words by Andrew Hayes, AHR Media
photos supplied by Darren’s Sportography
The 2024 DPE Kart Superstore Victorian Country Series has gone backwards at the opening round at the South West Kart Club’s Cobden circuit. Backwards in fact was the clock wise direction on the track, challenging drivers in a most unique way.
The weekend saw more than 150 drivers take to the track in hot conditions on both Saturday and Sunday. There was once again some amazing performances, some heartache and plenty of action in between.
- scroll to bottom for photo gallery
- full results on speedhive HERE
- lots of photos by Darren’s Sportography HERE
Here is the rundown, enjoy!
CADET 12 (22 Entries)
Archie Bristow kicked of qualifying by taking pole (46.658) in Cadet 12 by two tenths of a second, showing the craft he has developed on the national scene.
Bristow was again the dominant force in the heats, claiming the chequers first on each occasion.
Kurtis Polkinghorne made the best of the start of the final to head Bristow for the opening laps, but Bristow was undeniable and quickly reassumed the lead. Bristow got down to business and got that business done to win the 12 lap final by a comfortable margin. Polkinghorne had a stranglehold on second until late in the race, where Oscar Corless made his move with a couple of laps to go. Corless and Polkinghorne being the final spots on the podium. Alana Gurney and Jasper Partouche were firmly in the mix all weekend and finished fourth and fifth respectively.
1st Archie Bristow (BALL)
2nd Oscar Corless (ELKC)
3rd Kurtis Polkinghorne (SWKC)
KA3 SENIOR LIGHT (17 Entries)
As always, qualifying was very tight in KA3 Light, with less than a tenth covering the top three drivers. 2023 series runner up James Snaith signalled his intention to go one better by setting the pole time (43.428).
Snaith was again impressive in the heats, crossing the line first in all three encounters, however he was penalised for a new in grid infringement in heat three, which promoted Brocklan Parker to the win.
Snaith came out with a point to prove in the final, and grabbed the best of the start. Former Junior National Champion Dylan Hollis dusted off the helmet for a comeback and proved to be the main challenger for the final victory. Snaith however reigned supreme and clinched the perfect start to 2024. Dylan Hollis would settle for second and fastest lap ahead of Parker who was also in contention in third. Andrew Hollis was home in fourth, ahead of 2023 final round winner SA’s Max Wucsko in fifth.
1st James Snaith (OAK)
2nd Dylan Hollis (BALL)
3rd Brocklan Parker (PORT)
VIC COMBINED MASTERS (17 Entries)
Hamilton’s Andrew Stubbs revelled in the change of racing direction at Cobden and signalled his intention to be a serious contender with a stirring pole position (44.600).
When the racing started it was Heath Jelbart running proceedings, as he managed various challenges to claim the clean sweep of the heats.
The start of the final was eventful, as an overzealous move at the first turn sent the front runners into disarray, with the Stubbs the major loser of the attempt. But one mans loss is another mans gain, and the man to gain was Neil McAuley, who swooped to the race lead and pulled a buffer whilst others recovered. From there, McAuley was untroubled as he drove a superb race to win in clearly his best performance of the weekend. Jelbart consolidated second, ahead of Ash Mitchell who showed good speed for third. Ronnie Taylor put a sluggish start to the weekend behind him to finish fourth ahead of Stubbs who arguably deserved a podium.
1st Neil McAuley (ELKC)
2nd Heath Jelbart (BEN)
3rd Ash Mitchell (MILD)
CADET 9 (5 Entries)
The 2023 Champ Jarvis Hindle returned to defend his title, and kicked it off in perfect fashion with a strong pole position (47.329).
Beau Chambers has had a fine start to the season and he claimed the opening heat, before Hindle but his foot down to claim the second and third events.
The final kicked off with all five karts running nose to tail, as now Hudson Kelly, Zac Duynhoven and Zac Ismaili joined onto the back of Hindle and Chambers. To their credit they all hung closer than ever before in the opening laps of the final. Hindle though was superior, claiming another round win in the 54 kart. Chambers added to his trophy collection in second, ahead of Kelly, who showed good speed and will be one to keep an eye on in future rounds. Duynhoven and Ismaili staged their own fight, and in the end it was Duynhoven who took out the ‘Zac Cup’ and fourth place, whilst Ismaili failed to finish the final.
1st Jarvis Hindle (ELKC)
2nd Beau Chambers (PORT)
3rd Hudson Kelly (OAK)
KA3 JUNIOR LIGHT (19 Entries)
Hudson Hughes led all comers in qualifying for KA3 Junior Light, claiming a big pole position (43.467).
Crossing over to the VCS, it was Jai George who took out the opening heat, before the rise of Aiden Schweikert clicked into gear with two consecutive heat wins.
Schweikert and George led the field away for the final, and it was Schweikert who grabbed the early ascendancy as George dropped back. Ryder Dahler and Hughes would prove the big challengers, but despite being hunted, Schweikert kept his cool to claim his first VCS win. Hughes capped a solid weekend in second, ahead of Dahler, who had a breakout weekend in third. Xavier Cain started his 2024 campaign well with a competitive fourth, ahead of the ailing George in fifth.
1st Aiden Schweikert (OAK)
2nd Hudson Hughes (OAK)
3rd Ryder Dahler (GKCV)
TAG LIGHT (11 Entries)
SA ace Jacob Dowson returned to VCS competition with vengeance, taking a clear pole position (41.846) in Tag Light.
Dowson was superior in all three heats, despite appearing to be operating well within his limits.
More of the same was to come in the final, as Dowson put the field to the sword. A complete and dominant performance for the SA star, finishing off the clean sweep in emphatic fashion. Sam Downing ran in the top three all weekend, and snared second place, ahead of returning former junior Josh D’Ambrosio in third place. Jordan Malcolm had moments of brilliance on his way to fourth, whilst it was good to see Bronson Boult back on track in fifth place.
1st Jacob Dowson (GKCSA)
2nd Sam Downing (GIPP)
3rd Josh D’Ambrosio (OAK)
TAG RESTRICTED MEDIUM (12 Entries)
After getting a taste of the class in late 2023, Andrew ‘The Sot’ Sotiropoulos made a point of putting the 98 on pole position (44.459).
The Sot got hot in the heat races, crossing the line first on each occasion, only to hand the heat three win to Jack Ryan after a post race penalty.
The final was settled early, and whilst Ryan and Ben Peverill kept him honest, it would be The Sot’s day, as he triumphed in fine style. Former round winner Ryan also started his 2024 with a healthy points haul, ahead of Peverill who landed on the podium for the first time in VCS. Grady Hutchesson and Jono McKean had a simmering battle throughout the final, and was settled in favour of Hutchesson, who claimed fourth ahead of McKean.
1st Andrew Sotiropoulos (OAK)
2nd Jack Ryan (MGKC)
3rd Ben Peverill (BALL)
KA3 SENIOR MEDIUM (14 Entries)
KA3 Senior Medium once again delivered stout competition, and Ben Mouritz claimed pole position (44.110), with second and third within a tenth.
Mouritz marked himself as the man to beat once again with a faultless performance through the heats. He greeted the chequers on all three occasions.
Mouritz lined up alongside Remo Luciani for the final, and the scene was set for an intense battle. Mouritz got away well and looked in control in the early stages, but Luciani continued to stalk his prey. Eventually the master put his move on and proceeded to edge away. It was simply a masterclass from Luciani, who had to reach deep into his bag of tricks to get over the line in this one. Mouritz was a gallant second, ahead of Zach Findlay, who himself was thereabouts all weekend. Rio Campbell ran well in his graduation from Juniors to finish fourth, ahead of Matthew Nietz who debuted in new colours for fifth.
1st Remo Luciani (WIMM)
2nd Ben Mouritz (OAK)
3rd Zach Findlay (GKCV)
KA3 JUNIOR HEAVY (9 Entries)
Same track but change of direction didn’t phase SA’s Levi Jones as he took pole position (44.297) to made it two poles from two attempts in the KA3 Junior Heavy class.
Chelsea Humphrey got her 2024 campaign off to a flyer by taking out the opening heat, but it was again Jones rising to the top in the remaining two heats.
Jones and Humphrey squared off on the front row of the final, and whilst Ayden Tempany got in between them for the opening sequence of corners before his promising start ended in turn two. From there it was a battle between Jones and Humphrey with Sam Spiteri trying to hang onto them. When the music stopped it was Jones taking his first VCS win over Humphrey. Humphrey however was subject to a penalty and dropped to third, elevating fellow SA driver Spiteri to second. Coen Poynton and Riley Stares rounded out the top five.
1st Levi Jones (MGKC)
2nd Sam Spiteri (BAROSSA)
3rd Chelsea Humphrey (ELKC)
TAG RESTRICTED LIGHT (17 Entries)
Stepping up from Juniors, Tasmanian Harrison Duske come out firing, as he took a commanding pole position (43.405) in a clear statement that he meant business.
Duske was superb in the heats, as he operated a level above his competition, taking home three comfortable victories.
Duske wasn’t going to take his foot off the pedal in the final, and put in another starring performance to take a comprehensive victory and earn himself the Lateral Plains Racing drive of the day award in his first VCS seniors event. Mitch Sires got going this weekend after showing encouraging signs towards the end of 2023, to secure second place in the final. Max Fahey was a contender in his return to restricted racing, securing the final spot on the podium in third. Jacob Dowlin and Jayden Dellar both had fast karts most of the weekend, and secured fourth and fifth respectively.
1st Harrison Duske (STKC)
2nd Mitch Sires (BALL)
3rd Max Fahey (SWEST)
TAG HEAVY (9 Entries)
South West’s very own Max Lumsden made the step up to Tag Heavy after winning the Restricted Heavy class in 2023, and immediately went to pole position (42.796).
Lumsden was the class of the field in the heat races, leaving his competitors with plenty to think about by taking three comfortable wins.
The front running drivers sorted out the pecking order early in the final and held line of stern thereafter. For Lumsden, he would once again be the star of the show, completing a faultless weekend with a very impressive win. Scott King found himself chasing all weekend, landing second in the end, and plenty of incentive to get back on top at round two. Daniel Richert was a valuable inclusion in the class, running near the front all weekend before securing third place. Zach Morris and Jett Rendell filled fourth and fifth positions.
1st Max Lumsden (SWEST)
2nd Scott King (PORT)
3rd Daniel Richert (SWEST)
The VCS will return to racing on the re-developed Ballarat Kart Club circuit on 27/28 April.
Thanks as always to the Victorian Country Series Sponsors:
- DPE KART SUPERSTORE
- KARTING AUSTRALIA
- REMO RACING
- CENTRAL VIC KARTS & PARTS / CENTRAL VIC RACE ENGINES
- LATERAL PLAINS PTY LTD / LATERAL PLAINS RACING
- SOUTH WEST CONVEYANCING
- GLOSS FINANCE HOBART
- TEAM SCHABL
- CANNIE RIDGE ELECTRICAL
- THOMAS 7 MOTORSPORT
- MELBOURNE KART CENTRE
- JC PEST CONTROL & GARDENING
- MAXX RACING PRODUCTS / GEELONG OIL SUPPLIES
- DJM RACE ENGINEERING
- ALLSTAR GRAPHICS
- DARRENS SPORTOGRAPHY
- AHR MEDIA
RANDOM DRAW WINNERS
All entries went into a random draw. Drivers were able to collect their prizes from the canteen on Sunday morning. Congratulation’s to the winners!
Winners of a $100 Voucher – Sponsored by DPE Kart Superstore
KA3 Junior Light 87 Alfie Carter
KA3 Senior Medium 9 Matthew Nietz
Cadet 12 35 Oscar Corless
Cadet 9 6 Leo Waters
TaG 125 Restricted Light 97 Jayden Dellar
Winners of a set of LeCont LH03 Tyres – Sponsored by Karting Australia
KA3 Junior Heavy 64 Coen Poynton
KA3 Senior Medium 5 Seth Burton
TaG 125 Restricted Light 12 Jakub Fitzsimmons
TaG 125 Restricted Medium 85 Alessandro D’Intino
Winner of a set of LeConte SVB Tyres – Sponsored by Karting Australia
TaG 125 Light 46 Daniel Findlay
Top Qualifiers for each class won a can of chain lube – Sponsored by Central Vic Karts & Parts
Cadet 9 54 Jarvis Hindle
Cadet 12 81 Archie Bristow
KA3 Junior Light 24 Hudson Hughes
KA3 Junior Heavy 36 Levi Jones
KA3 Senior Light 11 James Snaith
KA3 Senior Medium 21 Benjamin Mouritz
TaG 125 Light 8 Jacob Dowson
TaG 125 Heavy 55 Max Lumsden
TaG 125 Restricted Light 38 Harrison Duske
TaG 125 Restricted Medium 98 Andrew Sotiropoulos
Victorian Combined Masters 55 Andrew Stubbs