by Jade Stone
The Launceston Kart Club hosted the Cowbiz Archerville Classic IV “Tasmanian State Cup” on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of September. Eighty competitors assembled at the Archerville Raceway circuit in Launceston for a weekend of action-packed racing. The combination of an exciting new format of gridding and racing plus the addition of clear blue skies, racing was set to be electrifying.
- full results are on speedhive HERE
TaG 125 Restricted Medium would see the return of former State Cup and State Champion Shane Stonehouse back to the Restricted division to go head-to-head with current Statewide Series winner Dave McCullagh. Stonehouse would bring his dominant form across from KA3 Tas Masters to Restricted to register the fastest time in qualifying as well as clean sweep all four heats and the fifteen-minute final. This would make Stonehouse the first driver in history to win three Tasmanian State Cup events. McCullagh would push Stonehouse in all the races but just didn’t quite have the extra sauce to cross the line in first, finishing the weekend fifteen points behind. Third place for the weekend a further thirteen points behind would be the recently elected Launceston Kart Club Vice President, Jason Brown.
KA3 Junior Light would see some of the most aggressive racing of the event between Victoria’s Ayce Buckley and Hobarts Harry Bresnehan with both drivers taking a turn at leading all five of the races of the weekend. Bresnehan would finish day one on maximum points but that would be where his run on top of the points would end after suffering DNF’s in both heat four and the final. This in turn would help create some history for the Archerville Classic event with Victorian Ayce Buckley securing himself a twenty-nine-point victory securing himself the black plate and Tasmanian State Cup win. Buckley will go down in history as the first mainlander to take the Tasmanian State Cup and black plate back to the big island. With the Launceston Kart club holding the Tasmanian State Championship in 2024 there is a strong chance he won’t be the last. Finishing the weekend in third place, two points behind Bresnehan was Conner Bidwell who was in his first ever race meeting in the Junior category. The driver that will go down as the unluckiest for the weekend was Hobart’s Liam Coulson. At the end of day one Coulson was sitting in third place, even with a DNS in heat three due to brake issues. Coulson bounced back in heat four to cross the line in second and was sitting in a comfortable second place in the final before his back bumper came loose and was forced to return infield. At the time Coulson was sitting second in the overall points. Due to his forced retirement in the final Coulson would finish the weekend in eighth place. Thanks to his career best weekend of racing Coulson was awarded the Driver of the Weekend trophy and will likely be one of the contenders for the Tasmanian State Championship to he held at his home track of Orielton later in the year.
KA3 Tas Masters was seen as possibly the class that would have no real outright favourite going into the weekend with State Champion Shane Stonehouse competing in Restricted Medium division instead of Masters. However once competition started Clint Pease was the man to beat after he comfortably registered the fastest time in qualifying as well as winning all four heat races. Going out for the final race all Pease had to do was cross the finish line in last place and he would have taken home his first ever State Cup victory. Everything was going to plan until lap ten when contact in the centre hairpin would result in Pease ending up off the track and in the rocks, blowing the expected result out the window. Once the dust had settled unbeknown to Clinton Slater and Matty Mayne, it was a scenario of whoever crossed the line first in the final would win the event. Slater crossed the line first, securing himself a two-point win from Matty Mayne in second. Clint Pease would hold onto third place, one point in front of Malcolm Watson.
KA3 Senior Medium would see the battle of the seasoned veterans of Nathan Zuj and Jonathan McDonald against the hungry young bloods of Patrick Johnston and Jonathon Harris. Qualifying would see Launceston’s Jonathon Harris get one up on the veterans by taking the two points for the overall fastest time. However, once racing started it would be Zuj and McDonald who would stamp their authority on the field by take all five heat wins, Zuj with four and McDonald with one. At the completion of racing, it would be Nathan Zuj who would win his first ever State Cup event by twenty-one points over McDonald. McDonald was lucky to hold onto second place overall after some late race contact in the final saw him drop down the order from second to fifth place, but thanks to his strong heat race results he managed to hold onto second place. Third would go to Burnie’s Patrick Johnston who finished four points behind McDonald.
Cadet 9 would see the closest finish of the weekend with the top two drivers separated by only one point. Wil Cairns and Eli White would manage more side-by-side racing than any other class with lead changes happening multiple times a lap. Once racing was over it would be Wil Cairns who would secure his first ever State Cup victory and in turn his first black plate. Second place would be Eli White who did manage to cross the line in the final first but didn’t quite have enough points to steal the victory away from Cairns. Finishing in third place, nineteen points behind White would be Max Parry who would secure his first ever podium finish of this short karting career.
At the start of the weekend KA3 Senior Light was looking like the most wide open with majority of the field a solid chance of making it onto the podium. At the completion of Qualifying though it was looking like Tayla Heath may have the edge over her competitors after reeling off four super quick lap times to start each heat from pole position. Once racing began though it would be clear that the fight for the overall win would be a three horse races between Heath, Hobarts Callum Bishop and Victorian Jett Buckley with each driver winning a heat a piece on the first day of competition. Heat four would end with Bishop taking the win but Heath & Buckley were within a second of him as they crossed the line proving that anyone could get the win in the final and the double points that came along with it. The Final was shaping up to be an absolute barnburner between the three competitors who were also joined by Hobarts Fletcher Bellars, who had struggled for pace on day one, before contact on lap seventeen sent Heath plummeting down the order. This would leave a head to head battle between Bishop and Buckley for the overall State Cup win. If Buckley crossed the line in first place, he would require Bishop to finish in third place to steal victory. It was as if Bishop knew this and didn’t fight Buckley on the final lap when he went for the race lead, thus resulting in Bishop taking a four point win over Buckley who became just the third mainlander competitor to secure a podium finish in the events history. Heath would cross the line in the final in seventh place which awarded her enough points to secure third place overall, eleven points behind Buckley.
For the first time since January 2022 a field of TaG 125 has managed to get enough entries to race at Archerville. Jonathan McDonald would dominate TaG 125 all weekend, qualifying on pole position and clean sweeping the five races securing him a twenty-one-point victory to become only the second driver to be a three-time Tasmanian State Cup winner. Second place would go to Sam Chettle who managed to beat out his brother-in-law Daniel Hinds by fourteen points with Anthony McCullagh’s monster driver in the final not quite being enough to jump Hinds for third place.
Cadet 12 would see Cruz Kelly dominating proceedings on day one, with only a small mistake in heat three stopping him from securing maximum points. Day two however would belong to Mason Woods who would go on to win heat four and the final. Overall though it would be Launceston’s Harry Warmsley that would bounce back from an average qualifying result to take back-to-back State Cup wins in the Cadet 12 class. Warmsley would finish eight points clear over Woods, with Kelly being a further eight points behind in third. Two points behind in fourth place was Elenah Rankin who couldn’t quite recover from her sidepod falling off in heat four resulting in a DNF.
TaG 125 Restricted Heavy would be one of the classes that went down to the fifteen-minute final race with Marcus Howe and Michael Wilson being even on points, meaning whichever driver crossed the line first in the final being the winner. However, things wouldn’t be quite that simple. Howe would cross the line just under two seconds clear of Wilson, but Howe was judged to have jumped the start and was handed a penalty which resulted in Wilson claiming his first ever State Cup win. Howe gained enough points to finish the weekend in second place. Third place was a similar story with David Fidler and Brett Fulton tie on points with whichever driver crossed the line first would earn themselves a State Cup podium finish. Fidler was the victim of first corner contact resulting in him flying into the grass allowing Fulton a clear path to a podium finish.
KA3 Junior Heavy would go down to the final race of the weekend with both Cooper Synfield and Jaiden Marshall being deadlocked on points after each competitor took two of the four heats wins. Synfield would get the better of the start to lead the first half of the race but with around eight minutes to go Marshall pounced into turn two to take the lead. Marshall would go on to register the win and in turn defeating Synfield by five points. Thanks to his consistency Hobarts Samual Braid would finish the weekend in third place, twenty-five points behind Synfield.
Racing returns to the Archerville circuit in Launceston in mid-December for what will be the biannual Enduro event.