle sacrificed his corner entry to get a better exit and run down the back straight, a move that rewarded him with an outstanding inside move on Gurney. Hindle only had to hold on for two more corners before claiming his third round win in a row. Take nothing away from Gurney, who showed skill and poise to claim second. Beau Chambers was speedy, but ran a relatively lonely race for third. Rossi Yau and Cooper Hickey had a great battle to finish fourth and fifth.
1st Jarvis Hindle (ELKC)
2nd Alana Gurney (OAK)
3rd Beau Chambers (PORT)
KA3 JUNIOR LIGHT (19 Entries)
Mathew Basso was fastest in KA3 Junior Light qualifying, claiming pole position with a time of 29.497.
Sending an ominous warning to his rivals, Basso was electric in the heats, claiming the honours in all three events.
Basso led the field to the start, and maintained the top spot for the opening circulations, until speedy SA driver Noah Enright took over the lead on lap three. Basso was able to respond on lap 6, reclaiming a lead that he wouldn’t relinquish, to take a fine victory by 2 seconds. Enright and fellow SA driver Giuseppe Imbrogno filled second and third after solid weekends. Hudson Hughes showed a bit on his way to fourth, finishing ahead of Cooper Frith in fifth.
1st Mathew Basso (OAK)
2nd Noah Enright (SGKC)
3rd Giuseppe Imbrogno (SGKC)
TAG LIGHT (15 Entries)
Jaxon Johnstone has been red hot in Tag Light in 2023, and therefore it was no surprise to see him go quicktime (28.731) in pursuit of his fourth consecutive round win.
The heat races were as exciting as usual, as SA’s Jacob Chandler won the first and third encounters, whilst Matthew Domazchenz took the chocolates in heat two.
Johnstone got a great launch in the final from the outside of the front row to lead the early laps. Officials would later deem the start too good, and Johnstone would be relegated to second despite leading every lap of the main event. Inheriting the win, was another of the SA stars, Ryan Morgan, who had shown good speed throughout the weekend. Domaschenz racked up his third podium for the year to finish in third. Pole sitter Jacob Chandler couldn’t replicate his earlier pace, finishing in fourth ahead of Jay Murray in fifth.
1st Ryan Morgan (SGKC)
2nd Jaxon Johnstone (WBOOL)
3rd Matthew Domaschenz (PORT)
TAG RESTRICTED MEDIUM (14 Entries)
Less than a tenth of a second decided the pole position in Restricted Medium, and the man on top at the conclusion was 2022 Ballarat winner Darryl Henman (30.342).
Henman would go on to salute in the opening and final heats, whilst the Warrnambool winner Max Lumsden prevailed in the second.
There was chaos at the first corner of the final, with shenanigans continuing on for the opening couple of laps. The biggest benefactor was Henman, who pulled an immediate gap on the field. It would be a gap that would only extend, as Henman became the fourth different winner in four rounds, romping to a 12 second margin. Max Lumsden was the best of the rest in second, ahead of Jackson Hodgetts, whose last lap heroics earned him the third place trophy. Jack Ryan was in everything, and that included fourth place at the chequer, whilst Grady Hutchesson was home in fifth after rebounding from a transponder issue in the heats.
1st Darryl Henman (BALL)
2nd Max Lumsden (SWKC)
3rd Jackson Hodgetts (WBOOL)
TAG RESTRICTED LIGHT (10 Entries)
Coming off backing up his 2022 City of Melbourne Title, It was Spiros Anagnostopoulos maintaining his sparkling form to claim another pole (29.574).
Spiros was simply untouchable in his heat races, cruising to comfortable victories in all three encounters.
More of the same was to come in the final, as Spiros flexed his muscles to claim an all the way win, his third of 2023. Max Marriner was clear second fastest driver all weekend, and fittingly he clinched that position in the final. Coming home an unlikely third after penalties was Andrew ‘The Sot’ Sotiropoulos, who had done it the hard way in the heats. Jacon Dowlin showed good speed in tricky conditions early on Sunday to finish fourth, ahead of Oscar Maloney, bringing his new wheels home in fifth.
1st Spiros Anagnostopoulos (ELKC)
2nd Max Marriner (BALL)
3rd Andrew Sotiropoulos (OAK)
KA3 JUNIOR HEAVY (7 Entries)
A small field of KA3 Junior Heavies lined up for qualifying, and at the conclusion it was Mathew Basso who added another pole to his earlier Light benchmark (30.043).
Basso had some pressure applied in the opening heat, but sustained it to win, and kept the pedal down to also claim the second and third heats.
Basso made a good start, and from there was largely untroubled, managing to do the double with victories in both Light and Heavy classes. Tasmanian Harrison Duske and Chelsea Humphrey exchanged second early on, before Duske prevailed on lap three and held the position to the end. Humphrey was lively as she claimed third to collect here fourth consecutive podium. Mia Mifsud and Riley Briggs rounded the top five out.
1st Mathew Basso (OAK)
2nd Harrison Duske (STKC)
3rd Chelsea Humphrey (ELKC)
The DPE Kart Superstore Victorian Country Series heads back to the coast for Round 5 at the Portland District Karting Club on September 9/10 2023.
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