Southern City Classic 2015

Oakleigh’s Southern City Classic was condensed into a Saturday only meeting this year as we were able to combine a number of classes and get it all done in a day. Weather looked good; karters were lined up ready to get going, so after a few laps of practice we got things underway.

Junior Clubman

Simon Fallon off pole, and by my reckoning broke a long standing Lap record in Junior Clubman qualifying today. His 40.931 eclipsed none other than Dave Sera from back in 2004 who held it forever with 40.962, so well done to Fallon. Beside him was Benjamin D’Alia, then Christian Pancione and Joshua Thomas; these being  the  4 Junior Clubmans today and as we went green Fallon jumped to the lead. Within a few laps he had pulled clear of D’Alia who in turn was clear of Pancione and Thomas brought up the rear. Until lap 8 when Thomas dropped a chain, not much else happened and Fallon went on to record an easy win. Heat 2 and Fallon streaked away, D’Alia well back and then Pancione, Thomas another dropped chain to record another DNF – at least he’d have fresh tyres for the Final!

Pre Final and Fallon to the lead and much like the Heats D’Alia followed him, then Thomas and Pancione. Eventually Pancione moved ahead of Thomas who looked to have resolved his chain woes if nothing else, but Fallon was so far ahead he was in another race, D’Alia a lonely 2nd.

Finals time and Fallon away as he had been in all the previous Heats, D’Alia behind him, then Pancione, as Thomas unfortunately DNF’d on Lap 1, again in the same spot as both the Heats, so his fresh tyres were all for nought. Fallon took all before him to streak to an untroubled win.

All Points Result: 1. Fallon 2. D’Alia 3. Pancione

TAG 125 Light / TAG 125 Heavy

Michael Carless and Dylan O’Keeffe the front row in Light; Aron Lawrence, Ashley Seward, then Paul Maruszak the entire Heavy field further behind them and as Heat 1 went green Carless went away, and after a few laps was well away from the rest: O’Keefe, Daniel Edmonds and Tim Edwards, then Lawrence and Seward from Heavys working through the tail enders from Light.  Carless went further ahead, O’Keeffe followed, Lawrence first home in Heavy ahead of Seward. Heat 2 and again Carless off to a flyer, Seward, Edmonds, Edwards, Regan Clapham, Daniel Griffin and Alan Haynes behind him – then Lawrence and Seward started to again work their way through the slower Lights, but no one was catching Carless out front.  3 to go and Seward took over the lead in Heavy in a move that I missed, Lawrence now several kart lengths back in 2nd. At the flag Carless then O’Keefe, Seward then Lawrence.

O’Keefe away best ahead of Carless in Light, Lawrence ahead of Seward in Heavy. An off track excursion for Griffin on Lap 1 saw him retire after bruising a tyre bundle, while Carless and now Seward led Light and Heavy respectively and that’s the way they stayed.

O’Keeffe got the better of the start in the Final to lead Carless, until on lap 3 Carless got under him and took it back; in Heavy it was Seward who led Lawrence, Maruszak further back. Carless proceeded to drive away with it in Light, while Seward looked to have Lawrence’s measure in Heavy and in a race that lacked a lot in the way of action or excitement, that’s how they finished.

All Points Result – Light: 1. Carless 2. O’Keefe 3. Edmonds

All Points Result – Heavy: 1. Seward 2. Lawrence 3. Maruszak

Cadet 9 / Cadet 12

Will Harper and Beau Russell off the front of 9’s while Jay Hanson and Joshua Hocking led the 12’s away. Hanson, Hocking, Kacey Mann then Fletcher Harris led the 12’s while Harper was first of the 9’s – and it was pretty hard to keep track of the rest of the 9’s as they caught and passed the slower 12’s. Hanson then Mann looked to be going away with it in 12’s, although Hocking caught back up to Mann after dropping back early in the race. Meanwhile in 9’s Harper was so far in front it didn’t matter, I had lost track of the next 9 as he went on with the job. In the end Hanson took out 12’s and Harper 9’s. Heat 2 and Hanson again away well, Hocking again right with him, Mann then Kobi Williams and Hugh Barter next. In 9’s it was Harper again, then Russell and the rest I lost track of as they mingled with the slower 12’s. Halfway and Hocking to the lead at JSKC and pulled slightly clear of Hanson, Mann now right on his crashbar in 3rd, Williams and Barter not a million miles behind them either. At the flag Hocking held sway ahead of Mann who had overcome Hanson; Harper and Russell the first pair of the 9’s.

Hanson and Hocking off the front row of 12’s, Harper and Russell off the front of 9’s as we got the Pre Final underway. Hanson had grown an extra leg in the break and took off to a great lead early on; Barter, Hocking, Mann and Connor Davison in a group behind him. Harper was again leading the 9’s but halfway through the 12’s field so hard to keep track of where the rest were; I think Brodie Thompson and then Russell behind him. In 12’s eventually Hocking pulled clear of the pack to be a clear 2nd but was never going to catch Hanson who motored off into the afternoon sun to greet the finisher, Harper the leading Cadet 9 at the end.

Hanson away at the green in the Final of 12’s, Davison, Barter, Hocking and Mann queued up behind him, Harper again the quickest 9. Hanson then pulled away to build a handy lead as Davison also pulled clear in 2nd, and Harper was doing OK buried in a pack of 12’s somewhere. With 5 to go Hanson was not in any danger in the lead, but in 2nd Davison was under attack from Hocking, and Mann wasn’t out of it in 4th either, Harper still leading 9’s. Finally Hocking got under Davison in the Dipper with 2 to go, but Davison was looking to get back past and retake the spot – for 2 laps he followed Hocking around but the opportunity didn’t present itself and he had to settle for 3rd, Hanson already across the line for the win; Harper victorious in 9’s

All Points Result – Cadets 12: 1. Hanson 2. Hocking 3. Mann

All Points Result – Cadets 9: 1. Harper 2. Thompson 3. Russell

Junior National Light

Nathan Skelton, Angelo Mouzouris, Cory Arnett, Christian Pancione, Henry Johnstone and Nicholas Schembri the first 3 rows of Junior Light. Skelton swamped a bit at the start and Mouzouris took advantage of this to go to the lead, Pancione and Arnett behind him, then Skelton, Johnstone and Schembri. Mouzouris went right away in the end, Arnett through to 2nd, Pancione and Skelton close behind in 3 and 4. Heat 2 and again Skelton dropped off at the green a bit, allowing Mouzouris, Pancione and Arnett through ahead of him, then behind him was Schembri, Johnstone and Jaxson Cox, then Jai Sparey who had to work through from the back having not recorded a qualifying time, Angus Baddeley-Thompson and Jaylyn Robotham. Like Heat 1 Mouzouris went on with the job and took the win ahead of Arnett, although Arnett gained on him in the closing laps. Might be interesting over a longer race – we’ll see.

Arnett got the best of the start in the Pre Final and went ahead of Mouzouris, then Pancione and Cox, Skelton and Schembri. A couple of laps into things and Mouzouris was a little eager at the end of the straight and went straight when he should have turned, resulting in a drop down the order to 10th, so Arnett now a slightly lonely leader, Pancione back in 2nd then another gap to Skelton in 3rd and that’s how they finished, Mouzouris worked his way back to 6th.

Arnett away well as the Final began, Pancione with him, then Schembri, Skelton and Mouzouris who was looking to move forward from his 6th place start. Arnett had found a yard of pace and streaked away as the race unfolded leaving Pancione, Schembri, Skelton and Mouzouris to form a tight bunch well behind him for 2nd through 5th. As the laps wound down the tight bunch loosened up slightly, but no change in the order and Arnett still well off in the distance and that’s the way she finished.

All Points Result: 1. Arnett 2. Pancione 3. Mouzouris

Restricted 125 Light / Heavy

Hirotaka Chong and Lucas Filikotzias off the front in Light with Peter Gigis and Tim Martin the front row in Heavy, and as we got the green Filikotzias and Chong took off in Light while Gigis left Martin in his wake in Heavy. With 3 to go Chong was right on the back of Filikotzias but these 2 had cleared out on the rest of the field – who were led by P Plater Matt Loxton; showing a good turn of speed and maybe some previous karting experience? Meanwhile Gigis led Martin (and a few of the Lights) in Heavy and that’s how they finished. Heat 2 a carbon copy as Chong and Filikotzias shot off ahead of Jorja Ozimek and Jack Scanlan, then Tom Owen and Domenic Pancione. In Heavy it was Gigis only slightly clear of Martin, then Rafe Todd and a gap to Brett Jenkin. At the flag Chong had pulled clear to take Light from Filikotzias, and Gigis was always clear in Heavy to cross first.

This time Filikotzias got the best of Chong at the start of Light, Gigis still away best in Heavy, ahead of Todd and Martin. Other distractions prevented me from observing the first few laps, but Filikotzias and Chong were still hard at it around the halfway mark, Filikotzias eventually taking the win, Gigis a late race DNF in Heavy handing Todd the win there.

So Filikotzias and Chong at it again in Light and Filikotzias the upper hand at the start, Todd away in Heavy only just ahead of Martin, then Gavin Dorning and Kim Sherlock. Lap after lap Filikotzias and Chong duelled their way around the track, Chong always there but not able to make a move – Owen back in 3rd was well behind them, then David Hutchinson, Scanlan and Brett Finnigan, while in Heavy Todd led Martin (but not by much), then Sherlock, Dorning and Christopher Szysz. With 5 to go Chong had found the lead in Light and looked like he might be able to pull away ever so slightly, while Todd was a kart length clear of Martin in Heavy, or he was until Martin slid by at JSKC to take the lead with 2 to go. Chong now looked like he’d hold on in Light so attention turned to Heavy where Martin held on for the win, Chong having already saluted in Light.

All Points Result – Light: 1. Chong 2. Filikotzias 3. Hutchinson

All Points Result – Heavy: 1. Martin 2. Todd 3. Sherlock

Junior National Heavy

Bryce Woollard and Taine Venables, then Benjamin D’ Alia, John Doria and Simon Fallon, the whole field of Junior Heavy, and Woollard away cleanly as Venables dropped back to 3rd behind D’Alia, then further back as Doria got past him, but Venables recovered the spot to get back to 3rd, Fallon rounding out the rear. With 4 to go D’Alia slid by Woollard at JSKC to take over the lead, Fallon pulled in, so Venables and Doria 3 and 4 – and for a 4 kart race it was actually pretty good viewing. There wasn’t more than a couple of seconds between 1st and 4th, but D’Alia held the others at bay in the end to take the win. Heat 2 was a 4 kart affair with Fallon not appearing and Woollard again away ahead of D’Alia, Venables and Doria, and again a tight tussle in the opening laps. Thus they continued for a number of laps, then with 3 to go D’Alia squeezed past Woollard at JSKC and Doria had gotten ahead of Venables a few laps earlier, so all change. D’Alia now had it all to do to keep Woollard behind him. Woollard had a couple of looks for the lead and then an ill judged one at the Grid Hairpin where his lack of exit speed let Doria through to take 2nd. Then – last lap surprise, Doria went under D’Alia at the Grid Hairpin and took the lead, Woolard through to 2nd Ieaving D’Alia to cross 3rd.

Pre Final and D’Alia this time to the lead, then Woollard, Venables and Doria as Junior Heavy again provided some great racing considering it was only 4 karts. By halfway D’Alia had drawn slightly clear, then Woollard seemed to be dragged along with him, so these 2 had a slight gap, but it would only take a bit of dicing for Doria and Venables to be right back on them. 4 to go and Woollard had a big look at JSKC, dropping back as he decided maybe a whisker too late to pull out of it, so now D’Alia had a little gap, but before long it had evaporated as Woollard and now Doria closed in again. Out of the Dipper with 1 to go and Woollard squeezes past for the lead and now finds some pace to get a bit clear of D’Alia, Doria right on D’Alia in 3rd – then Doria has an awkward look in the Dipper and D’Alia drops to Last, while Venables grabs the opportunity and moves to 2nd! Unbelievable, as that’s how they cross the line.

Well done to Venables as he starts the Final by holding on around the outside to take the lead ahead of Woollard, then Doria and D’Alia as we settle in for another close one. All 4 very evenly matched as they went around like a sort of a kart quartet for a few laps, then Doria to 2nd, but the train stayed unbroken. D’Alia through to 3rd on Lap 4 and all this gave Venables a bit of breathing space – but we’d seen this in the Heats too, and if they worked together they would probably catch him again. A few laps later and D’Alia was 2nd and working on catching Venables. Sure enough with 7 to go D’Alia was on Venables and then through to the lead at JSKC as the kart quartet appeared again, all 4 of them nose to tail. Then D’Alia set about pulling clear and inch by inch he got away from Venables who in turn was getting clear of Woollard – he now ahead of Doria in 3rd. With 2 to go D’Alia looked like he might have broken the back of it – maybe 5 lengths clear of now Woolard as Venables took a trip through the catch trap at the Carousel, so Doria 3rd and Venables a long way back trailing dust and dirt as he got going again. Soon after D’Alia saluted for a well deserved win – a smart race well driven, Woollard, Doria and Venables behind him.

All Points Result: 1. Woolard 2. D’Alia 3. Doria

Clubman Heavy

Ashley Seward and Dylan Slits, then John Reynolds and P Plater Brenden Jenner the whole field, and just as they started lunch arrived, so reporting stopped for a bit. While I munched, Slits got ahead of Seward, but there was nothing between them as they diced away lap after lap – Reynolds dropped off a bit and Jenner well back, but the front 2 were hard at it. With 3 to go they stared swapping the lead, first Seward, then Slits – and Reynolds joined on the back as they fought. With 1 to go Seward had the lead and a small gap, but Slits under him at Tony Kart with maybe just a touch on the way past, so Seward fairly unforgiving as he went back at Slits in the Dipper, and Slits ran wide allowing Reynolds through to 2nd as Seward took the win. Heat 2 and Slits away best but Seward not letting him get too far away as these 2 resumed hostilities, Reynolds a little way back in 3rd. For many laps the front pair went around nose to tail until with 2 to go Seward went under Slits at the Grid Hairpin, so a couple of interesting laps ahead – Slits now a kart length off Seward and needs to work back onto him. Work back he did, and then squeezed through in the Dipper and went on to take the win – Slits, Seward, Reynolds and Jenner.

No Seward in the Pre Final, so Slits away with Reynolds and these 2 then put on a ding  dong battle – I thought with Seward out we might lose a bit of the sting in this class, but Reynolds was more than up to it, keeping the pressure on Slits as the laps wound down. Slits though was equal to the task and held on for the win just ahead of Reynolds, Jenner well back in 3rd.

Slits and Reynolds off the front and Reynolds the better of the start at least for half a lap until Slits went under him in the Dipper; Reynolds hung with him though as Seward joined on in 3rd. A few laps later Slits and Reynolds had pulled away, Seward looking on from 4-5 lengths back and Jenner bringing up the rear. Halfway and Slits had perhaps started to break away from Reynolds, but as soon as I wrote this, Reynolds seemed to be back on him as he showed good speed in the straight, Slits a bit quicker through the infield. For the last half of the race Reynolds tailed Slits around and looked very close at times but just couldn’t find the opportunity – in the end Slits, Reynolds, and Seward, who had closed right up on these 2, your top 3.

All Points Result: 1. Slits 2. Reynolds 3. Seward