Golden Power Series Rnd 2

by Ayrton Creagh

Despite the tempestuous weather drenching the Latrobe Valley over the weekend, racers were able to come together to ignite round 2 of the Golden Power Series in Morwell, which saw racing almost more fitting for boats than karts. The round was certainly not short of action, with 200+ keen pilots taking to circuit (240 entries, of which 222 turned up).

  • full results are on Speedhive HERE
  • photos by Pace Images – Saturday HERE, Sunday HERE
  • photos by Steve Dansie – Saturday HERE, Sunday HERE (includes podiums)
  • photos by Tim Francis HERE
The Gippsland club somehow fitted just under 240 entries into the confines of the tight Morwell facility (pic – Craig Sheedy/FB)

Cadet 9 featured incredible sights all weekend round, the top 6 so close you could throw a tissue over them! Jenson Stewart snatched pole position by a handy 0.174s over Jarvis Hindle in 2nd – Cooper Djemil, Eli White and Beau Chambers claiming the remaining top 5 places. The heats commenced and it was Kart Class’ Cooper Djemil who struck whilst the iron was hot, taking the opening two heats from Stewart and Chambers behind with both Hindle and Oscar Calisici rounding out the top 3 – an impressive fastest lap going the way of Rory Edmunds in damp conditions. Chambers retaliated in the last heat, smashing the field to win by 2.0s over Hindle and Lex Kelly.

It was sure to be a blockbuster final, with the top of the field all within reaching distance of the illustrious first place. After a bit of biff and barge it was Hindle who got the jump on lap 1, Chambers follow suit in 2nd and Djemil relegated to 3rd. The laps wound down, Kelly on the move finding a way past Djemil a lap later, but the pursuit well and truly alive out in front. Chambers threw everything he had at Hindle, but the recently crowned Victorian State Champion had all the answers with a narrow win of 0.2s! Kelly crossed the line for third, with Djemil and Milan Sami rounding out the top 5!

Jarvis Hindle (pic – Pace Images)

Cadet 12 was the first of the two over-subscribed categories this weekend, a massive 32 entries taking to the grid. Continuing his recent purple patch, ProKarting’s Lucas Costanzo strutted his way to yet another fine pole position by a dazzling 0.220s over WA’s Jack Kalbfell – Flynn Patterson, Oscar Corless and Michael White claiming the remaining top 5. The racers were split into their respective groups to duel it out in the heats, Costanzo unphased by this as he went on to take 2/3 heat wins with Corless doing the same, Austin McPherson and Joseph Bianchini taking the others.

A sensational final was looming with our majority heat winners starting off the front row. Lights out and we were racing, drama immediately as kart ping-pong commenced at the front of the order, Costanzo seemingly Moses-like as the karting seas parted for him to build a 1.2s lead at the end of the opening lap to Bianchini in 2nd – Corless involved in the incidents and sent back to 22nd! Bianchini set pursuit, the EKS superstar leading the way before a self-induced excursion off track saw Max Mangano slip past. The two continued to squabble for 2nd, alternating positions whilst Costanzo was belting lap after lap out ahead. P2 went down to the wire, but the win was never in doubt as Costanzo glided his way to a 2.8s margin over Mangano; Bianchini, McPherson and Kalbfell rounding out the top 5!

Lucas Costanzo (pic – Pace Images)

Lips were hushed when KA3 Junior Light took to the track, it looked to be anyone’s race to win from the onset. Gippsland’s golden boy, Cohen Naumann, claimed an electric pole position in wet conditions by a mere 0.032s over Jai George, the two head and shoulders clear of Archie Patterson, Jack Jenkins and Christian Sasso behind. Being his first pole position, nerves set in for Naumann in Heat 1, an over-zealous start seeing the poleman out in turn 1 as George danced his way to victory over Jenkins and Ashton Rowley. Naumann was out for blood in Heat 2, blitzing the comp to take a 2s win. It was time for Heat 3, George starting off pole and building a gap immediately. Blue skies finally beat down on the Morwell circuit, seeing slick tyres on karts. Sasso trying to reel in a 3.5s margin to George ahead before disaster… divine intervention seemingly at play with the rain pouring over the track in a 30-second period. George’s lead evaporated as he tried negotiating lapped traffic, Sasso carving his way through with a lap to go, taking the win – heartbreaking for Team George but until that point, he certainly put the Junior Light field on notice.

The final was all to play for, George starting alongside Jenkins on the front row. The flag was waved, and we were racing, Jenkins getting the jump to occupy the lead early before George found his way on top in lap 3. George recognised this as his time to strike and that he did, building a 0.9s lead over Sasso who had also found his way past Jenkins. Sasso exercised the full wrath of his EKS chassis, absorbing the deficit to a mere kart-length with 5 laps to go. George had all the tricks, looking a sure bet to take victory as they entered the last lap. George employed his best defensive tactics, but an absolute blinder of an overtake saw Sasso lead for the first time with 3 corners to go, taking victory in a thriller in Morwell – Jenkins, Naumann and Cody Boys rounding out the top 5!

Junior Light podium (pic – Steve Dansie)

KA3 Junior Heavy was the final race of the weekend, but certainly didn’t disappoint. Cooper Frith was unable to contest the first round having initially entered the KA2 category but made up for his lack of racing by storming to pole position over Chelsea Humphrey by a whisker! Ben Bloomfield, Ryan Taborsky and Rya Roberts concluded the top 5. Racing commenced and the weather came with it, Roberts dominating the opening heats in perilous, greasy conditions. Heat 3 came around and we were back on slicks with hometown local, Ryan Wyhoon, snaring the win after Frith had been unable to convert his pole positions into top-step finishes.

It was time for the final, Rya Roberts looking like the driver to beat as he started off pole alongside Wyhoon – Frith, Bloomfield and Angus Fletcher the remaining top 5. Lights out and we were racing, Roberts snaring the holeshot with Frith following through to P2. Frith decided on lap 3 to pull the trigger, breezing past Roberts like they were standing still. Frith proceeded to put the hammer down, gapping Roberts in a matter of laps as the Frith Kart Sport rig flexed on the opposition. 5 laps remaining and heartbreak for Roberts, a mechanical failure on the exit of Turn 2 saw the end of his race – passing the reigns to Wyhoon who set after the #54 Tony Kart. Wyhoon wrung all the time he could out of the kart, but it wasn’t enough, Frith cooly taking home the chocolates by 0.9s over Wyhoon in 2nd and Fletcher in 3rd – Mia Mifsud and Cheslea Humphrey rounding out the top 5.

P1 for Cooper Frith (pic – Pace Images)

2023 Golden Power Series champion, Ethan Warren, looked certain to annihilate Tag 125 Restricted Light after going 0.25s clear in timed practice. So, it was a massive shock when Harrison Duske pumped 0.435s into the #59 in wet conditions to take pole position, Warren a further 0.3s ahead of Grace Riddell, Arthur Atran and Eric Van Den Hout. Duske didn’t let his foot off the pedal, going on to win by 3.3s in Heat 1 over Warren, this time Jarrod Bottomley carving through the field to take 3rd. Warren responded, taking the second heat with fastest lap before backing it up with a P2 in Heat 3, Bottomley the victor.

Dry conditions were once again on the cards for the final and no one could doubt the sheer speed of Warren, set to start out of pole position a result of his remarkable consistency. Could either Duske or Bottomley stage an upset in Warren’s backyard?

Lights out and we’re racing, a massive shunt at the front of the pack saw 5…6…7 karts beached on the exit of the opening corner, Bottomley and Duske off track in the proceedings. Warren was able to escape unscathed, a 2.0s buffer between him and last year’s runner up, Ryan Dealy. Dealy set off in pursuit, however, didn’t appear to have the speed to catch the seemingly invincible #59 in front. The Motorsport God’s however had yet another twist in the tale, thrashing the circuit with yet another 3-minute period of rain. Warren, normally the master of wet conditions, ran wide off track as he wrestled with the front end of his kart in slick conditions, Dealy keeping it on the tarmac to move through. Dealy never looked back, putting cruise control on to take the win by 7.8s over Eric Van Den Hout in yet another dramatic race, Jamie Meadows claiming the remaining podium place – fastest lap going the way of Warren.

Ryan Dealy (pic – Pace Images)

It was yet another case of fine margins in Tag 125 Restricted Medium over the weekend, as Trent Meadows took pole position in the wet qualifying session over Andrew Sotiropoulos in P2, Jesse Watkins rounding out the top 3. The heats commenced and Meadows was undeniably the karter to beat, clean sweeping the heats ahead of Watkins in Heat 1, before two nail-biting races with Sotiropoulos.

The stage was set for a grandstand finale, could Sotiropoulos finally emerge on top this weekend? Would Watkins be able to see his late race speed switch on earlier or would it be Meadows who would win it all? Lights out and we’re racing, relatively single file as Meadows maintained the lead through turn 1, Watkins slipping in behind and Sotiropoulos another couple of kart lengths back. It was a case of strategic chess at the top of the field, as the top-3 were seemingly glued together for 13 of the 15 laps on hand. Watkins and Sotiropoulos looked close for a couple of late divebombs to swap positions, but ultimately no change in the end – Meadows clean sweeping Morwell for yet another win over Watkins in P2, Sotiropoulos claiming the last podium place.


Trent Meadows (pic – Pace Images)

It was business as usual in Tag 125 Restricted Heavy, Brett Jenkin back on top as he took pole position by a slender 0.042 over Brent Opie: Shannon Hogg, Blair Van Ree and Mason Baldi completing the rest of the top 5. The class was one of the more unfortunate ones, with mixed conditions plaguing their opening heats as drivers opted between the wet or slick compounds. Ryan Van Ree gambled with slicks in Heat 1, going on to charge from P6 to 1st as Hogg and Jenkin had an almighty coming together before the finish line, still taking 2nd and 3rd. Jenkin was keen on solidifying his position, bouncing back on top in the remaining heats – but the Van Ree’s had found a significant turn of speed, right on his tail across the line.

It looked concrete that it was a 3-kart race for the win, with the two Van Ree brothers and Jenkin having significant speed over the rest of the field. Lights out and we’re racing, Jenkin swooping into the lead over Ryan Van Ree in P2, Blair Van Ree in P3. Blair made a move for 2nd on lap 3, setting after Jenkin, but the #6 proved way too good as he waltzed his way to a strong 1.8s victory over the two brothers – a statement drive.

Brett Jenkin leads TaG R Heavy (pic – Steve Dansie)

Hot off the back of Victorian state championship glory, Ian Branson was back to his winning ways, poling Tag 125 Restricted Masters by a solid 0.271s over Leigh Holmes. Mark Seddon, Chris Brooks and Shane Box rounded out the top 5. The heats were close, Seddon obtaining the lead early in Heat 1 before spinning in the treacherous conditions – Brooks coming through for the win. Seddon would go on to take the next two races in fine fashion with close battles between he, Branson and Brooks.

Points at the end of the heat racing determined that Seddon would start off pole alongside Brooks, Branson lingering back in P3. The flag dropped and we were racing Seddon straight away into 1st whilst Branson disposed of Brooks early in the opening corners. Seddon’s race strategy in the heats had been hit ‘em early and hit ‘em hard with ruthless speed, Branson acknowledging he’d need to lump the pressure on early to keep up with the ProKarting maestro. The laps ticked down and Holmes joined the party to make it a three-way tussle to the end. One more lap remaining, and Branson looked close for a shot, but a well-measured defensive finish from Seddon ensured he took the win by a measly 0.2s over Branson, Holmes a further 0.3s back to complete the podium!

TaG R Masters, Mark Seddon leads (pic – Pace Images)

The second of the two over-subscribed classes, KA3 Senior Light promised to be a clash of the titans as several of Australia’s best KA3 hotshots lined up vying for a Morwell miracle. It was an interesting session to say the least, with the bottom 50% of drivers from timed practice qualifying first, however, gaining an advantage with slightly lighter rain the top 50% of drivers the session after. Joseph Belardo and Darsyn Harris decided to “make hay whilst the sun (or in this case, lighter rain) shone”, slotting themselves out of P4 and P5 having been P16 and P18 in practice, but it’d be the #74 of Amos Orr who took a stunning pole position over Imran Aly and Hugo Garraway just behind. The top 5 were sensational in the heats, Aly taking a heat win, Amos taking two whilst Garraway came away with a trifecta! Further back, Will Thompson was carving his way back to the top of the order to net a podium, with Nathan Emmins, Brodie Radford, Harris and Belardo all following suit.

Garraway was set to start the final off pole having been nothing less than electric in the heats, joined alongside by Orr – Aly, Harris and Radford the remaining top 5. Lights out and it was mayhem immediately, Orr finding his way into the lead early on with Harris popping out in 2nd, Aly 3rd as Garraway slid down to P4. Orr channelled his focus to what was ahead, empty road as he began pumping time into the ensuing karts. It wasn’t long before both Aly and Garraway found their way past Harris for P3, but it was never in doubt where the win was going. Orr came through to take a stunning victory of 3.1s, off the back of a disappointing finish for him in another category – it was sweet jubilation for Orr and team in the scales shed immediately after the final. Darsyn Harris came home in P4, whilst Thompson cut through the top 10 to finish in P5.

Amos Orr jumps into the lead, Senior Light (pic – Pace Images)

Those who attended or read the last race report about Round 1 of the series would be familiar with all the speed but no luck Jarrod Bottomley had at Rochester in KA3 Senior Medium. The #17 has been hitting all his marks speed wise lately, so it was no surprise when Bottomley thrashed the competition by 0.309s in qualifying to take the top spot over Bodhi Bright and Taylem Mackinlay – series contenders Rio Campbell and Zach Findlay qualifying down in P4 and P5. Bottomley continued his reign of terror (and speed), taking the first two opening heats with a fastest lap to boot, before Findlay struck back with conviction in Heat 3.

We were set for yet another thrilling final in Morwell, Bottomley starting off pole position alongside Taylem Mackinlay, Bright in P3. The KA3 Senior Medium field were in split decision before their final with a brief shower sweeping over the track, mixed emotions that could make or break a weekend. Lights out and we were underway, Bodhi Bright getting an exception jump to move into the lead, battling away with Bottomley who was keen to lead the field to the end. The laps start winding down before it all starts changing on lap 3, an all-black kart (like Kitt from Knight Rider, not the NZ rugby team) starts passing racers like they’re standing still – it’s Rio Campbell! The commentator in disbelief as the young driver opted for slicks in murky conditions, carving through the order with ease! All of a sudden a second kart begins to do the, the #6 of Brendan Rees also with the gamble! Only 2 drivers from the 20-kart field rolled the dice, Campbell crossing the line victorious with a massive 5.1s victory over Rees in P2, Mackinlay claiming P3 a further 11s back in a stunning drive that saw him best-of-the-rest wet weather tyre drivers. An absolute blockbuster!

Rio Campbell (pic – Pace Images)

Tag 125 Light featured yet another class of outstanding talent, and it’d be the local hotshot of Jamie Rowe who claimed pole position over Cooper Johnstone and Max Marriner, Amos Orr and Curt Sera rounding out the remaining top 5 all hot on his heels. Since commencing the transition to car racing, Rowe utilised all his experience and prowess to follow up with a staggering 2.5s win in Heat 1 over 2023 national champion and an international podium placer (as recent as last week), Pip Casabene, Marriner rounding out the top 3. The wet weather had returned early Sunday for Heat 2, Cooper Johnstone this time keen on a slice of the action as he lead the way from Orr in P2, Rowe not far behind in third – just to get back up on the saddle with yet another massive victory over Orr and Casabene in the last heat.

It looked like it’d be a four-way battle for the win: Rowe, Orr, Casabene, and Johnstone all duelling for class glory in the 15-lap final, for what promised to be a battle for the ages. That was the order we were set to start, and when the flag dropped Orr made light work of the start corners to pinch Rowe over the kerbing into the opening corner, swooping into P1, whilst Casabene slotted into 3rd – Johnstone down to P8 whilst involved in first-lap shenanigans. The laps wound down, Orr and Rowe striding away from the field whilst Casabene attempted to keep in touch. Orr looked unphased in front, some 4 more laps to go and the leading two engaged in this ongoing tug of war for class supremacy, Orr just beginning to defend the inside line. 2-laps to go and the tension is rising, crowd perched up on the fence to catch a glimpse of which of the two supremos would come out on top. They dance their way through the hairpins before BANG, the two colliding on the exit of the pit hairpin, Orr facing backwards and Rowe nearly at a standstill. Casabene came right back into contention, but with the gap too large from the earlier laps, Rowe crossed the line the winner of a drama-filled final with the fastest lap, Casabene taking 2nd with Marriner rounding out the podium a distant 3rd!

Class winner Jamie Rowe (99) and just returned from Europe Pip Casabene (19) go head to head into turn one in a heat race (pic – Steve Dansie)

Tag 125 Heavy saw category heavyweight, Troy Alger, looking certain to dominate his home race. Having gone fastest in timed practice by a sizeable margin, it looked like it was going the way of the speedy #13 before we even got started. With qualifying underway, it’d be his DR compatriot of Nik Schmidt who led the field, looking a sure bet as he held provisional pole for almost the whole session before a stunning lap from Nathan Lucas pipped Schmidt at the post, the two a couple of tenths ahead of Michael Powell in 3rd – Dylan Muller and Liam Ford rounding out the top 5.

The racing commenced and it was mayhem, Schmidt relegated to last in the opening heat with a throttle cable malfunction, Alger fighting his way through the order and a three-way battle for the lead – Ford coming out on top! Ford continued his streak of dominance, taking the win in Heat 2 over a fast-charging Schmidt. The track had dried for the last heat, Ford confident with his pace in either condition whilst spectators kept one eye on the #13. As we got underway, carnage, karts spewed everywhere over the course of the opening lap, an absolute blinder of a start from Alger saw him go from 7th to 2nd in about three corners! Alger stalked Ford down like a carnivorous beast catching his prey, but Ford minded his own business and took victory.

The wrath of Alger looked to have finally been unleashed, starting out of 3rd he looked to be the dangerman starting behind Geoff Wyhoon and Liam Ford. Lights out and we were off, Alger following Ford through the opening turn to make it a 1-2 for them, Wyhoon in 3rd. A 2-3 kart pile up several corners late saw the field disperse, Jett Rendell out of action early for the rest of the race. Alger waited patiently on the rear bumper of Ford for every corner of every lap, waiting to make a lunge at any apparent slip-up Ford would make, whilst further back, Schmidt had cleared the midfield and his crosshairs firmly fixated on Wyhoon for the final podium spot. One more lap to go, the spectators ready for a one last gasp attempt from Alger, but Ford drove a beautiful defensive line to take an emphatic victory and redirect his championship towards the front of the pack!! Schmidt closed right up to the back of Wyhoon, but ran out of laps, Wyhoon saved by the flag as he crossed the line 3rd by less than a kart-length – what a race!

Liam Ford holds out Troy Alger for the TaG Heavy win (pic – Pace Images)

Commentator’s Driver of the Weekend!

I’m sure everyone who attended Round 2 of the Golden Power Series would acknowledge the awesome calibre of driving on hand at a fantastic circuit. There were some real stand-out performances over the two days, from Meadows’ and Ford’s clean sweeps in Tag Restricted Medium/ Tag 125 Heavy, the fierce speed of Lucas Costanzo, as well as the scintillating comeback from Christian Sasso – but there can only be one.

Amos Orr stepped up from juniors towards the end of the 2023 season in seniors and has made an immediate impact, sending ripples through the KA3 and Tag categories. Amos stormed his way to pole position in KA3 Senior Light and was right in contention to pole Tag Light as well, keeping his nose clean through the heats to best position himself for the final – where he was unfortunate not to double up and take two final wins across the weekend! Amos maintained a level of dominance I’m sure we’ll see again in 2024, a super talent for the future.

Amos Orr is our Commentator’s Driver of the Weekend!

Amos Orr flirts with track limits in TaG Light (pic – Pace Images)