The Griffiths Report June Club Day 2014

Around 85 hardy souls turned up on a bleak Sunday morning for Oakleigh’s June Club day. On what turned out to be the coldest day since the Ice Age and at times the wettest since the days when  Noah was bobbing around, karters slipped and slid around the track, and then did their best to keep warm in between races. With not a wheel turned sporting a slick tyre all day, congratulations and thanks should particularly go to the Stewards and Officials who stood out in it for most of the day. Clerk of Course Adam Bourke deserves a special mention for his diligence and hard work under some very trying conditions.

The weather might have been the reason our photographer didn’t turn up today either – please support AKD Photos where you can to keep this service going. The weather also resulted in a much less wordy race report as I was caught up with flag duties for most of the day, there being lots of attention required to help the new members working the lights in the starters box – and thanks to Russell, Mark and Braydon for their help with this important job.

TAG 125 Light

Grover and Flodstrom in a battle for the lead early on and Grover ended up pulling clear as Kranz came through to 2nd. The rain pelted down a lap or 2 into the race, so much so it was hard to see the karts on the other side of the track, but no issue for Grover who just kept pulling away and Slits moved through 2nd ahead of Kranz. Towards the end Slits closed but looked unlikely to catch Grover who had a good lead still and he went on to the win ahead of Slits.

Heat 2; missed the lot with flag duties.

Heat 3 and Grover away well from Slits then Kranz and Cerato. Grover went further clear as the race went on, Slits dropping back and Kranz and Cerato boxing on behind him. Eventually Cerato shook of Kranz and stared to pressure Slits, but Grover all gone out front. 3 to go and Cerato dropped back after a touch with Slits that allowed Kranz through to 3rd, then Cerato got him back – all the while Grover was going further away and went on to win comfortably, Slits 2nd, while Cerato spun at JSKC start of the last lap and handing Kranz 3rd.

All Points: 1. Grover 2. Slits 3. Kranz

Junior National Light

Woollard to an early lead followed by Scanlan and D’Alia – the rain hasn’t eased and things were very wet out there. Woollard did a good job though and remained out front, D’Alia got through to 2nd and they slipped and slithered around the track. In the end Woollard an easy win.

D’Alia to the front and pulled clear from Scanlan, Forrester and Woollard as the rain began pelting down again. As the race went on D’Alia went further away, Scanlan and Woollard much closer for 2 and 3, the Forrester dropping back in 4th. D’Alia in a canter and Woollard just held out Scanlan at the flag.

D’Alia and Scanlan, then Woollard and Forrester. D’Alia also liking the wet, until lap 2 when he put it backwards into the Dipper, rejoining at the back and handing Woollard the lead. Woollard then had the pressure eased when Scanlan backed it into JSKC and came back on in last, so Forrester now 2nd. D’Alia was working hard, now in 4th, to get back on the front pack. Woollard was not having it all his own way as Forrester gained on him – could he get past? Not if he spun at Tony kart, which he almost did – but it dropped him back enough to give Woollard a break and he went on to win.

All Points: 1.Woollard 2. D’Alia 3. Forrester

Rookies & Cadets

My apologies to all the Rookies and Cadets but there was just so much going on in the slippery conditions that I couldn’t leave the new flaggies to do it all themselves. Two of us were flat out every heat keeping track of yellow flags and lapped karts, so I didn’t do a report for any of them.

All Points Cadets: 1. Stephenson 2. Callaghan 3. Hocking
All Points Rookies: 1. Mouzouris 2. Potter 3. Allan

TAG 125 Heavy

Grech-Cumbo to the lead as they got away, Kranz behind him, then Fisher and Ritchie. As the laps wound down Kranz closed but Grech-Cumbo was going OK until he wan wide at MKC and handed Kranz the lead, Fisher still back in 3rd. With 4 to go the question was could Grech-Cumbo retake the lead from Kranz –he was certainly throwing everything at it to try and get back, but Kranz held on and saluted at the flag.

Kranz to the lead as yet again the rain tumbled down, Fisher a distant 2nd and M. Maruszak in 3rd. Terrible conditions as karts ploughed on, Kranz a great job out front. Grech-Cumbo through to 3rd a lap or 2 into the race. Kranz, despite a spin all on his own mid race, went on to win from Grech-Cumbo.

More rain as TAG Heavy rolled out for their 3rd heat – the class seems to attract the wet weather! Kranz away well and Grech-Cumbo behind him, then Fisher and these 3 pulled away in the drenching conditions. Then the rain eased and Grech-Cumbo was right on Kranz with 6 to go. He had a look at the lead a lap later at Grid Hairpin and didn’t quite pull it off, but JSKC next lap was a different story as Grech-Cumbo got past Kranz and set sail (literally) and pulled away . Fisher in 3rd was a spectator to all of this, but a bit too far back to do anything about it, meanwhile Grech-Cumbo was gone, a great job. Further back Kranz and Fisher a great duel for 2 and 3 with Kranz holding on well behind winner Grech-Cumbo

All Points: – 1. Kranz 2. Grech-Cumbo 3. Fisher

Clubman Light / Clubman Heavy / Clubman Super Heavy

All together again this month and McLean to the front of Light, Mastorakis in Heavy and Polak in Supers as a number of others pulled in, went around or otherwise failed to finish. With 5 to go McLean was now the only Light on the track as O’Connell had pulled in and Khan went off at the Dipper; Martin and Mastorakis were swapping spots in Heavy, and Polak was well clear of Kemp in Supers. Then Martin off at MKC, so Mastorakis the only Heavy – would Polak and Kemp both finish in Supers? That was about the only interest left in the race. At the flag it was McLean, Mastorakis, Polak; Light, Heavy & Super Heavy winners.

McLean again away well, Mastorakis leading Heavy, and Polak Super Heavy, so looking like a soggy carbon copy of Heat 1. In another striking similarity to the first Heat, lots of karts went off or around or otherwise did not finish. In the end McLean in Light, Mastorakis in Heavy and Polak in Super Heavy.

McLean to the lead in Light, Martin in Heavy and Polak in Super Heavy, so much the same again here. A few laps in and interest centred on whether Mastorakis would pass Martin for the lead in Heavy – McLean and Polak looked secure in Light and Super Heavy respectively. Martin held on in Heavy and the other 2 were unchanged

All Points – Light 1. McLean 2 .Khan 3. O’Connell
All Points – Heavy 1. Mastorakis 2 .Martin 3. –
All Points – Super Heavy  1. Polak 2. Kemp 3.Chase

Junior National Heavy

Filikotzias to the lead from Scanlan but Scanlan soon through to the lead, then Cameron, D’Alia and a gaggle behind them – finally they sorted out a bit and Bell to the front of the gaggle. Cameron was pressuring Scanlan and in a very nice move through the Carousel he went to the lead. A lap or so later he was still just a kart length ahead of Scanlan and D’Alia was closing too, so looked like a good battle may be ahead. Bell had joined on in 4th and Frencham behind them. Scanlan then went a bit wide in the Dipper and looked like he might be beached but returned to the track in a distant 6th, so took some of the pressure off Cameron. 3 to go and Bell went around in the Dipper and dropped back to 5th, but Cameron untroubled out front and went on to win.

Cameron and Bell went away to the front here, then a gap back to Scanlan, D’Alia and Woollard. Cameron saluted with Bell close behind, then D’Alia in 3rd.

Again Cameron and D’Alia but disaster for D’Alia as he went off on Lap 1 at Grid Hairpin with a problem of some sort, so Cameron all alone out front, Woollard clear in 2nd then a gap back to Bell, Scanlan and Frencham. In the end Cameron was untroubled and took the win.

All Points: 1. Cameron 2. Bell 3. Woollard

TAG Over 40

Alabaster away like a shot and Kranz around Griffin for 2nd at JSKC on lap 1. Griffin then turned it around in the Dipper and dropped to last, meanwhile Kranz and Alabaster put on a great show out front, swapping the lead a number of times in the opening laps – eventually Alabaster pulled clear and he and Kranz had worked well clear from the rest of the pack who were led by Hunt, then O’Connor, Gillick and rounding up the rear, Griffin. Alabaster and Kranz were smashing out the laps up front, and never more than a couple of kart lengths apart – a great display by both drivers. Finally Alabaster was the one who blinked and backed it in at Canteen corner to lose the lead – he got going again, but well back in 2nd. Kranz over the line 1st, then Alabaster and Hunt well back in 3rd.

Kranz soon through to the lead here and shot clear from Alabaster – Kranz and the wet weather looked to be good mates. Behind Alabaster were Gillick, Griffin, O’Connor, and Hunt – after executing a spectacular spin on Lap 1 – was last. The wetter the better for Kranz as he pulled even further clear, meanwhile they spun and pirouetted further back, although Alabaster a consistent 2nd at least. Kranz took the chequered in the end.

The heavens absolutely opened as they rolled out the gate for Heat 3 – cubic rain falling out of the sky as Kranz went to the lead from Alabaster. Hunt was a distant 3rd and then Griffin, until Griffin took a trip into the mud at JSKC and went out. By halfway Kranz was holding a good lead but Alabaster not completely out of it as he worked away on catching the leader – these 2 well ahead of the rest though. In the end Kranz did it pretty easily from Alabaster – a good job in atrocious conditions.

All Points: 1. Kranz 2. Alabaster 3. Hunt

Sportsman Restricted Light

J. Westaway way and to a good lead from a bunch of karts that took a lap or so to sort themselves out and when they did it was R. Barnes then Carless through from 9th to 3rd, then another gap back to A. Westaway, Moreno and J. Barnes. J. Westaway miles ahead in the lead but Carless was upping the pressure on R. Barnes for 2nd. J. Westaway in a canter in the end and Carless not quite able to catch R. Barnes who took 2nd.

Carless off Pole and to the lead with J. Westaway close behind, well clear of J. Barnes then Moreno and Hutchinson. Carless was not pulling away – J. Westaway was keeping him well in sight – maybe half a dozen kart lengths as the race unfolded. By lap 7 they were right on each other – dicing at every corner until Carless ran wide exiting the Grid Hairpin and had a bath at the edge of the track, giving J. Westaway a bit of a break. In the end Carless was closing but couldn’t catch him and J. Westaway took the win.

Carless and J. Westaway again the front pair here and cleared out on the rest who were led by Moreno and then R. Barnes. A race of 2 pairs really – Carless leading Westaway and Moreno leading J. Barnes, then the rest of the field spread out behind them. Then with 4 to go J. Westaway got under Carless and went to a slender lead, but only for a few laps as he went too deep at JSKC and let Carless back under him – J. Barnes had also gotten under Moreno and then J. Westaway spun at Grid Hairpin and although he didn’t lose a place, he lost Carless who could now drive off to an easy win.

All Points: 1. J. Westaway 2. Carless  3. Moreno

Junior Clubman

Cameron to the lead here with O’Keefe right on his hammer, then a gap back to Frencham, Lewis and Griffin – that’s the whole field this month. Then disaster for the leaders as Cameron spun into the Carousel and O’Keefe collected him, taking both of them out. This handed Frencham the lead and Griffin and Lewis slotted in behind him. As the laps wound down not much changed – Frencham the winner in the end.

O’Keefe away well in Heat 2 then Lewis, with Cameron right behind him until a lap or 2 later when Cameron went through to 2nd, but O’Keefe was well clear by now and looked cruisy out front. The longer it went the more they seemed to spread out and O’Keefe did it easy in the end.

O’Keefe shot to the front as Lewis and Frencham tangled into the Dipper and went out, so only 3 left – O’Keefe, Cameron and Griffin. By halfway Cameron had gained on O’Keefe – sometimes right on his crash bar, but didn’t look like making a move – he just couldn’t get to that sweet spot to have a crack. Finally with 2 to go Cameron squeezed past at Grid Hairpin and O’Keefe had the job ahead of him now – but Cameron smooth and steady, held on as the rain tumbled down yet again and crossed first only a whisker ahead of O’Keefe then a gap back to Griffin

All Points: 1. Cameron  2. O’Keefe 3. Frencham

Sportsman Restricted Heavy

McCutcheon and Payne the front 2 for a lap or so until Payne went around at the Carousel and rejoined in last. This handed 2nd to Gigis and O’Keefe was doing well to have moved through to 3rd, then Seward and Todd. McCutcheon was moving well clear in the lead, Gigis also clear in 2nd until the closing laps where Seward gained in 3rd, but McCutcheon a comfortable winner and Seward snuck through for 2nd ahead of Gigis

Payne and Gigis the major combatants here, a gap to Seward and McCutcheon, but Payne looked to have things under control. He looked good until the last lap when Seward snuck through again and took the win – a great drive from 9th – Gigis in 3rd.

McCutcheon away and to the lead, then Gigis, Payne and Todd as the Feature Class commenced the 12 lap final. Seward was the one to watch, the P Plater clearly not on his first outing as he worked through from 9th to be 4th with 8 to go then got under Payne for 3rd at Tony Kart when Payne took a bath in the puddle on the inside of the track. Now Seward had Gigis in his sights in 2nd then got him at the Carousel a lap later, while Todd retired with a flat tyre. So, McCutcheon now the target for Seward – 5 to go and he looked a good chance to catch him; Payne and Gigis battling for 3 and 4 behind him. While Seward looked good, McCutcheon looked secure as they began the last couple of laps. Then Seward closed rapidly and got under McCutcheon at the Carousel on the last lap to take the win with Payne in 3rd.

Final: 1. Seward  2. McCutcheon 3. Payne