The Griffiths Report November Club Day 2014

Oakleigh was bathed in magnificent spring sunshine as we rolled up for the last Club Day of the year. As usual during the daylight savings months we run this Club Day as a day nighter on Saturday and it looked like being a beauty. With all the changes going on in karting, it may be the last time we see a number of these classes and engines in action – who knows what’s in store for 2015? For now though, it was all about today


20141129ROOK019Hamish Allan off pole and to the lead ahead of Jett Blumeris and Michael Horner, Antonio Mastroianni and Callum Potter. Allan pulled away as the laps rolled by and while the group behind him threatened to put on a show, nothing much eventuated and the order was unchanged at the flag except that Blumeris was caught behind a lapped kart on the line and dropped to 3rd, Horner getting through to 2nd.

Angus Baddeley-Thompson away from 2nd ahead of Pole man Ethan Church then Callum Potter and Mitchell McGovern, Heat 1 winner Allan unlucky to expire on the start line before the race got underway. Baddeley-Thompson pulled well clear and Church was driving a lonely race in 2nd and McGovern laboured away in 3rd ahead of a tighter group consisting of Horner, Potter and Mastroianni. Eventually Horner started applying the blowtorch to McGovern but Baddeley-Thompson and Church looked safe in 1 and 2. Horner got around McGovern in the end but no changes up front.

Baddeley-Thompson away best ahead of Horner as we began under lights, Mastroianni 3rd, but pulled in on lap 1 with a problem – not a happy way to end the day. After 3 laps Baddeley-Thompson was so far gone it looked over, Horner led a much tighter bunch ahead of Blumeris, Allan, Church and McGovern. A few laps later and Allan moved into 2nd, then Church started to gain until a tangle exiting the Dipper saw him facing the  wrong way and all over for him. So now Allan a clear run in 2nd, Horner also clear in 3rd, but Baddeley-Thompson all alone out front and going further away – a 10 second lead if you don’t mind, with 5 still to go! By now McGovern had moved through to 3rd and Horner was back in 4th, but all academic really as Baddeley-Thompson took an easy win

All Points Result: 1. Baddeley-Thompson 2. Horner 3. McGovern

Clubman Heavy / Clubman Super Heavy

20141129CHSH014Dylan Slits away to the lead of Heavy ahead of French  and Lane, but Lane quickly through to 2nd  and on Slits’ tail, while in Supers Bruce McLean came out of retirement and into the lead ahead of Darren Kemp and Simon Chase until Chase threw a chain and rolled to a halt coming out of the Dipper. Slits and Lane meanwhile had left French in their wake and Lane went through to the lead on lap 3, while McLean was holding off Kemp in Supers. With 5 to go Slits went back under Lane at Arrow corner, French well back, then a further gap to McLean who was still ahead of Kemp, but all the interest was really in Slits and Lane. A couple of laps later Slits had pulled a gap and looked like he would make it across the line in first with a couple of kart lengths to spare – and he did, ahead of Lane, then well back to French; McLean the winner in Supers ahead of Kemp.

Lane away in Heavy as Slits bogged down just as we went green, allowing French through to 2nd, while McLean and Kemp the only 2 Supers took off together, McLean in front until lap 2 where he found himself facing the wrong way at Tony Kart turn and out of the race, so Kemp all to himself now in Supers. Further up the road in Heavy Slits started work on reeling in Lane, having passed French a lap or 2 earlier. With 4 to go Slits got past Lane and went to the lead, so a good recovery from a crook start; Kemp leading a one horse race in Super Heavy and that’s the way they finished, Slits holding off some sustained pressure from Lane in the last 2 laps and Kemp a lonely Super further back.

20141129CHSH051Slits away well with Lane in Heavy and McLean shot to the front of Supers, passing French on the way. Lane and Slits proceeded to turn on a huge show of racing, dicing away lap after lap with never a touch or a rub, Lane getting the upper hand by halfway and leading by a kart length. Further back McLean was still leading Supers and French and Chase were all over the back of him, French getting past in the end to begin chasing his Heavy competitors further ahead. This brought Chase onto McLean, with Kemp further back in 3rd. Meanwhile out front it was still Lane just ahead of Slits – that is until 2 to go and Slits slides under Lane at JSKC, holds it for a lap and then sets out on his last lap, holding the lead to the line, while back in Supers Chase got under McLean at the Grid Hairpin last lap and led him across the line.

All Points Result Heavy: 1. Slits 2. Lane 3. French

All Points Result Super Heavy: 1. Kemp 2. McLean 3. Chase

Junior National Light

20141129JNL038Blake Kolar off Pole with Jake Harewood alongside him and Harewood pulled in before we even got underway with a problem of some sort – further back in the field National #1 Dylan Hollis stretching his legs at Oakleigh for the day and as we went green Hollis started moving through, passing Christian Pancione, John Doria and Benjamin D’Alia to go to 2nd within a lap, then to the lead ahead of Kolar a couple of laps later. By halfway Hollis was leading but hadn’t exactly driven away, Kolar shadowing him, then D’Alia a few lengths further back. With 3 to go Kolar was putting Hollis under the pump; green plate or not, Kolar and D’Alia have done plenty of laps here and weren’t to be dismissed. Hollis though was cool under pressure – as you would expect – and without going super negative just held the other 2 at bay to cross first, followed by Kolar and D’Alia, then Patrick Forrester and Pancione.

Forrester off pole this time with Clayton Richards, son of Steven and grandson of Jim, in what I believe would be one of his first races off P Plates beside him, and Hollis 3rd – and at the green Richards went wide and Hollis came through to 2nd and then to the lead at JSKC Corner, and proceeded to pull away from Forrester. Behind them Pancione was now 3rd, Kolar 4th, D’Alia 5th, so no shortage of talent in this field. With 3 to go Hollis still held the lead, but like Heat 1 he wasn’t streaking away – Forrester had him in sight only 7/10ths ahead, but Hollis looked safe if nothing untoward happened. Nothing untoward did happen and #1 crossed first, Forrester 2nd, Kolar 3rd.

Hollis off pole ahead of Kolar and Forrester, then D’Alia and Pancione, and they spread out in this order for a lap or 2 as things settled down. Hollis pulled away, but he was pulling Kolar along with him as the rest of the field dropped off maybe a fraction, Forrester still at the head of the rest. With 8 to go Kolar had closed right up on Hollis and was going to give the #1 a run for his money, further back Pancione had worked his way through to 3rd and led Forrester and D’Alia, a further gap back to Doria and Harewood. Halfway and Kolar under Hollis at MKC, but only for a second as Hollis got him back at JSKC. So as we were, but Kolar was looking like he would threaten again. Back in the field D’Alia now 3rd, Pancione and Forrester all over each other, while Kolar kept applying pressure to Hollis. 2 to go and Kolar back under Hollis at MKC, but you can’t see Hollis giving up. D’Alia meanwhile had pulled clear in 3rd, so time to concentrate on the front pair, where Hollis squeezed through at Arrow as they began the last lap – half a lap later he had a gap and could keep on the attack and lead Kolar across the line, then D’Alia. A great race from the front pair, and the rest put up a good battle between themselves.

All Points Result: 1. Hollis 2. Kolar 3. D’Alia

TAG 125 Light

20141129TaGL013Daniel Griffin graduating to Seniors and off pole ahead of Zackery Cerato, but Tim Edwards was the man on the move, through to the lead on Lap 2 as Vern Kranz, who had a problem just as the light went green, pulled into the in grid and retired. Shane Kovacs now through to 3rd as Cerato dropped back, Nicholas Flodstrom and Andrew Sotiropolous behind him, but out front Edwards was gone, over a second clear after 5 laps. Thus he continued for the rest of the race, while Griffin looked like he might fall back into the clutches of Kovacs, but didn’t quite and held on for 2nd.

Sotiropolous off Pole for Heat 2 but Edwards away best and to the lead, Kovacs through to 2nd after a lap, Flodstrom back in 4th then Cerato and Griffin followed by Kranz. In something of a procession from there on Edwards led and went away, those that followed didn’t change order much until Flodstrom dropped back with maybe a problem, and while Sotiropolous pressured Kovacs occasionally, and Griffin had a wild slide past Cerato on the last lap, from which Cerato quickly crossed back, Edwards went on to record an easy victory.

Edwards off Pole and to the lead, Kovacs then Griffin, Sotiropolous then Cerato, as the darkness really started to descend. Edwards was well clear within 3 laps and Kovacs had pulled a small gap too as Sotiropolous moved into 3rd ahead of Griffin. While they were pretty evenly matched from then on, not much happened – Edwards was comfortable out front and Kovacs the same in 2nd – maybe Sotiropolous and Griffin would put on a show – but ultimately they all just went around and around until the chequered flag was waved, Edwards the victor.

All Points Result: 1. Edwards 2. Kovacs 3. Griffin


20141129CAD048Austin Blanchard off pole with Joshua Hocking and Hocking the better start as Blanchard dropped back, Braydon Callaghan into 2nd, then Damon Woods, Kristian Mastroianni and Jai Stephenson through from 10th. Callaghan to the lead by Lap 3, then Hocking, Woods and Mastroianni. By halfway Callaghan had worked his way to a comfortable lead, but the bunch behind him was more of an angry pack: now Stephenson at the head of them, Woods, Mastroianni, Hocking, Kobi Williams and Kai Upiter in a line behind him. In the end Callaghan cruised across the line, a gap back to Stephenson, then a smaller gap back to Woods and Mastroianni.

After a confusing couple of non starts, we got going and Callaghan worked his way to the front again and pulled away to a big lead ahead of a good bunch fighting for 2nd – 5th , led by Mastroianni, then Hocking, Upiter, Woods. With 3 to go Hocking led this group ahead of Upiter, then a gap to Mastroianni and Woods, but no one was catching Callaghan. Upiter meanwhile moved into 2nd as Hocking went narrow and that’s how they crossed the line.

Woods through from 2nd at the green as Callaghan dropped a spot, then Mastroianni, Upiter and Hocking as lap 1 was crossed off, but Hocking and Williams then got caught up with each other at JSKC and went out. Woods continued to lead as Callaghan had a couple of unsuccessful looks at him and Mastroianni gained ground in 3rd . 7 to go and Callaghan right on the crashbar of Woods’ kart but no move did he make – at least not until he arrived at the Dipper, but Woods promptly back under Callaghan on the way out, so as you were. Then Callaghan another look at Arrow and with 2 wheels on the grass still didn’t get past as Woods held on – great view of all this for Mastroianni in 3rd. Finally Callaghan gets under Woods at MKC and put a kart length between them, but  a couple of laps later Woods is right back on him, like some never-give-up go kart kind of guy and these 2 pull away from Mastroianni. 2 to go and a great finish coming up…stand by!  For the whole 2 laps Woods pressured Callaghan and neither blinked, nor made a rash move and at the line Callaghan held on by 8/100ths in a fabulous display by the pair – well done to them both.

All Points Result: 1. Callaghan 2. Woods 3. Mastroianni

Sportsman Restricted Heavy

20141129SRH060Rafe Todd off Pole and away ahead of William Hewitt, then Wayne Deluca and Peter Gigis through from P7, then Gigis through to 3rd a lap later so he was on the move. Lap 5 and Gigis through to 2nd and putting Todd under pressure, Hewitt now close behind in 3rd. Sure enough Gigis got past Todd a lap later and pulled small gap, while Simon Chase closed up on Todd and Hewitt in 4th. Soon after Chase was through to 3rd, but Gigis had disappeared out front and looked like taking an easy victory – which he did ahead of Chase, Todd and Hewitt.

Trevor Payne and Joshua O’Connor off the front row and away, with heat 1 winner Gigis soon looming in their mirrors in 3rd as these 3 pulled away from the rest, who were led by Tim Martin, then Simon Chase and Jarrad Church. O’Connor got to the lead a lap or 2 in and left Gigis and Payne squabbling for 2nd and 3rd, Martin and Chase now joining in on the back of them while O’Connor drove away. Eventually Gigis got clear and had his sights set on O’Connor – lap after lap he slowly reeled him in until on Lap 8 he got past, but not for long as O’Connor went back under him, so now these 2 were going to start duelling – and before long Chase was living up to his name and joined the front 2, as did Payne and Martin – a train of 5 with 3 laps left! Gigis darted left and right looking for a way past, but now had to be mindful of those behind him, O’Connor kept a level head out front – then they were 3 as Martin and Payne dropped off leaving Chase in 3rd, Gigis 2nd and O’Connor still fractionally in the lead. Finally Gigis a brave move at MKC with the last lap about to commence, then Chase stuck it under O’Connor at JSKC to put him back to 4th as he ran wide on the exit allowing Martin through as well and that’s how they finished: Gigis, Chase, Martin then O’Connor.

Gigis and Chase the front row here and at the green it was Gigis, then Chase, O’Connor, Todd and Payne – the track now well and truly in darkness as they powered around. These 5 filed their way around for a number of laps without change – in fact a number of laps turned into half the race. They weren’t far apart; just that no one was putting on any moves. The front 3 eventually pulled clear but it was still Gigis, Chase and O’Connor – now a gap to Todd, Payne and Dorning. Unbelievably the second half of the race saw no change in the order either, although Chase had a few looks at Gigis and Payne looked like he might have a go at Todd, but nothing changed until O’Connor expired at JSKC as they started the last lap, so Gigis, Chase and Todd your top 3.

All Points Result: 1. Gigis 2. Chase  3.Todd

Clubman Light / Clubman Medium

20141129CLCM024Fred Khan and Geoff O’Connell the 2 Lights that weren’t on P Plates, then Thomas French in Medium, then Light P Platers James Di Venere and Edward Power, then Medium P Plater Marcus Battistella (got all that?) and as we went green Khan went away, O’Connell dropping back, then French in a race all of his own, then the rest. Khan was cruising clear of O’Connell, while Di Venere (the Light P Plater) was looking to go around French. In the end Khan led O’Connell across the line and French prevailed in Medium.

Khan and O’Connell off again in Light, then French in Medium, then the P Platers as they settled for the run. In a pretty uneventful race not much else happened and that’s how they crossed the line.

20141129CLCM025O’Connell got the jump this time from Khan as we began the Lights, and French all alone out front in Medium. After 4 laps Khan had recovered from his lacklustre start and moved back into the lead, and this looked like being as interesting as it gets in Clubman Light / Medium tonight. O’Connell did us a favour by not letting Khan drive away, but bit by bit he ground out a gap, meanwhile French was keeping the Light P platers at bay, Di Venere though not letting French have it all his own way and had a couple of looks when he got close enough. Finally with 2 to go Di Venere went under French at JSKC and held his spot to the line – Khan and O’Connell already home in Light.

All Points Result Clubman Light: 1. Khan 2. O’Connell 3. Di Venere

All Points Result Clubman Medium: 1. French 2. Battistella 3.

TAG 125 Heavy

20141129TaGH011Only the 4 of them this month: Mick Fisher, Brad Carless, Rhys Hunt and Vern Kranz the starting order for Heat 1 and Carless away best and through to the lead, but Kranz right on him a lap or 2 later, then a gap back to Hunt and another gap to Fisher. Whatever was wrong with Kranz in TAG Light was now fixed, as he went to the lead on lap 4 and pulled clear of Carless who was now dropping back into the arms of Hunt, Fisher still well back in 4th. Thereafter nothing changed and after short snooze we awoke to Kranz crossing the line first.

Kranz from Pole and into the lead, then Hunt, Carless and Fisher as we nodded off settled down to watch another enthralling race. 2 laps in and Fisher took over 3rd, relegating Carless to last but Kranz was gone and Hunt was nearly gone further up the road. Then Carless took 3rd back from Fisher as we inched closer to the edge or our seats up in the starter’s box. No need for alarm though – things settled back down from here on and Kranz cruised off into the sunset.

Kranz then Hunt, then Carless and Fisher, and the start order became the order on track. The most interesting thing that happened from then on was a large fireworks display off to the East of the track – somewhere down Springvale way perhaps – the usual assortment of reds, greens and blues, star bursts and showers, booms and bangs. A thousand startled dogs later, the order on the track remained unchanged and Kranz led them to the flag. Nothing wrong with the way these blokes raced, but 4 karts don’t provide much excitement, especially if they don’t pass each other very often! Bring on 2015!!

All Points Result: 1. Kranz 2. Hunt 3. Carless

Sportsman Restricted Light

20141129SRL028Justin Carless off Pole and away well with Domenic Pancione into 2nd ahead of Robert Barnes, Rory Spencer and Anthony Westaway. Barnes and Pancione disappeared towards the back of the field in an incident I didn’t see a lap or 2 later, giving Carless some breathing space and elevating Spencer and Jamie Westaway into 2nd and 3rd, with Brett Finnigan now 4th and Anthony Westaway behind him, then Bradley Winter and Mike Male. Carless continued in untroubled fashion to claim a victory in the end.

David Hutchinson and Edward Moreno off the front row and Hutchinson got the better of the rest as we went green, leading Bradley Winter around for lap 1, then a tangle at JSKC and Winter to the lead, James Barnes now 2nd, Moreno 3rd and Blair Brydon 4th as Hutchinson dropped back to 5th. 5 laps in and Winter still leads Barnes and Moreno, and with Brydon these 4 pull clear of the rest. With 4 to go Barnes was piling the pressure on Winter, and Moreno was watching it all unfold in 3rd. Despite getting perilously close on occasions, Barnes remained in 2nd as Winter with a cool head (sorry – didn’t even mean that one!) crossed the line victorious.

A clean start and Winter away well ahead of Carless, James Barnes, Anthony Westaway and Spencer as they circumnavigated the track for the first time. Winter and Carless waltzed away out front, James Barnes not a million miles back in 3rd, then a gap to Spencer. Lap 3 and Carless our leader after a pass at Arrow, James Barnes now right on the lead pair too. These 3 streaked away leaving Spencer, Anthony Westaway, Finnigan, Jamie Westaway, Travis Bird, Moreno and Robert Barnes strung out behind them. Lap 7 and Carless was in control and pulling clear, James Barnes right on the back of Winter in 3rd. 5 laps later, they crossed the line unchanged – Carless well clear and Winter held off James Barnes who couldn’t find the pace in the right sport to have a look.

All Points Result: 1. Carless 2. Winter 3. Barnes

Junior National Heavy

20141129JNH027Bryce Woollard the fastest qualifier in the first of the 2 feature classes ahead of Benjamin D’Alia, but D’Alia got him at the start and the 2 of them pulled clear of Daniel Frencham and Jacob Bell as the field spread out behind them: Lucas Filikotzias, Kain Kugimiya, Kyle Frencham and Eden Foik the next group. Woollard regained the upper hand a lap or 2 in and took the lead off D’Alia, and Bell moved into 3rd ahead of Filikotzias, then Daniel Frencham got under Filikotzias too relegating him to 5th. Meanwhile the D’Alia and Woollard show continued out front, Woollard the leader with 6 to go. D’Alia continued to shadow Woollard out front, while Bell and Daniel Frencham put on a ding dong battle for 3rd and 4th – in fact good battles all through the field in this race.  As the flag closed in, Woollard still led by the barest of margins (9/100ths), but hung on in the end while Bell moved into 3rd and took that place by only 7/100ths from Filikotzias.

Woollard again away off Pole as D’Alia dropped well back, I think pushed wide at Arrow as we went green, Daniel Frencham into 2nd, but not for long as Filikotzias moved through at Tony Kart to take up a position behind Woollard, then behind him were Bell, Foik, Daniel Frencham, Jayden Adolph and the recovering D’Alia. As the race went on Woollard and Filikotzias ground out a sizable lead, but remained locked together, with Bell some way back in 3rd, then another gap to Daniel Frencham and D’Alia. All eyes were on the front pair though as with 2 to go Filikotzias was on the jets and head down trying to get past Woollard, but Woollard equally determined to hang on and began threading his was around the circuit for the last time, holding a slender lead until Filikotzias got under him at Tony kart, then Woollard back past in the Carousel and went narrow from there to hold on by 1/10th with Bell 3rd.

Woollard the pole sitter for the Final but D’Alia and Bell got the better of him at the start as he dropped to 3rd, then Woollard and Kugimiya got through on Bell in a messy move in the Dipper, while D’Alia drove away out front. Not too far away though as Woollard started to find his feet and began reeling D’Alia in. Kugimiya and Bell close behind in 3 and 4, then Kyle Frencham, Adolph, Scanlan and Foik. 5 laps in and Woollard reclaimed the lead from D’Alia, Kugimiya also gaining in 3rd, but Bell dropping off a little in 4th behind them, although ready if the lead group started dicing I’m sure. They didn’t do much dicing as it turns out – just led around nose to tail for a number of laps: Woollard, D’Alia and Kugimiya still the order, Bell maybe a little closer as we got nearer to the conclusion. 3 to go and maybe things will hot up now: D’Alia looking racy and ranged right up behind Woollard; 1 to go and he couldn’t be any closer, have to be the Grid Hairpin, no. MKC? Arrow? No – we ran out of corners in the end and Woollard took the win, the order unchanged behind him.

Final Result: 1. Woollard 2. D’Alia 3. Kugimiya

TAG O’40

20141129TaG40s097Steve Griffin the fastest qualifier but Shane Alabaster away best, Griffin, then Bruce Smith, Robert Baldacchino, Adam Gillick and Chris O’Connor. As the laps rolled out Alabaster continued to lead but Griffin was closing and Smith was not a million miles behind either, these 3 looked like providing the action. Then with 4 to go disaster strikes Alabaster as he rolls through the cut through and into the In Grid, handing Griffin the lead and elevating Smith into 2nd, Baldacchino now 3rd and Gillick closing in 4th. Despite pressure from those behind him Griffin kept a coolish head and held on for a well deserved win.

A willing start to Heat 2 but Griffin held onto the lead, Alabaster into 2nd and Smith 3rd as they settled, but just as they looked like calm had settled over them, Griffin took an excursion across the grass at the Carousel and rejoined in 2nd, Alabaster now leading, Smith still 3rd, then Baldacchino and Gillick, and finally O’Connor. From there Alabaster went away and Griffin continued to fight away in 2nd, Smith bringing up 3rd. At the flag Alabaster saluted, Griffin and Smith behind him.

Griffin the last Pole man of the night and he and Smith took off ahead of Baldacchino, Alabaster then Gillick. A few laps in and the order was unchanged but the karts were close together so some good racing ahead perhaps – Alabaster looked particularly keen to pass Smith for 2nd but Griffin cool as a cucumber out front. Then things livened up as Smith gained on Griffin and Alabaster followed along for the ride – these 3 had pulled clear of Baldacchino and Gillick who were engaged in their own little battle. The front 3 seemed to be joined by an invisible rubber band, but no passing did they do until Alabaster got under Smith with 6 to go at the Grid Hairpin. So now Alabaster started pressuring Griffin – it looked like it would only be a matter of time, but Griffin kept his head and was still leading 3 laps later – then leading 4 laps later and sure enough he was still leading as they crossed the line – Alabaster a worthy 2nd, then Smith, so well done to Griffin who does so much around the Club and doesn’t get to race as often as he likes. Although he has won races before, I am told this is the first time he has climbed atop the #1 position at presentation – so well done Steve!

Final Result: 1. Griffin 2. Alabaster 3. Smith

And so another year of Oakleigh Club Days ends. My thanks to Ben Mouritz who did a great job with the track lights today, also to Andrew Daley from AKD photography who provides the pics you see each month, and much thanks should go to all the volunteers and folk who turn up each month to run Oakleigh’s Club Days. If we don’t see you at the Club Presentation Night, look forward to Junior Top Guns in January 2015!!