Vic Country Series 3 Portland

by Andrew Hayes, AHR Media

DPE Kart Superstore Victorian Country Series action has returned to the Portland and District Karting Club’s Yarraman Park circuit over the weekend. 180 Entries converged for round 3 at the seaside town, with some using it as a test session for the Victorian State Cup to be held at the same venue on December 7 and 8.

Cold and Wet weather was predicted, and delivered. The finals on Sunday were held in brisk but sunny conditions, and provided some very exciting racing.

The Sot wins again! Andrew Sotiropoulos (98) won his third consecutive round in TaG Restricted Medium (pic – BPM Photography)
  • scroll to bottom for photo gallery
  • full results are on Speedhive HERE
  • photos by Darren’s Sportography HERE
  • photos by BPM Photography – Saturday pics HERE, Sunday pics HERE

TAG LIGHT (19 Entries)

For the third time in the three rounds held in 2024, it was SA’s Jacob Dowson stopping the clock fastest (35.370) to keep his perfect pole record in tact.

Dowson looked set to claim the opening heat, but Dallas Greene had other ideas, as he stunned Dowson on the final lap to claim the win. Dowson responded to win the second and third heats.

Dowson was quick to get away in the final, and was clear of the opening lap shenanigans. He was unheaded from there, winning comfortably by 7 seconds, extending his run to 3 consecutive round wins. Former junior VCS champ Jay Coul made a return after some European experience, and finished second in the final, his best result of the weekend. The defending state cup champ Curt Sera also made the podium in third, on a track he will defend his plate on in December. Dallas Greene finished fourth after being sent down the order at the start, ahead of Jordi Belton, who bounced back numerous time across the weekend for fifth.

1st Jacob Dowson (GKCSA)
2nd Jay Coul (WBOOL)
3rd Curt Sera (GIPP)

Curt Sera leads Jay Coul, but neither was able to keep up with the winner, Jacob Dowson (pic – Darren’s Sportography)


The weather was not, but the Sot was definitely hot in Portland, as Andrew Sotiropoulos took his third consecutive pole position (37.375).

Whilst the history books will show that Sotiropoulos won all three heats, he had to lift after being challenged by Jack Ryan and Jono McKean, but elevated his performance each time to prevail.

The Sot made no mistake of the final, leading every lap to claim a third consecutive round win, remaining unbeaten in 2024. Jack Ryan made him earn it, as he put in a measured and consistent performance for second. Jackson Hodgetts fought hard all weekend, and thoroughly earned his third place finish. Grady Hutchesson raced at the front in flashes over the weekend, but could only manage fourth in the final. Portland’s Jamieson Park was speedy in the final, moving up to fifth place.

1st Andrew Sotiropoulos (OAK0
2nd Jack Ryan (MGKC)
3rd Jackson Hodgetts (WBOOL)

Jack Ryan (91) and Jackson Hodgetts (29) couldn’t stop Andrew Sotiropoulos from taking a third consecutive round win (pic – Darren’s Sportography)

KA3 SENIOR MEDIUM (12 Entries)

Zach Findlay proved that he was keen to pick up where he left off in Ballarat, as he stormed to pole (37.054) for the second time in 2024.

Such was the depth of the class, there was three different heat winners, and Findlay was not one of them. Thomas Patching saluted in heat one, Matthew Nietz took the honours in heat two, and Remo Luciani showed his class in the third.

Luciani was the early pacesetter in the final, but the challenge soon came from Findlay, who took over the front running on lap 6. Findlay moved clear of the field to take a comfortable 2 second victory, going back to back after also winning in Ballarat. Nietz and Luciani battled until late in the race, with Nietz getting the upper hand late to claim second, ahead of Luciani in third. Ben Mouritz and Seth Burton had rough weekends by their standards, but salvaged fourth and fifth in the final.

1st Zach Findlay (GKCV)
2nd Matthew Nietz (GKCSA)
3rd Remo Luciani (WIMM)

Remo Luciani leads a crossed up eventual winner, Zach Findlay (pic – BPM Photography)

KA3 JUNIOR HEAVY (13 Entries)

SA’s Levi Jones regained the form he had at the opening round of 2024,again claiming pole position (38.828) in qualifying.

Jones saw off all challenges in the opening two heats, before his fellow title combatant Chelsea Humphrey took the chocolates in heat three.

Jones and Humphrey squared off for the umpteenth time in the final, and delivered another great race. History will show Jones as the (deserved) winner, but it won’t tell the story of the pressure piled on by Humphrey, who finished a very close second. A great finish to a great battle. It was back to back thirds for Jake Ristell, who has improved dramatically in 2024. Josh White and Oliver Von Tunk both raced well to claim top five places.

1st Levi Jones (MGKC)
2nd Chelsea Humphrey (ELKC)
3rd Jake Ristell (OAK)

Junior Heavy podium (pic – Darren’s Sportography)


Heavy rain caught many drivers out in Restricted Light qualifying, with most mired on slicks in the terrible conditions. Max Fahey however was one of the few on wets, even joining the session after it had started to get his tyres sorted, and he was rewarded with his first pole position (41.097) of 2024.

Mitch Sires has been building up to speed since his return to karting in 2023, and he lit the fuse in the heats at Portland, winning each of them comfortably.

Sires was irresistible in the final, as the combination of kart balance and skill propelled him to a memorable go to whoa victory for the Kartworx team. Jacob Dowlin started to re discover his blistering 2023 pace in the final, climbing up to second to avenge the previous years heartbreak. Ash Johnston claimed the third and final place on the podium, after a mixed weekend of pace and heartbreak. Polesitter Max Fahey had to settle for fourth place, ahead Nathan Mhizha, who drove well for fifth place.

1st Mitch Sires (BALL)
2nd Jacob Dowlin (WBOOL)
3rd Ash Johnston (BALL)


Restricted Light podium (pic – Darren’s Sportography)

TAG HEAVY (13 Entries)

Portland for many years has been the domain of the King brothers, but on this occasion, Goulburn Valley’s Liam Ford ruined the party, as he struck the first blow with a big pole position (39.408).

Scott King got rolling in his new EOS kart in the heats, victorious in all three encounters.

An opening lap skirmish shuffled the field in Tag Heavy, and Dylan Collett was the big benefactor as he made a run for it. Collett’s lead would last until only two laps remained, when polesitter Liam Ford caught and passed for the lead. Ford would power on to take victory, ahead of the gallant Collett in second, a solid comeback after qualifying last. Jay Racovalis drove a neat and tidy final to claim the final podium spot after big gains on the opening lap. Not the finish the King boys were looking for, as Scott and Adam crossed the line fourth and fifth in the final.

1st Liam Ford (GVKC)
2nd Dylan Collett (ELKC)
3rd Jay Racovalis (BALL)

Liam Ford (64) won TaG Heavy, here chasing Lachlan Sharpe (pic – Darren’s Sportography)

CADET 12 (15 Entries)

Another driver continuing his red hot form was Cadet 12 polesitter (43.780) Archie Bristow. The Ballarat bullet registering his fourth consecutive VCS pole.

Bristow was supreme in the heats, claiming the wins in the first and third, but was upstaged by Alana Gurney in the second heat, as she claimed a very tight victory.

The final was an all Bristow affair, as the runaway series leader cruised to a 6.8 second victory, showing his silky smooth skill and precision. Second place was a just reward for Gurney, who proved once again she is a young lady in a hurry. Rossi Yau was on the pace all weekend and claimed his first VCS podium, finishing a deserved third. Kurtis Polkinghorne showed flashes of brilliance on his way to fourth, ahead of Emmanuel Mistriotis in fifth place.

1st Archie Bristow (BALL)
2nd Alana Gurney (OAK)
3rd Rossi Yau (ELKC)

Archie Bristow (81) and Alana Gurney (34) off the front row, Cadet 12 (pic – Darren’s Sportography)

KA3 SENIOR LIGHT (14 Entries)

SA’s Max Wucsko fired the first shot in KA3 Senior Light, by claiming a hard fought pole position (39.905), by the tiny margin of 0.013 seconds.

The heats proved to be a mixed bag, seeing three different winners in as many events. Wucsko capitalised on his pole to win the opener, former junior sensation Dylan Hollis won the second, before Dallas Greene edged away to win the third heat.

Hollis made a speedy start to the final and led the race for the first 12 of 16 laps, before a Greene move for the lead, and subsequent move from Wucsko dropped him to third. From there they held those positions with Greene proving too good to win. Wucsko returned to form to claim second, ahead of Hollis who would’ve thought a win went begging as he finished third. Andrew Hollis raced in the lead pack all weekend for fourth, ahead of hometown speedster Brocklan Parker in fifth.

1st Dallas Greene (GKCV)
2nd Max Wucsko (GKCSA)
3rd Dylan Hollis (BALL)

Top 3 in Senior Light, Green leads Hollis (71) and Wucsko (58) (pic – BPM Photography)


After snagging a podium at Portland in 2023, Mark Heemskerk burst out of the blocks to claim a big pole position (40.629) in Masters.

Heemskerk was superb in the heats, as he had the number 23 dialled in to perfection, claiming all three encounters in fine style, leaving him in prime position for the final.

In shades of the opening round of 2024, Neil McAuley got the jump at the start and ran away to an early lead. And as was the case in Cobden, they field couldn’t run him down, McAuley a winner for the second time in 2024! Heemskerk wasn’t able to finish off his spectacular weekend, but was gallant in second place. Mark Appleby claimed third after showing better pace in the final, finishing ahead of Heath Jelbart, who never hit his full straps in fourth. Angelo D’Ettorre was in everything for the weekend, and saved his best for last with fifth in the final.

1st Neil McAuley (ELKC)
2nd Mark Heemskerk (MGKC)
3rd Mark Appleby (ROCH)

Heath Jelbart (4) ahead of class winner Neil McAuley (42) and Mark Appleby (28) (pic – Darren’s Sportography)

CADET 9 (11 Entries)

New faces and fresh talent emerged in Cadet 9, as the field was void of any driver with a 2024 podium finish. Setting the pace in qualifying was Ari Djemil (45.244), who had been fast but unlucky at the previous round.

Ari Djemil was the class of the field in the heats, as he drove superbly to win all three races, showing excellent speed and composure.

The field was set for the final, and a first time VCS round winner set to be crowned. The pace of Ari Djemil was undeniable, as he proved supreme in a brilliant display of driving, claiming his first VCS win! The rest of the top five was not so clear cut as drivers jockeyed for position. At the conclusion it was a last lap pass by Milan Sami on Jonathon Testa that set the podium positions, Sami home in second, closely followed by Testa. Cooper Djemil was in the mix for a Djemil 1-2, but ended up having to settle for fourth ahead of local sensation Logan Rethus in fifth.

1st Ari Djemil (OAK)
2nd Milan Sami (OAK)
3rd Jonathon Testa (GKCV)

Jonathan Testa was 3rd in Cadet 9, here ahead of Gemma Phillips (pic – Darren’s Sportography)

KA3 JUNIOR LIGHT (24 Entries)

One of the biggest fields of the weekend, and the last in the race order, KA3 Junior Light delivered all weekend. Ayce Buckley joined the class for Portland and wasted no time in raising the bar, as he went quicktime (40.310) in qualifying.

Buckley was the driver to beat in the heat races, as he won each of them, heats one and two particularly comfortably.

The final race of the day, and didn’t it prove to be an exciting way to end the day. Buckley once again paced the field, with Hudson Hughes and Jai George in tow. Buckley maintained the lead for 15 laps before the challenges came on the final lap. First it was Hughes forcing his way past Buckley at the out grid corner, which also allowed George through. But the action wasn’t done yet, as the drivers approached the final passing opportunity George made a big move stick on Hughes, allowing Buckley through with him. They ran to the line with George winning for the second round in a row! Buckley was second after a weekend of brilliant driving, Hughes home in third after leading half of that last lap. Riley Gee and Aiden Schweikert had some troubles over the weekend but consolidated fourth and fifth respectively in the final.

1st Jai George (ELKC)
2nd Ayce Buckley (GKCV)
3rd Hudson Hughes (OAK)

Junior Light, Ayce Buckley leads Hudson Hughes (pic – BPM Photography)

The next round of VCS will remain by the coast at Warrnambool Kart Club on 17/18 August.

Thanks as always to the Victorian Country Series Sponsors:



  • KFC

Pics below by Darrens Sportography: