The Griffiths Report April Club Day 2016

A foggy start led to a beautiful sunny Autumn day as competitors fronted up for the first time since the end of March for a Club Day at Oakleigh. Once qualifying was complete we got underway with racing.

KA4 Junior Light / KA4 Junior Heavy

Bradley James off pole with Callum Potter beside him in Heat 1 and James away well at the start, Angelo Mouzouris moving into 2nd as Potter dropped to 3rd, then a huge pile up Lap 1 at JSKC corner saw a bunch of mid fielders drop to the rear. A few laps in and James and Mouzouris had pulled clear with Mouzouris putting our pole man under pressure. 4 to go and James still leading, Mouzouris, then Tate Frost, Marty Wright and Hamish Allan. Second last lap and Mouzouris under James at Grid Hairpin but James cleverly crosses back and re takes the lead – same again last lap but this time Mouzouris holds on and takes the win. In Heavy it was Jack Martin and Anthony Cafiso, the only 2 and finished in that order.

Mouzouris on pole, but James got the jump at the green and went to the lead, behind them Wright, Frost, Allan and Matthew Hillyer. James and Mouzouris soon established a good gap and set about boxing on for the lead. For lap after lap James led Mouzouris around – always close but not close enough to have a crack. In the end James held on, Frost back in 3rd followed by Wright and Jack Martin.

James away to a good start to hold out Mouzouris, then Frost and Wright behind them as the Final got underway. Martin was soon working his way through in Heavy and into 7th overall. James and Mouzouris meanwhile were setting a rollicking pace out front and pulled clear of the rest, and eventually James was pulling clear of Mouzouris, so doing a good job. His good work continued to the end where he took the chequered flag, as did Martin in Heavy.

KA3 Senior Light

Michael Carless and Mark Appleby then Jack Bell and Angelo D’Ettorre as we start Heat 1.Carless away and Bell followed him through dropping Appleby back to 3rd, then Matthew Lane moved through on D’Ettorre to take 4th, Ben Mouritz then in 5th and then D’Ettorre. Meanwhile Carless was disappearing out front with Bell and Appleby looking like they might start duelling for 2nd – but with 4 to go Bell started to pull clear as well and that’s how they finished.

Heat 2 and Bell away from 2nd to the lead as Lane got through on Carless as well. Lots of boxing on saw Bell draw clear while Carless and Lane got involved in a dice that saw Lane go around and drop right back, Appleby now 3rd and D’Ettorre 4th with Mouritz behind them. Carless had the bit between his teeth as he set out after Bell and with 3 to go had reeled Bell in, but then sat on his tail for a lap or 2. Start of the last lap and Carless got under Bell at JSKC as Bell went deep, so Carless pulled away and took the win.

Carless and Bell then Appleby and D’Ettorre as the Final got going. Then disaster for Carless as he pulled in with a broken rear bumper, handing Bell the lead. Appleby followed him in, as did James Di Venere, so the field getting smaller by the lap. Then Johan Pasek was black flagged with a dangling bumper – what is it with these things? All the while Bell and his bumper continued to go around at the front, following him was Mouritz, Lane and Caleb Citrine. In the end Mouritz came right up on Bell, but the flag saved him and Bell took the win.

TAG 125 Light / TAG 125 Heavy

Daniel Griffin away to a good lead ahead of James Westaway then Shane Kovacs and James Barnes – in Heavy there were only 2: Richard Matera and returning after a long absence from karting, Anthony Lantouris, who I think held the lap record at Oakleigh years ago in Clubman Super Heavy. As the laps peeled off Griffin streaked away, looking in the end like he might lap Lantouris – which he did with 2 to go. Following him were still Westaway, Kovacs and Barnes and that’s how she ended up, with Matera taking the Heavy win.

A number of distractions took me away from Heat 2 but Griffin a healthy lead and took the win from Westaway, in Heavy Matera led Lantouris .

Griffin again off to a good start, again ahead of Westaway, behind them was Kovacs and then the recovering Iredale after 2 DNF’s in the heats. With 8 to go Iredale was through to 3rd but would have a job to catch Griffin or Westaway as they had a good lead. In Heavy Matera looked like he would have it all his own way as Lantouris pulled in after a few laps. 5 to go and Iredale’s charge had stopped, he was a quick as the leaders but a couple of seconds adrift of them; Griffin now nearly a second clear of Westaway up front and that is how they crossed the line.

Restricted 125 Heavy

Gavin Dorning the pole sitter with William Hewett, Tristan Fusinato and Zachary Marshall behind him but Marshall seemed to fuel up at the start and retired on lap 1, Dorning meanwhile was leading with Fusinato now in 2nd, Hewett 3rd, then Brett Pennington, Jayden Riordan and Paul Ryan bringing up the rear. Best duel was between Hewett and Fusinato for 2 and 3 – Dorning had shot through out front. With 3 to go Hewett made a move at JSKC and made it stick on the way out, so Fusinato now back to 3rd. He stuck right on Hewett for the remaining laps, but couldn’t find a way past so settled for 3rd, Dorning already home in 1st and Hewett 2nd.

Dorning off pole again and led Hewett and Fusinato around for the first few laps, behind them Pennington and Marshall, Riordan and Ryan. Dorning continued to draw clear and took an easy win in the end.

In a carbon copy of the Heats, again Dorning off pole with Hewett beside him and Fusinato and Pennington behind him and no change to the order after a few laps – and no change looked likely as they spread out around the track. Riordan livened things up by pulling in with a mechanical DNF, but otherwise nothing changed. Dorning the winner with Hewett well behind him and Fusinato well behind him in 3rd.

Cadet 9

Cadel Ambrose and Liam O’Donnell the front row but a glitch with the track lights meant I missed most of the race; O’Donnell held a healthy lead for most of it as far as I could tell, Ambrose behind him then Thomas Patching and Giancarlo Artho in 4th.

O’Donnell and Ambrose off the front and O’Donnell the better of the start to take the lead ahead of Ambrose, Artho, Patching and Nate Young. O’Donnell and Ambrose shot clear of the rest and O’Donnell held around a half second lead as we approached halfway. For the rest of the race O’Donnell held sway but Ambrose never let him get away entirely – O’Donnell the winner in the end.

Again much like the heats, O’Donnell and Ambrose took off, Patching, Artho and Young spread out behind them. O’Donnell and Ambrose then produced a good dice as Ambrose seemed capable of catching him, but couldn’t manage a pass. Artho a DNF coming out of the Dipper, so now there were 4. While Ambrose continued to shadow O’Donnell, O’Donnell held onto the lead and as we began the last lap his lead was around 3/10ths. So they continued to the line: O’Donnell, Ambrose, Patching and Young.

KA3 Senior Heavy / KA3 Senior Super Heavy

Peter Gigis and John Reynolds the front pair in Heavy; Aaron Hocking and David Martin in Super Heavy and a couple of laps in and that was the order in both classes. Gigis and Reynolds put on a great show in the lead with Reynolds getting through at JSKC around half race distance. Hocking continued to lead Martin and Henry Zurek in Super Heavy – Zurek eventually being meatballed for losing half his rear bar. Last couple of laps and Gigis right on Reynolds’ hammer but even doing battle with a lapped kart Reynolds held on for the win; Hocking in Super Heavy.

Heat 2 and Reynolds and Gigis at it again out front, Rod Capuano slotted in behind them in 3rd then Adam Corbett and Brendan Jenner – in Super Heavy it was Hocking, Martin then Zurek. 4 laps in and Gigis and Reynolds again putting on a show – Reynolds holding a slender lead. Behind these 2 Capuano, Corbett and Jenner were having their own battle, Corbett slotting into 3rd at JSKC with 3 to go. Reynolds and Gigis meanwhile continued out front – less than a tenth separated them as we began the penultimate lap. For the next 2 laps they were nose to tail; again Reynolds had to survive a lapped kart and held on to the narrowest win as Gigis threw everything at him but could manage only 2nd, Corbett and Capuano followed them home. In Super Heavy it was Hocking and Martin.

Reynolds and Gigis again and both got away well and sprinted to an early break, Corbett followed in 3rd then Capuano, Jenner and Nicholas Drew. Back in Super Heavy Zurek held the lead for a few laps but Hocking and Martin got through and into 1 and 2 eventually. With 7 to go Gigis moved into the lead ahead of Reynolds, but Reynolds looked like he would stick with him and a couple of laps later no gap had appeared between them. Then 3 to go and we had a red flag as James and Martin tangled at the Grid Hairpin and James found himself on his lid and on the track. The race was declared, so Gigis the victor in Heavy along with Hocking in Super Heavy. Other than a few abrasions James was subsequently declared fine, so all’s well that ends up with no seriously injured go karters.

TAG Masters

Robert Barnes and Timothy Martin, then Shane Alabaster and Anthony Westaway, but Martin got the best of the start and led Barnes, then Westaway through to 3rd with Alabaster 4th followed by Mick Fisher, Robert Baldacchino and Richard Matera. Martin pulled away well and Barnes also had a gap on the field as they settled in on lap 3. From there things turned a bit processional as Martin led Barnes and the others spread out. In the end Barnes was quicker but ran out of laps as Martin took the chequered flag.

This time Barnes the best start from 2nd to take the lead ahead of Martin, Westaway and Baldacchino behind them; Martin shuffled back further in an incident in the Dipper on lap 1 allowing Barnes to slip away to a good lead; Westaway now 2nd and Baldacchino 3rd. A spin from Alabaster sent him to the rear, but out front Barnes continued on his merry way – and his merry way continued all the way to the chequered flag.

Martin got the best of it at the start in the Final pulling ahead of Barnes as Baldacchino and Westaway settled in behind them with Alabaster in 5th. Then things fell Martin’s way even more as the field bottled up at JSKC on lap 2, increasing his lead by some margin. From there on that’s the way things stayed – Martin drove off into the setting sun and an easy win.

Restricted 125 Light

Darren Wade and David Hutchinson and a close battle for the lead with these 2 and Kyle King as the first couple of laps unfolded. Eventually Hutchinson came unglued in the Dipper and dropped to the rear, while Wade and King took over 1 and 2. Behind them Mitchel Rogers, David Jarman and William Jacobson, but in the end Wade took the win from King.

Wade and King off the front and Wade it was who went to the lead, behind them Jacobson and Rogers, with Rogers reversing that order on Lap 2, then Hutchinson recovering from a Heat 1 DNF and slow start to Heat 2, then Jarman, Rowan Kiehn and Shannon Ryan. Wade went on with it, but King was in hot pursuit and not letting him get right away, then a small gap to Rogers, Jacobson and Hutchinson. Wade continued on to take the victory ahead of King, Hutchinson again an unfortunate DNF on the 2nd last lap after recovering to 4th.

Wade into the lead and for a change Rogers into 2nd ahead of King and these 3 got away from the rest of the field who were headed by Jarman then Jacobson, Kiehn and Ryan. Wade continued to lead but King was making “I want to pass” noises in 3rd, looking to get ahead of Rogers. His looking finally paid off into the Carousel with 5 laps to go as King moved into 2nd, but Wade was now 7/10ths further up the track, so King had some work to do to catch him. Work he did though, as in no time he was on Wade’s bumper and going to make a move for the lead. Despite getting very close, King had to settle for 2nd as Wade held on well to take the win, with Rogers home in 3rd.

Cadet 12

Joshua Hocking away from pole and to the lead ahead of Ethan Church and Joshua D’Ambrosio as we got going in Heat 1, and Hocking went away well as the others spread out behind him. Another race where Qualifying led to very little change as things went on, so all good for Hocking but a bit of a snooze fest for the rest of us; Hocking the eventual winner. Then in a race I missed almost entirely, Hocking took out Heat 2 as well, so he headed the field at the start of the Final.

Hocking off pole for the Final with D’Ambrosio beside him, Church the one to watch having 14 laps to come through from the back after failing to start Heat 2. Bad luck for Tyler Knowles who was out in spectacular fashion at JSKC on Lap 1, disappearing into a cloud of dust. 5 laps in and Hocking still leads, Church through to 4th and making ground; into 3rd a lap later at the Dipper as he took Gibson – sights now set on D’Ambrosio. With 6 to go he touched back of D’Ambrosio going into Tony Kart turn in what proved to be a setback, but a lap or 2 later he was back on him, Hocking still leading comfortably. Church then got under D’Ambrosio at One Tree Hill – where he had made nearly all his passing moves, so now 2nd; but Hocking a long way ahead and only 4 laps to go. Church’s charge eventually stopped as he looked stuck in 2nd place with D’Ambrosio and Gibson not that far behind him – and Hocking a speck on the horizon in the lead and across the line a few laps later the winner. Well done Hocking, a good recovery by Church, and then a super close 4/100ths between D’Ambrosio and Gibson as the former held on for 3rd.