The Griffiths Report February Club Day 2016

February Club Day at Oakleigh began on a mild and cloudy Saturday afternoon with qualifying for all classes. This followed a driver’s briefing where members held a moments silence for the sad and sudden passing of former club helper and official Sharon Harper, and also for Ben Capuano whose father Rod turned up to race today running Ben’s old number in his memory. Our best wishes to both families during a very difficult time.

Once qualifying was completed we got underway with some racing.

KA3 Senior Light

Angelo D’Ettorre and Adam Pasek off 1 & 2 here and D’Ettorre away best ahead of Mark Appleby, Jack Bell and Matthew Lane as Pasek dropped back at the start. D’Ettorre and Appleby then pulled clear of the pack and started having their own race out front, Lane a lonely 3rd then Bell, Blake Kolar and Pasek heading the wrong way through the field. At the flag it was till D’Ettorre and Appleby and D’Ettorre looked like he would hang on, which he did – albeit only by 8/100ths, for the win.

Heat 2 and D’Ettorre off pole again, Appleby and Lane behind him then Bell and Kolar; and at the green it was Appleby who got away best, D’Ettorre slotted in behind him then Lane and Bell. Appleby went on to record the win as he drove away from D’Ettorre in a smooth and polished display, while Lane had D’Ettorre under the pump for 2nd and a big gap back to Bell in 4th.

So finals underway and D’Ettorre and Appleby (something sound familiar here?) off the front again and D’Ettorre away to the lead, Appleby, Bell, Adam Pasek, Jake Congdon, Lane – dropping back after a shocker at the start – and James Di Venere the first 7. After 8 laps it was still D’Ettorre and Appleby, but Lane had made it through to 3rd after catching and eventually passing Bell – but a long way to the leaders from here, so they looked safe. With 4 to go however, Appleby was homing right in on D’Ettorre – the longer race suiting him. A lapped kart looked like it might intervene in the result but D’Ettorre and Appleby got through cleanly and went on to cross the line in that order, Lane home in 3rd.

TAG 125 Light / TAG 125 Heavy

Daniel Griffin, Jamie Westaway, Shane Kovacs and Kain Kugimiya the first 4 in Light, and Kim Sherlock, Aron Lawrence and Richard Matera the entire Heavy field behind them. Westaway away ahead of Griffin, then Kugimiya and Kovacs, Jack Scanlan and Rory Spencer, and Lawrence got the best of the start in Heavy to lead Sherlock and Matera. Griffin finally got ahead of Westaway for the lead, but the 2 of them then battled away for a number of laps until Griffin gradually drew away, although he wouldn’t want to make a mistake – Westaway was never far behind. Kugimiya was also starting to threaten in 3rd as he left Scanlan behind him too. Lawrence was also drawing away in heavy leaving Sherlock in his wake, Matera even further back. In the end Griffin and Lawrence were the Light and Heavy winners respectively.

Griffin away well at the start of Heat 2 ahead of Westaway this time, then Kugimiya, Scanlan and Kovacs; in Heavy Lawrence just held on at the start from Sherlock and Matera. From here things continued pretty much unchanged as Griffin pulled further and further ahead, Westaway trailing him around in 2nd – in Heavy Lawrence continued to lead Sherlock.

In the final Westaway got the better of Griffin at the start of Light and Lawrence led Sherlock away in Heavy. Back in 3rd in Light was Nicholas Flodstrom, first time I’ve seen him all day, then Kugimiya, Scanlan and Kovacs as they spread out for the 15 lap run. 5 laps in and Griffin was back on Westaway for the lead, these 2 well clear of now Kugimiya, Scanlan, Flodstrom and Kovacs; Lawrence, Sherlock and Matera the order back in Heavy. With 6 to go we had a race of 2 pairs: Westaway and Griffin, Kugimiya and Scanlan, and then the rest spread out all over the track. Scanlan got under Kugimiya for 3rd. Last 2 laps and Scanlan had cleared out on Kugimiya but it was all on at the front – Griffin right on Westaway but not looking like he had an obvious spot to have a go. Last lap and Westaway pulled away so Griffin’s chance gone, Lawrence the Heavy victor.

Restricted 125 Heavy

Timothy Martin and Andrew Tabaczynski off the front row, but Martin a problem almost immediately – something not right with the kart and he was dropping back through the field as Tabaczynski moved to the lead, followed by William Hewett, Wayne Deluca and Tristan Fusinato. Tabaczynski drew well clear and went on to an untroubled win at the flag ahead of Hewett and Deluca.

Tabaczynski off the front here, but the one to watch was Martin back in 6th after a problem in Heat 1. At the green Tabaczynski away well as Hewett and Deluca followed him around, but sure enough Martin worked his way through and with 4 to go he was in the lead. From here he powered away to take the win ahead of a creditable performance by Tabaczynski in 2nd.

Tabaczynski off pole with Hewett beside him in the Final, but it was Martin off P3 who got through to the lead at the green, still recovering from his Heat 1 DNF, to lead them around lap 1 and, on lap 2 establish a good gap on the rest. Hewett was the big loser as he dropped back to 5th behind Brett Pennington  and Jayden Riordan in 3 and 4, then got one back by passing Riordan in the Dipper on lap 4, but out front it was Martin by a mile from Tabaczynski. In the end he stayed a mile in front and went on to take the win.

Cadet 9

Liam O’Donnell and Lachlan Brady the front pair here and after a spread out start O’Donnell takes the lead and sets about building a gap – Brady 2nd and Jesse Lacey 3rd, followed by Cadel Ambrose, Thomas Patching and Giancarlo Artho rounding out the field. O’Donnell was having no trouble, but back in 2nd Brady was under pressure from Lacey and Ambrose who were bunching up behind him. At the finish line it was all O’Donnell, then Brady and Ambrose, as Lacey and Patching seemed to tangle at the Grid Hairpin and drop well back.

O’Donnell and Brady again the front pairing but O’Donnell almost immediately a problem of some sort with the kart and pulled into the In Grid – race over for him. So Brady our leader ahead of Lacey and Ambrose as they spread out all over the track – looked more like a Qualifying session. Eventually Lacey looked like maybe making some ground on Brady, but it was all relative. They were the closest pair, but with nearly 2 seconds between them, were still well apart. Brady victorious in the end, Lacey and Ambrose 2 and 3.

Brady and Lacey off the front here but a Lap 1 incident at Tony Kart turn saw us red flag the race as Artho went around and was stranded in his kart. Perhaps just a bit shaken, he went off to the medical room and was later cleared of any injury, so we re-started after the KA3 Senior Final. And so we’re underway with just 3 of them now and Brady the first of them with Lacey and O’Donnell behind him. Then O’Donnell got around Lacey soon after the green and set out after Brady. We then were treated to perhaps the best 3 kart race I’ve seen as O’Donnell could not seem to get past Brady and Lacey just kept on keeping on behind them – always there in case the front 2 tangled. For what seemed like dozens of laps they trailed each other around never more than a few kart lengths apart, but O’Donnell seemed unable to find the time or place to have a go and Brady led him to the line with Lacey a close 3rd.

KA3 Senior Heavy / KA3 Senior Super Heavy

John Reynolds, sporting the bright green “John’s Trackside Spares”  livery off pole, beside him Peter Gigis, then Bryce Woollard and Brenden Jenner, then in Super Heavy Rod Capuano, Aaron Hocking, David Martin and Henry Zurek. Reynolds away like a shot and left Gigis and Woollard in his wake, while Hocking got the best of the Super Heavy start ahead of Capuano, but Capuano set things back the way he wanted them a few laps later when he took the lead at MKC corner. Reynolds dominated from go to whoa, Gigis got clear of Woollard, while back in Super Heavy Capuano led Martin to the flag.

Reynolds again off pole in Light and Capuano in Heavy and as we went green it was Woollard moving through from 3rd to take it up to Reynolds, who dropped back to 2nd, and Gigis watching on in 3rd. Reynolds now set out to keep Woollard in sight and was pinned to his bumper (doesn’t sound as exciting as “crashbar” does it?) for a good few laps. Meanwhile Capuano had retired leaving Hocking to take it in Super Heavy. With a lap to go Reynolds pulled into the In grid from 2nd – maybe some confusion over whether the race had finished, so Woollard and Gigis take 1 and 2 positions.

Woollard and Gigis off the front of Heavy and Hocking and Martin in Super Heavy, and as we went green Woollard got the jump, just, on Gigis, and Hocking away best in Super Heavy. Reynolds was the man on the move in Heavy after a lap or 2 – having qualified on pole and won heat 1, he was stiff in a confused end to Heat 2 where he pulled in a lap early, so had the job in front of him. 6 laps in and Reynolds finds himself in 3rd right on Gigis’ tail and with Woollard in sight just ahead. 4 to go and these 3 karts had turned into 1 with Woollard still at the front and Reynolds still at the rear, Hocking meanwhile was still leading Super Heavy. Eventually, despite how close they were, the order looked like it would remain unchanged; sure enough Woollard saluted with a fist pump, Gigis a tenth behind him and Reynolds a kart length further back; Hocking and Capuano 1 and 2 in Supers.

TAG Masters

Anthony Westaway and Mick Fisher lead the old guys and Westaway away well while Fisher slots into 2nd, then Robert Barnes, Robert Baldacchino and Richard Matera. After a couple of laps we looked like getting a nice tight race as they all rolled around fairly close together – no changes in position, but everyone was ready to pounce if the opportunity presented itself. With 3 to go Westaway had almost the biggest gap of the whole field, leading by 7/10ths – a lead which he held to the end.

Westaway and Fisher again the front row and Fisher the better start this time, Barnes 3rd Baldacchino 4th and Matera rounds them out. While Fisher had the lead, Westaway was reeling him in and at JSKC (or is that JSMKC?) he went to go under but Fisher got him back, then at Tony Kart he had half a look and pulled back in too. From there he was always sniffing around Fisher’s tail, but the opportunity never really presented itself and when he had a couple of half looks, Barnes and Baldacchino were always close enough in 3 and 4 to make it dangerous to go too hard. Finally at Grid Hairpin on the second last lap he went under Fisher and Baldacchino followed him through, then Barnes a few corners later, so Fishers race turned to poo in a lap, Westaway the winner

And so to the Final and Westaway again took it to Fisher; Baldacchino and Barnes behind them, then Matera as we settled for the run. The front 4 looked pretty evenly matched here with Westaway not pulling away, Fisher, Baldacchino and Barnes all now more than a second in arrears. 6 to go and Barnes had an issue at Tony Kart Turn and dropped off the lead group, but Fisher had the eyes on and was right on Westaway, and Baldacchino was right on Fisher – get ready for the last few laps. Finally Baldacchino had an ill judged look at JSKC and dropped back leaving Fisher chasing Westaway, but he too started to drop off, so Westaway looked safe – and sure enough he led the rest of them to the flag.

Restricted 125 Light

Hirotaka Chang off pole and got the lead at the green to lead Darran Wade, David Hutchinson, Mitchel Rogers and Kyle King around the first few times. Then King took a bit of a wild ride through the grass coming into Canteen Corner and dropped back, but Chong was still powering away in the lead. Behind him Wade, Hutchinson, Rogers and Lucas O’Brien were engaged in a fierce battle which looked like it could end in tears at any moment. No tears for Chong as he took the win, ahead of Hutchinson, Wade and Rogers.

Chong again with Hutchinson beside him, then Wade and Rogers, O’Brien and Oleksandr Belenko, King and Stephen Barker the next pairs, and Chong again got the best of the start with Hutchinson into 2nd and these 2 left the field behind them as they raced into the afternoon sun. In the end Chong took the win from Hutchinson, Rogers and King well back in 3 and 4.

For the last 3 finals I was on double duty doing flags as well, so only the basic report here as Chong led Hutchinson and Wade for most of the race, Chong pulling a mile clear in the end, but on the last lap Wade got through on Hutchinson and King joined the fight, only for Wade to find himself in 4th at Arrow corner as Hutchinson squeezed back past and King came through with him.

Cadet 12

Ethan Church and Joshua D’Ambrosio here the front pair and Church away well with Joshua Hocking through from 3rd and these guys pulled a gap on the rest of the field who were led by Samuel Gibson and then D’Ambrosio, Jensen Sawatzki and Jett Wilson. Church and Hocking then put on a great battle with Hocking getting through to the lead eventually, but Church never far behind him – at least until he spun at JSKC corner and re-joined in 2nd last. So Hocking in the end an easy win ahead of now Gibson and D’Ambrosio.

Hocking and Gibson here in Heat 2, and Hocking to the lead with D’Ambrosio following him through from 3rd as Gibson dropped back to 3, then Sawatzki and coming through from last was heat 1 pole sitter Church, now in 5th.  Hocking pulled away  as did D’Ambrosio and these 2 cleared out on the battle pack for 3, 4 & 5 of Gibson, Sawatzki and Church – whose forward momentum seemed to have stopped at about 5th. D’Ambrosio caught right up to Hocking in the end, but Hocking looked like he was up to the job and went on to record a narrow victory.

Hocking led them away and led by more and more every lap as he drifted away from first D’Ambrosio, and then Gibson when he moved through to 2nd, finally taking a big win from Church who motored through from his 6th position start to take 2nd, Gibson, D’Ambrosio and Sawatzki behind them.

KA4 Junior Light / KA4 Junior Heavy

Jai Stephenson and Jai Sparey the front 2 Lights, and Jack Martin, Naomi Brady and Anthony Cafiso the entire Heavy field at the back of them. At the green Sparey gets the job done to lead Stephenson, Callum Potter, Pearson Grant and Hamish Allan, while Martin leads Brady in Heavy. Things continued unchanged for the most part although Sparey and Stephenson put on a spirited battle for a few laps but Sparey emerged victorious in Light, as did Martin in Heavy.

Sparey and Stephenson again the front row in Light and Martin and Brady in Heavy and after a few laps they were all still in these places but further back in the Light field it was all happening as Allan and Potter exchanged paint in 3 and 4 and Grant was coming under the pump from the Heavy leader in Brady. Brady got through to be 5th overall and comfortably leading Heavy; meanwhile Sparey had a slender lead over Stephenson who again came on late in the race, however the chequered flag beat him to it with Sparey taking the win; Martin first home in Heavy.

18 laps of final here for the feature class and the two Jai’s; Sparey and Stephenson off the front – in Heavy Martin and Brady, but Brady out on Lap 1 at the Dipper, so Martin almost guaranteed the win as P plater Cafiso followed him around well back. Out front of Light, all Sparey; by more and more each lap until he took a huge win from Stephenson, Potter and Allan.

A 2 month break now for Club Days as we won’t be holding a March event due to Easter falling on that weekend – stay safe and see you all then.