Mildura’s Tradition Continues

by Ayrton Creagh

The King’s birthday meant a long weekend for many Australians recently, ideal for karters making the trek for the 51st running of the North-West titles by Castrol Racing held in Mildura. With some 130+ entries contesting for glory in the oasis, the racing was fierce with a multitude of prizes on offer for all competitors!

  • full results are on speedhive HERE
  • more photos on Mildura Kart Club’s Facebook HERE
A big field of Cadet 12 blast off, Austin McPherson in the lead (pic – MKC/FB)

Despite a smaller field than we’re accustomed to seeing, Cadet 9 continued to live up to expectation with thrilling racing. It was Lex Kelly who snared an impressive pole position over Australian Kart Championship front-runner, Beau Chambers, a mere 0.029s behind – Oscar Calisici and Leo Waters completing the field. Despite the extraordinarily close run in qualifying, Kelly put his foot down in the heats, taking the opening three races by nearly 4s plus! Further back, it was going down right to the wire as Chambers and Calisici duelled for 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Sunday had arrived and it was payday for Cadet 9, could anyone find the speed to stop the seemingly invincible Kelly? A final heat race in the morning set the stage perfectly for an electric final, Chambers turning the tide to take the Heat 4 win by a kart-length over Kelly with a fastest last to boot. Chambers had found his groove, looking to take this into the 14-lap final but it’d be Kelly from pole position again. Lights out and we are racing, Kelly gets the holeshot and moves in front of Chambers, now on his back bumper. The laps wound down, Chambers making a move for the lead before Kelly snatching it back a lap later. The two were inseparable, every time Chambers had a dip at the crown Kelly found a way back. One more lap to go and with nothing between them, a fitting sprint to the line sees Kelly take victory by a whisker over Chambers! Calisici and Waters rounding out the rest of the field behind – incredible!

Local Lex Kelly (15) beat Beau Chambers (95) in the final by 0.113s (pic – MKC/FB)

It wasn’t too dissimilar in Cadet 12, with several of Australia’s best making the trek north. Continuing from his startling form, Lucas Costanzo danced his way to yet another pole position, pipping EKS kart’s Austin McPherson and Rossi Yau just behind. The heats commenced, Costanzo looking to assert control before a tangle in the last few laps between him and McPherson saw the #82 take Heat 1 over Yau. McPherson continued on his warpath, going on to win the remaining three heats over Rossi Yau who took it down right to the wire in each race with multiple fastest laps, Costanzo enduring more bad luck with isolated incidents seeing him drop down the order: Koa Patten, Bryce Felmingham, Kasey Waters and Levi Lord fighting for the final podium place.

The stage was set for a blockbuster final, McPherson and Yau lining up alongside in an EKS shootout with Diesel Waddell and Patten just behind, the crowd also keeping an eye on Costanzo down in 10th who was looking for a big comeback. The flag dropped and we were underway, turmoil at the start as several karts banged and bashed their way through the opening corners – McPherson taking the whole shot over Yau right on his bumper. As it was single file at the front, Costanzo was setting the field alight – from 10th to 5th in the opening lap before making two moves in two corners to take 3rd by lap 2. The laps wound down, Yau in pursuit of McPherson as the frontrunners began to close in on the backmarkers, seizing an opportunity to catch McPherson off guard and hit the lead. It wasn’t enough though; McPherson drawing from his race craft to retake the lead and win the final by a commanding 1.9s – Costanzo rounding out the podium a further 4.5s behind! In a dash to the line, it was the Intrepid driver of Pattern who beat Felmingham in a sprint to the flag to complete the top five.

Cadet 12 podium (pic – MKC/FB)

There certainly wasn’t a lack of numbers in KA3 Junior Light with a strong 19-kart contingent taking to the dusty dwelling of the Mildura track. SA-based driver, Scarlett Pittam, went into qualifying as the driver to beat having topped the timed practice session, but disaster would strike early for the unlucky #13 with a mechanical failure ruling her out of the qualifying session at the very start. It was all to place for with the #1 contender out for the count, Jack Jenkins stepping up to take pole position by just under 0.100s over the Parolin pairing of Lucas Rickard and Sebastian Tander – Chelsea Humphrey and Ewan Anderson rounding out the top 5. The heats commenced and Jenkins was right on form, taking a slew of victories over Anderson, Tander and Humphrey as Pittam was tearing it up through the midfield and found herself crossing the line 2nd in Heat 3. Heat 4, Humphrey crossed the line first with Jenkins close behind.

The big 14-lapper was ready to commence, it was anyone’s guess as to who would end up on top with five-six drivers all with the speed to win it. The flag dropped and we’re racing, Jenkins starting from pole, but it was Humphrey who swept into the lead! One lap down and Jenkins almost slowing to a standstill, the #3 having to pull into the pits with yet another mechanical issue and heartbreak for his team. Pittam found herself in 2nd, the two girl aces leading the pack. As the crowd anticipated a monumental showdown between the two, Pittam’s chances of a sensational comeback began to dwindle, Humphrey flooring it to build a 1.5s lead by lap 5. The rest of the field laid in her wake, Humphrey obliterating the opposition to win by a gargantuan 5.3s over Ewan Anderson in 2nd, Pittam, Rickard and Sam Sidwell rounding out the fast five!

KA3 Junior Light podium. First placed Chelsea Humphrey also won the Heavy class (pic – MKC/FB)

Chelsea Humphrey continued to let the good times roll, taking an emphatic pole position in KA3 Junior Heavy over Tony Kart’s Jake Ristell, a mere 0.003s between Ristell and Levi Jones for 2nd and 3rd. Humphrey continued on her warpath in the heats, taking the opening three races with ease over Jones in P2 – Ristell, Ben Bloomfield and Aydan Warren taking a 3rd each. Jones was able to fight back before the final, taking Heat 4 in fine fashion by a nose cone over Humphrey – who registered yet another fastest lap.

Jones’ upset in Heat 4 looked to have exposed a vulnerability in the seemingly indomitable Humphrey – Jones would have to get the jump at the start if he had any chance of holding onto North-West glory. The lights went out and the field took to play, Humphrey maintaining the leading into the opening corner from Jones behind. Jones stuck with Humphrey for a handful of laps, but the #28 turned on the afterburners to clean up the junior classes this weekend! Jones held on for P2 from a fast-charger Ristell, Bloomfield and Warren rounding out the top five!

The Tecno karts looked to be switched on in Mildura so far this weekend, so it was no surprise when SA superstar Ben Kilsby backed it up with pole position in TAG 125 Restricted Light, nothing separating him from fellow South Australian’s Shane Moreland and Sam Miettunen as the overall fast five were split by less than 0.050s! It was a matter of cool heads prevailing in the heats, Kilsby going on to win the opening three races and weathered the storm whilst the likes of Moreland, Miettunen and Grace Riddell poured on the acid to pressure Kilsby. His stout defence couldn’t last forever, with Riddell capitalising to take Heat 4 ahead of Miettunen and Brayden Parkinson – Kilsby down in 5th.

The crowd had the popcorn in head for the pyrotechnical final of 125 Restricted Light – Kilsby starting off pole. Lights out and we’re racing, carnage at the start as the midfield bashed into each other in typical fashion. The laps count down, more drama as a coming together between Moreland and Miettunen for P3 saw the former relegated down to 8th, as Miettunen picked up extensive damage but continued.  The incidents early on resulted in a duller set of affairs compared to the heats, but there was little change at the top of the charts as Kilsby brought home a solid victory ahead of Riddell, with Brayden Parking completing the podium!

SA’s Ben Kilsby leads VIC’s Grace Riddell (pic – MKC/FB)

TAG 125 Restricted Medium had karting heavyweight, Paul Pittam, putting on a clinic for the paddock to see. The #68 glided his way to pole position by a profound 0.331s over Gary Rogers in P2, Josh Fielding rounding out the top three. The #5 of Ash Mitchell had qualified out of position down in 9th, not that it seemingly slowed him down as he carved his way to the podium places in the heats, but it was Pittam who turned on the afterburners to annihilate the field, extracting fastest laps at will in the vicinity of 0.4s faster per lap! The remaining podium place were earned by Fielding, Rogers, and Jack Ryan respectively.

Moving into the final and it looked to be who would be best of the rest, as Pittam and Mitchell certainly showed no signs of letting go of their dominant ways. 14-laps set to come, and we were racing, Pittam straight into the lead from Mitchell in 2nd. Pittam flexed his muscles from the get-go, amassing a 1.2s lead by the end of lap one. As the field began to disperse, it was becoming apparent that there’d be little change for the remainder of the race. A cakewalk in the end for Pittam, crossing the line 2.5s ahead of Mitchell having slowed down on the final lap with the fastest lap by another 0.3s, Fielding taking a well-deserved P3!

One of the smaller fields for the weekend, TAG 125 Restricted Heavy’s 6 kart field reduced to 5 after qualifying. Numurkah’s very own Brent Opie took a commanding pole position to kickstart his weekend over James Pinfold in P2; Brodie Worner, Michel Angwin and Aethan Sakkas completing the top 5. Opie continued his streak of dominance, taking the opening three heats from both Pinfold and Worner who appeared to be the closest contestants throughout the Saturday and into the night racing. Super Sunday had come around and Worner maximised his pace from earlier on to turn the tide, taking the final heat by the width of a cigarette paper over Opie.

Yet another final was upon us, Opie feeling confident starting from pole but Worner looking to back up his last heat win for another upset in the final race of their weekend. Lights out and they’re off, Opie getting the holeshot into turn one from Worner in 2nd, Pinfold holding place in 3rd. A handful of moments later and Worner looks to size up a move on Opie, throwing his Tecno chassis down the inside. Opie and Worner’s speed fluctuated, the two taking turns to set faster laps as the gap between them widened and closed lap by lap. In the end it would be the #45 of Brodie Worner who crossed the line the victor of the class ahead of Opie, with Pinfold a few kart-lengths further back to complete the podium!

Victorian Combined Masters saw the Retro Karting national champions and Pulse Tuning founders, Glenn and Steve Riddell, dominate from the get-go. Qualifying was a game of the finest of margins, the #24 of Steve snaring pole by a scarcely believable 0.001s over his brother, Glenn!  The duo spearheaded an incredible qualifying session that saw them ensure a front row lockout ahead of Chris Brooks, Mark Appleby and Angelo D’Ettorre behind. The Riddell’s had well and truly cranked open the tap of success, letting the results flow as they took home a string of 1-2 finishes in the heats, blowing away the opposition by some margin – Brooks the closest of field.

The final was looking somewhat predetermined if the Pulse Tuning team could back up their incredible results from the heats, but Brooks was keen on keeping the leading two honest starting out of P3. The lights are out and off we go, the two day-glow yellow karts occupying 1-2 from Brooks in 3rd. The two Riddell’s put together a blinder of a first lap, 1s ahead of the field at the end of the opening lap. The laps wound down, Brooks getting close to the leading two lap time wise, but in the end the sheer speed and consistency of the two Riddell’s crushed the opposition, 0.2s separating Glenn from Steve with Brooks a further 4.8s back – Greg Mattschoss and Anthony Fedele rounding out the top five!


Having flown the Mildura Kart Club banner high at the last round of the Australian Kart Championships in Emerald with a dazzling podium in KA3 Senior Light, local Hugo Garraway continued his recent purple patch in the class with a brilliant lap that ensured pole position ahead of the #51 of Jack Turner in 2nd – Zack Gathercole, Finan Kerley and Nathan Emmins completing the top five. Garraway took to the heats with ease, whilst alongside, Turner had the hard work cutout for him as he would fall down the order starting from the outside, fighting his way back with similar speed to Garraway to notch three 2nd places and a 3rd, Emmins the other podium placer.

Turner looked to be the only one who might be able to take the fight to the hasty Hugo, but the young #51 would have to improve his starts to remain in touch of the #63. The flag dropped and we were underway, Garraway with yet another blitzing start as his fellow Mildura based driver, Nathan Emmins, filed into P2 ahead of Turner in 3rd. Turner wasn’t able to utilise the electric speed he had in the heats, Emmins the cork in the bottle as Garraway danced away from the pack. The battles were fierce through the mid-order, but it was single file for the podium places until four laps to go, Turner swooping into P2! In the end Garraway socially distanced himself by a massive 4.7s between himself and Turner, with Emmins completing the podium!

Hugo Garraway, another of several locals to taste victory (pic – MKC/FB)

One of the closer fields throughout the weekend, KA3 Senior Medium delivered as usual under the candescent lights of the circuit. Home hero, Bethany Koch, took pole position with a super lap that was enough to pip Grace Riddell and Luke Richards by less than a tenth, with the remainder of the field less than 0.3s behind! Koch had her work cut out for her in the heats, as fellow competitor Todd Chambers rallied for first place and taking the opening heat, Koch going on to win the next three by a slender margin as Robbie Turmine and Grace Riddell squabbled for P3.

Blistering Bethany certainly looked to be the karter to beat, having not put a foot wrong since Heat 2 and using her pole position advantage to perfection throughout the rest of the races. But with the field so close and fastest laps up for grabs – could Bethany hold on?

Lights out and we’re racing, Koch getting an incredible start as Chambers struggled off the line, going to the back of the pack. As the field of 6 set to complete the opening lap, disaster, Chambers and Richards coming together in the final sector! With one of the title antagonists out of the picture, Koch pinned the throttle down, looking to try and stretch her legs from the rapid Robbie and Riddell behind. It was a battle for the ages for P2 as Riddell and Turmine inspired a performance comparable to Dijon ’79, the drivers bouncing off each other and narrowly avoiding sand traps in their duel for P2 – but it was Koch who would go on to strut her way to a 5.8s victory ahead of Turmine, with Riddell completing the podium!

Bethany Koch, 1st in KA3 Senior Medium, here with the Ladies Outright trophy. (pic – MKC/FB)

The fastest category for the weekend was also one of the smallest, with Tag 125 Light and Heavy merging to form TAG 125 at championship weight. Little could stop Swan Hill speedster, Jordi Belton in qualifying as he strutted his way to pole position by just shy of 0.3s over locals, Jake Krasna and Aidan Solomon in 2nd and 3rd. Whilst Krasna didn’t have Belton’s speed, his extensive race craft shone bright as he snared two victories in the opening two heats with Belton recording fastest laps, before Belton bounced back in Heats 3 and 4 – Peter Burton and Aidan Solomon splitting the final podium places between each other.

The task for Krasna was clear but certainly not simple, we saw in the opening heats that Belton had difficulty passing Krasna if the local hit the lead, but did Krasna have enough weapons in his arsenal to hold back the ravenous Belton? The flag dropped and we’re racing, Krasna into the lead! Belton practically building a temporary abode on Krasna’s rear bumper, waiting patiently for the opportunity to relocate into the lead. Five laps down and Belton still in P2, before an opportunity opens for Belton to hit the lead! Krasna fought valiantly, but ultimately had nothing in response as Belton marched on to record a 3.7s win and fastest lap to boot! Krasna came home in P2 with Aidan Solomon pipping Burton for 3rd by a remarkable 0.045s!

Another incredible weekend completed up in Mildura over the King’s birthday long weekend proudly brought to you by the team at Castrol Racing and sponsors. The race meeting will return to the North-West in 2025 for the 52nd running of the event – mark it on your calendars when the dates are released for an awesome weekend away!

Nikki Watson 3-wheels in KA3 Senior Light (pic – MKC/FB)


KA3 Junior Heavy
1st Chelsea Humphrey
2nd Levi Jones
3rd Jake Ristell

Cadet 9
1st Lex Kelly
2nd Beau Chambers
3rd Oscar Calisici

TaG 125 Rest Medium
1st Paul Pittam
2nd Ashley Mitchell
3rd Josh Fielding

KA3 Senior Light
1st Hugo Garraway
2nd Jack Turner
3rd Nathan Emmins

Cadet 12
1st Austin Mcpherson
2nd Rossi Yau
3rd Lucas Costanzo

Rossi Yau, second in Cadet 12 for Ringwood Kart Centre (pic – MKC/FB)

TaG 125 Rest Light
1st Ben Kilsby
2nd Grace Riddell
3rd Brayden Parkinson

KA3 Junior Light
1st Chelsea Humphrey
2nd Ewan Anderson
3rd Scarlett Pittam

TaG 125 Rest Heavy
1st Brodie Worner
2nd Brent Opie
3rd James Pinfold

KA3 Senior Medium
1st Bethany Koch
2nd Robbie Turmine
3rd Grace Riddell

TaG 125 Light/Heavy
1st Jordi Belton
2nd Jake Krasna
3rd Aidan Solomon

Vic Comb Masters
1st Glenn Riddell
2nd Steven Riddell
3rd Chris Brooks