2015 Victorian State Kart Championships

Day 2 of the VSK Championship got going with a chilly start, a beautiful sunrise, and the promise of a good day ahead. We began with Heat 2 of Junior National Light – the report that follows is in class order.

Restricted 125 Light

Flood off to a great start as Winter went around at JSKC to lose 2nd place, Jordan Rae into 2nd as a result, then Brock Rae, but Chong got through on him to take 3rd by lap 5, meanwhile Flood was streaking away in the lead. Flood went on to take the win, while Chong was pressuring J. Rae for 2nd after working his way through following a shocker yesterday, and just failed to get past J. Rae as they crossed the line.

Flood and J. Rae then Winter and B. Rae and that’s the way they went around in the opening laps. Flood drew clear in the lead but behind him Winter and J. Rae were engaged in a battle, Winter getting the better of it early on, behind them, but well behind, was Scanlan and B. Rae. Flood was pulling further away as each lap counted down and it would take a disaster for him not to win. No disaster befell Flood, but J. Rae got under Winter with a couple to go, but Winter back again at JSKC and took 2nd back as they started the last lap and he went on to take 2nd, then J. Rae, both behind Flood.

TAG 125 Light

After Marsh-Stepney led them away it was Hawkes who got through to the lead, O’Keefe in 3rd then M. Carless and Kinens, Walter & Thomas. Halfway in and Hawkes was still leading but by no means pulling clear, March-Stepney and Carless right on his crash bar, then a gap to O’Keeffe and Kinens, but all the action was going to come from the front 3. Carless into 2nd with 2 to go at JSKC; this gave Hawkes a slight gap which he made the most of and he took the win.

Wow!  All happening at the start of the Final – 2 karts through the cut through at JSKC lap 1 and as they tried to find their place in the field, a spectacular collision as both of them ran into each other – a spin from Carless and he eventually got going again rear of field. Who knows what else happened as the first few laps went a bit crazy and eventually a red flag had to be called as Jamie Westaway ended up in the tyres into the Carousel. So, a restart with 15 laps to complete and M. Carless led them away in single file, behind him Kinens, Marsh-Stepney, Walter and then Hawkes, and at the green M. Carless lost, then regained the lead, Kinens 2nd, Marsh-Stepney, Walter and Mackay behind them. A few laps later Walter and Edwards came together at Tony Kart which saw Walter out, while Edwards rejoined in last, L for him. Carless by now was working clear, Kinens and Marsh-Stepney a little way back in 2nd and 3rd. 5 to go and all interest centred on whether Marsh-Stepney could grab 2nd from Kinens, Carless looked safe out front. Safe he was and took the win, Kinens hung on for 2nd, Marsh-Stepney home in 3rd.

Restricted 125 Heavy

A technical glitch with the timing meant I missed most of Heat 3 but Morrow took the win ahead of Gigis and Szysz, O’Connor and Martin behind them.

The Final of R125 Heavy was held while we sorted out the restart of TAG Light and Morrow and Gigis led them away with Morrow getting the upper hand, Gigis, then Martin, O’Connor, Szysz, Sherlock, Jenkin as they settled down. Morrow and Gigis battled away for a number of laps, Gigis close but not able to find a way past. With 7 to go maybe a seize from Morrow who ended up stationary in front of the lap scorers box which handed Gigis the lead and a handy lead at that, so he was now clear of Martin and Szysz, Sherlock and O’Connor behind them. At the flag it was Gigis, Martin, then Szysz just ahead of Sherlock for 3rd.

X30 Light

Within a lap Sera and Rochford had managed a gap on the field, L. Nicolaou and Willison the next pair, then J. Nicolaou, Rethus and Feast. Lap 3 and Rochford pinches the lead and works his way away from Sera who is now back in the clutches of L. Nicolaou. By halfway Rochford was maybe a second clear and Sera also clear of L. Nicolaou. Sera then set about reeling Rochford in – a tenth a lap better, but laps might run out.  With 2 to go, the challenge would have to be on the last lap as Sera was still some way back, and a lap later he was still a way off Rochford so it looked unlikely there would be any change – no change was the order of the day as Rochford took the win ahead of Sera and L. Nicolaou.

A crash in the Starter’s Box (involving my laptop) saw me lose the first half of my report on the X30 Light final, but Sera led for most of it while L. Nicolaou had an early go at Rochford which dropped them both back in 2nd and 3rd. L. Nicolaou then set about catching Sera and looked like he might have the pace to gradually reel him in, the gap back to 4/10ths with 6 to go. A lap later he was another tenth closer – Sera was going to have some work to do. 3 to go and both do an identical lap time to the 1/1000th;  a 39:919 for both L. Nicolaou and Sera – time running out for L. Nicolaou to catch him. Last lap – or so we thought – and Sera just holding on, but the chequered flag was still a lap away! Disaster for L. Nicolaou who eased off appearing to think the race was over and Rochford went through to take 2nd, Sera an easy win, but not the way you want to see such a close contest decided.

TAG 125 Heavy

Hindle again off ahead of King, with Aitken and Carless behind them, then Lawrence and Westaway. From there it turned into a bit of a procession as all the karts gradually drew away from each other, Hindle a few lengths clear in the lead. With 4 to go King looked to be closing in on Hindle – would he get near enough to have a look? Although he got even closer as the laps counted down, Hindle took the win in the end.

Hindle and King the front pair here and King got the better of the start, Hindle slots into 2nd, a gap back to Carless, then Seward and Lawrence, then Aitken who had dropped well back from his 3rd place starting position. King continued on ahead of Hindle, Carless still back in 3rd as the laps counted down, and count down they did with very little change to the order of things – King the winner, Hindle 2nd, then Carless

Clubman Light

Francis, Sera, J. Nicolaou, and Appleby formed a tight group at the front as Clubman Light got underway, Francis holding a narrow lead as Sera piled on the pressure and eventually got through to the lead, the order unchanged behind him. Halfway and Sera and Francis were pulling clear, still glued together and looking racy. 5 to go and Francis under Sera at James’ corner, but Sera back at him on the way out and re took the lead. Sera looked like he had had enough of dicing and now began to pull away, Francis dropping back, but clear of Appleby and Nicolaou in 3 and 4, behind them North, McLean, Ingham and Cornfoot. At the flag Sera in a gallop with Francis 6/10ths behind.

Sera and Francis off the front row and a brave attempt to hang on around the outside by Francis at the green but Sera up to the task and held the lead, Nicolaou next, then McLean moving up from 6th, Ingham and North behind them, but the front 2 of Sera and Francis was where the action was, and the speed, as they pulled out ahead of the rest. From then on things settled down to a bit of a procession, 4/10ths between 1st and 2nd, then a gap back to Nicolaou in 3rd, McLean, North, Ingham, Appleby. With 8 to go McLean and North swapped spots, but otherwise no chan,ge. Shortly after the chequered flag greeted Sera, then Francis, then Nicolaou as Clubman Light reached its conclusion.

Clubman Heavy

Nicolaou went to a good lead here with Luciani well back in 2nd and Slits right on his hammer and Smith there too. With 4 to go no one was going to catch Nicolaou, but the next 3 were having a huge stoush – Slits into 2nd, Smith with him as Luciani went back to 4th. Smith then turned the blow torch on Slits, but a lap or 2 later Luciani was right back on Smith – how would this end? Smith and Luciani would go through at JSKC on Slits – now Luciani having a go at Smith as Slits dropped back in 4th. Nicolaou across the line and took the win, Smith and Luciani, then Slits.

Nicolaou ahead of Luciani, Smith and Reynolds, then Slits and Thomas, Bonacci bringing up the rear and Nicolaou got away after a few laps, Luciani, Smith and Reynolds a gaggle back in 2nd – 4th. After close racing all weekend in Clubman Heavy we finally looked to have a clear leader in Nicolaou, the action was further back as Reynolds threatened Smith for 3rd, Luciani getting clear in 2nd. Many laps later they crossed the line in this same order.

Junior National Light

Heat 2 for Junior Light was the first race of the day and they were out the gate and anxious to get going as Mouzouris led them away. He was followed by Arnett and Caruso, then Beninca and Best, but as the laps rolled by they were following from a greater distance as Mouzouris pulled away. Arnett also pulled clear in 2nd but wasn’t likely to catch Mouzouris; Caruso followed him in 3rd, then Best, Beninca, Schembri and Pancione. At the end Mouzouris and easy winner.

Arnett got ahead of Mouzouris – probably the first time Mouzouris hasn’t led all weekend, then Sinni in 3rd, Smith, Best and Beninca queued up behind them as Caruso looped it on lap 1 at the Dipper and wobbled back to the grid with a bent axle. After 3 Mouzouris got back to his usual position in the lead, Arnett and Sinni close behind him. Beninca moved into 4th by halfway and still Best, Smith and Clemente behind him, but Beninca working his way through and passed Sinni to take 3rd a lap later. Then Sinni got tangled up with karts behind him and the upshot was he found himself back in 7th. Meanwhile Mouzouris and Arnett had pulled clear out front and Mouzouris went on to win, Arnett, then Beninca well back in 3rd ahead of Best.

So the Final begins for Junior Light, and as he had done almost all weekend, Mouzouris off to a good start ahead of Arnett, Caruso, Beninca, Smith and Sinni, then Caruso unfortunate to lose a side pod in the Dipper, so meatball flag for him. Mouzouris went on with the job though and increased his lead on Arnett, Beninca pedalling hard behind them in 3rd. While Mouzouris was clearing out, spot fires were breaking out back in the field; Best on Sinni, Beninca looking like he would threaten Arnett, Clemente and Schembri locked in battle as well. 8 to go and Arnett passed by Beninca, Smith and Best behind this pair in 4th and 5th, but Mouzouris continued to power away in the lead. Then Beninca and Arnett boxed on with Best and Smith joining in, but Arnett from rooster to feather duster as he spun at high speed through Arrow corner and faced the oncoming field for a few heart stopping seconds, then got going again in last – the order now Mouzouris, Beninca, Best, Smith and Sinni.  From here, other than Sinni getting under Smith, they ran unchanged to the flag – Mouzouris dominating all weekend.

Cadet 9

Woods and Thomson away again – a carbon copy of yesterday in Cadets 9, then in a race made up of pairs it was Hortis & Lawson, Rice & Russell then Potter & Johnstone. The front 2 went away with it in the end – no passing, but Thomson hot on the tail of Woods, who held on for the win.

Heat 3 here for Cadet 9 and Woods jumped by Thomson this time to go to 2nd, Hortis and Rice, then Lawson and Russell behind them. Again Thomson and Woods wheeled away from the crowd, but would we see any passing? Thomson looked pretty good; didn’t exactly pull clear of Woods, just kept far enough ahead that no passing opportunity presented itself. Finally with 6 to go Woods got a good run on the straight and took Thomson at JSKC – but he didn’t pull clear either; Thomson stayed on his crash bar, so pretty evenly matched were these two. Woods held on to take the win from Thomson, Hortis and Lawson well back in 3 and 4.

Again Thomson and Woods off the front and away at the green, Hortis and Lawson again behind them – every race looks the same with these guys! So would Woods manage to get back past Thomson? Would these 2 pull away from the rest? Would Hortis and Lawson stay locked together in 3rd and 4th? Yes, maybe and probably, I think were the answers, as Woods did go to the lead a few laps later, Lawson got through to 3rd, and it became a race of pairs again. By about halfway Lawson had moved into a clear 3rd place, but there was no splitting the leaders as Woods and Thompson went around as one kart. Despite being so closely matched, there was no passing – Thomson continued to trail Woods, while Lawson had a lonely race now in 3rd. Finally the chequered flag emerged to greet Woods who led Thomson across the line by a whisker, Lawson back in 3rd.

Junior National Heavy

Donald and Alger then Fallon and Woollard, and Donald a good job to lead them away, but quite a train developed behind him as the Junior Heavy field didn’t spread out but remained fairly tightly bunched. By lap 5 Donald had managed to pull out a lead, Alger also on his own in 2nd, then Fallon, and D’Alia coming through to 4th. While Fallon closed up on Alger in 2nd, no such troubles befell Donald who drove away to victory while Fallon and Alger duked it out until Fallon ran wide into the Carousel and onto the wet grass – lost all his momentum allowing Alger to power away for 2nd, and D’Alia and Doria both snuck through to take 3 and 4.

Donald and Fallon, Alger and D’Alia as Junior Heavy Heat 3 commenced, and soon a spread out field presented itself to the crowd, Doria in 5th, Woolard 6th and McLean in 7th – all karts in the top 8 or so roughly equidistant, so not the most riveting race you’ll see. Halfway and Alger had gained on Fallon, so a battle for 2nd looked likely, but Donald now gone out front. 5 to go and Alger got under Fallon, D’Alia and Doria now joining onto this group to bring some excitement to proceedings. 3 to go and D’Alia and Doria went under Fallon at Tony Kart turn, Fallon going off and rejoining several lengths behind, but Donald so far in front he wasn’t troubled by all this and took the win; Alger 2nd then D’Alia and Fallon who regained 1 spot ahead of Doria.

Donald and Alger, D’Alia and Fallon, Doria and Woollard the front 6 as they belted out the first few laps. Then they settled down, Donald and Alger drew away from the pack, Fallon the best of the rest, then D’Alia, Woollard and Doria, and then a big gap back to the remainder of the field. Many laps later Donald was pulling even further away, Alger in 2nd, closely followed by Fallon, D’Alia and Woollard, Doria now dropping off in 6th. 6 to go and Alger and Fallon livened things up by passing each other a few times, and then D’Alia and Woollard joined in – Alger the big loser dropping back to 5th. None of this troubled Donald who streaked even further clear – the interest lay in who would fill the minors: in the end a number of narrow lines by all contenders saw them hold station and cross the line well behind Donald in the same order. I was later told that Donald broke the lap record for Junior Heavy, so well done to him if this proves to be so – he certainly dominated proceedings today.

Cadet 12

Hanson and Webster the front 2 after a few settling laps, Allen filled 3rd and Harvey 4th, then Harper and Harris, Upiter, another Harris, then Hocking (every second karter seemed to have a name beginning with “H”!!). By halfway Hanson and Webster had cleared out, only a tenth between them, but over a second clear of Allen in 3rd and they powered away. Meanwhile, all eyes on the front 2 to see if Webster could have a look for the lead. While he was close, he wasn’t able to challenge and Hanson took the chequered flag.

The Cadet 12 train departed the station for Heat 3 with Hanson and Allen out front, Webster and Harper, then Mann and Gower as they all made it around the first couple of laps. Despite the big field there wasn’t lots happening – at least in the front group as Hanson held sway, Allen dropping back to have Webster on his numberplate and Mann not a million miles further back in 4th. Around and around they went – all close together, and apart from Mann going through under Allen for 3rd no moves were made and Hanson took the win.

And so the Final gets underway and Hanson and Allen led them around, Webster and Gower, then Harris and Hocking behind them. Despite lots of changes behind him, Hanson continued to lead, Webster now 2nd, Allen, Gower, Harris, Harvey, Harper (all the “H’s” again!), Domaschenz, Hocking, Bailey and Upiter followed him around. 9 to go and Webster goes under Hanson to take the lead at JSKC so a change in the complexion of this race, but Hanson didn’t just go away, he kept on at Webster, but then suddenly Allen and Gower went through on Hanson in the Dipper. So the front 4 were locked in close battle, but Webster continued to lead them around. That was until with 5 to go a reshuffle at JSKC and the order was Allen, Gower, Hanson, Webster. So they continued for a few more laps – all the pressure on Allen with Gower all over him, but Allen up to the job and saw out a couple of frantic last laps to hold on for the win, Gower and Hanson behind him. A subsequent disqualification for Allen on a technicality of some sort meant Gower, Hanson & Webster were the top 3 in Cadets 12.

Junior Clubman

Hollis took all before him at the start with Fallon through in 2nd and before long Fallon had reeled him in, but these 2 pulled clear of Cameron who was in a lonely 3rd, then Carr back in 4th. With 4 to go Fallon had gotten through on Hollis and Cameron was now looming in the background in 3rd. Hollis back under for the lead at JSKC as they began the 3rd last lap. Fallon got him again at the same spot a lap later, so all happening here! This dropped Hollis back into the clutches of Cameron, Fallon now a gap in the lead and held it to the line, Hollis then Cameron behind him.

Fallon off pole for Heat 3 and got the lead ahead of Hollis and Cameron, then Cameron into 2nd soon after, Carr 4th and D’Alia 5th. 3 laps in and Hollis back to 2nd and took it up to Fallon – with a couple to go Hollis had a go under Fallon, but Fallon good enough to get back at him. Last lap and Hollis another go but this time too ambitious around the outside and Fallon got the lead back while Hollis dropped to 3rd, Cameron between them.

Cameron of 2nd but got the jump on pole sitter Fallon to take the lead, Hollis through with him, but 2nd lap Hollis through on Cameron in the Dipper to take the lead, Fallon in 3rd, Carr 4th then D’Alia 5th. They belted out a few fast laps and settled into a rhythm, Hollis and Cameron just easing clear of Fallon. Then Cameron back to the lead at JSKC and Fallon now right on the back of this pair. With 10 to go Cameron and Hollis were as one, Fallon now slipping back a bit, but the front 2 putting on a fabulous show, both high quality competitors on a rubbered in track – karts looking settled and smooth. Then ever so slowly Fallon rejoined, so now a trio – 7 to go. Carr and D’Alia put on a good tussle too for 4th and 5th, but were well behind the front group who still went around almost as one.  Hollis perhaps biding his time – Fallon not threatening and no need to upset the rhythm by trying to dice with Cameron, but Cameron up to the job and held the lead with only 1/100th between their  times. 3 to go and Fallon was out of it in 3rd – the winner would come from Cameron or Hollis. One to go and Hollis does the job at grid hairpin, then Cameron went back at him at JSKC and the move didn’t stick in spectacular fashion as he shot into the catch trap, leaving Hollis to cruise to the win, Fallon thus 2nd and Carr in 3rd. Bad luck for Cameron – from my view nothing in it, but a move that just didn’t come off, and Hollis went on to win.