The Griffiths Report June Club Day 2016

As I left my place in the outer ‘burbs for the June Club Day at Oakleigh, it was freezing – literally – zero degrees showing on my car readout as I waited for the demister to melt some of the ice on my windscreen. Of course what often follows such a cold, clear start is a beautiful sunny winter’s day. What we got instead was a bone chilling wind that sprang up from nowhere almost as soon as the sun rose, testing the resilience of both karters and officials as we shivered through one of the coldest days at the track I can remember. At least it didn’t rain!

Because I doubled up doing flag point lights, you only get the brief version of the report, as follows:

Restricted 125 Light

Luke Medley pole and won Heat 1 from Darran Wade, as Kyle King was an unfortunate DNF with 3 to go taking him out of the race and elevating David Hutchinson into 3rd.

The Pre Final saw Medley take a big win, well ahead of Wade with King coming through for 3rd.

Medley again the victor in the Final, with a big gap to Wade, who in turn had a big gap to King.

Cadet 12

The two Joshua’s;  Hocking and D’Ambrosio fought it out for the lead, with Ethan Church well back in 3rd and Samuel Gibson well back again in 4th; Hocking our Heat 1 winner.

More of the same in the Pre Final, with Hocking ahead of D’Ambrosio and Church again.

A much closer Final with Hocking still taking the chocolates and D’Ambrosio 2nd, but all sorts of action behind them as Church and Gibson duked it out for the last few laps for 3rd. Both karters exchanged spots a number of times as the laps counted down, then last lap and exiting the Grid Hairpin they tangle and both spin; hard to see from where I sit exactly what happened but Church recovered quicker to cross the line 3rd, Jett Wilson got through for 4th and Gibson got across in 5th. In a post-race hearing, I believe Church was penalised 2 spots, so Wilson promoted to 3rd.

KA3 Senior Light

Jack Bell and Michael Carless locked together for most of Heat 1, with Matthew Lane out of the race on Lap 1, then Adam Pasek out on Lap 2, while Mark Appleby diced with Development Series driver and former karter Bryce Fullwood, the Northern Territorian returning for a day’s karting I guess – why wouldn’t you want to come down to Melbourne in June? Bell took the win over Carless, Appleby passed in the end by Fullwood who took 3rd.

Bell and Carless locked together for most of the Pre Final with Fullwood looking on from a slightly distant 3rd. Last lap and Carless leads but Bell under him at JSKC, Carless back to the lead at Tony Kart then Bell back under him at the Grid Hairpin and holds on to take the win – a great last lap to watch!

Carless away better ahead of Bell at the start of the Final, Woollard again a spectator in 3rd. With 6 to go Bell was closing and a lap later had taken the lead from Carless. Now 2 to go and nothing in it; last lap and Carless goes the move up the inside at the Grid Hairpin, clean as a whistle he takes the win ahead of Bell.

KA4 Junior Light / KA4 Junior Heavy

Matthew Hillyer away well, while Jai Sparey ended up out of the race Turn 1 / Lap 1, and also on Lap 1 Lotem Ben Yosef and Oliver McNaught found themselves out of the race so not the best start to the day for them. A few laps in we had Hillyer, followed by Callum Potter, then a gap back to Hamish Allan. By the time we reached the chequered flag, Hillyer had a huge lead and Bradley James just snuck through with a last lap pass to take 3nd ahead of Potter.

James off to a good start and took the lead ahead of Hillyer and Potter in the Pre Final, then Allan through to 3rd a few laps in. James drove away for the win, Hillyer 2nd, Upiter had got up to 3rd but dropped back with a problem of some sort and Potter DNF’d minus a chain with a few to go.

Hillyer, Sparey and James the front 3 here, after Allan goes out in the roll arounds, and away we go. 6 laps in and Hillyer and Sparey were hard at it in the lead, and coming out of JSKC both karts are buffeting each other. Points of view on what happened next differ, so I won’t offer an opinion other than to say it wasn’t pretty to watch; both karts ended up off the track with Hillyer taking a trip though the infield to re-join further back than where he was when he departed, and Sparey found himself stranded and out of the race altogether. This handed Potter the lead and James moved into 2nd and thus they continued to the line – the next kart home was the first of 2 Heavys in Jack Martin, then Hillyer who worked back through to 4th, but 3rd in class I think.

TAG 125 Light / TAG 125 Heavy

Jamie Westaway got ahead of Daniel Frencham at the start and was never headed, as Daniel Griffin came through for 3rd while Kain Kugimiya and Jack Scanlan tangled at Tony Kart Turn with 4 to go and both DNF’d as a result. In Heavy Justin Caress got home well ahead of Richard Matera.

Westaway and Frencham again away to a good lead with Griffin a little further back in 3rd. With 3 to go this group had closed right up but maintained the same order to the flag.

Westaway again to the lead and drew clear of Frencham who in turn pulled away from Griffin, however by the close of the race Griffin had zeroed right back in on him, but couldn’t find a way past so stayed in 3rd.

Restricted 125 Heavy

Andrew Tabaczynski away to the lead and in the end was well clear of Gavin Dorning who had a tussle with William Hewett for 2nd but held on for the place.

Tabaczynski again dominated the Pre Final winning by over 10 seconds, Dorning through to 2nd in the end after Hewett and Tristan Fusinato had diced over it early on.

And yet again Tabaczynski takes the win, although Dorning not a million miles back in 2nd, then a gap to Fusinato and Hewett

Cadet 9

Liam O’Donnell continued his good form from the State Series last weekend and drove off into the distance with Thomas Patching a somewhat remote 2nd, the interest really lay in how the 3 P Platers; Nate Young, Hayley Zammit and Giancarlo Artho would go. Young made life easier for the other 2 by DNF’ing at Tony Kart, Zammit went on to take 3rd well ahead of Artho, while O’Donnell and Patching already home in 1 and 2.

See Heat 1 report: O’Donnell by a mile, Patching 2nd and Zammit again the best of the P Platers.

So the Final of Cadet 9 and O’Donnell does as he has all day and takes off, Patching follows him around in 2nd, Young and Artho spin together on Lap 2 and Zammit pilots her way between them to take over 3rd. Lap after lap O’Donnell pulls away, Patching a lonely 2nd, and Zammit probably hoping for a lonely 3rd, finds herself with some company in the form of Young as the chequered flag draws closer – Zammit maybe getting a bit tired towards the end of a long day at the track? In the end O’Donnell an easy win, Patching across 2nd and Zammit holds on for 3rd – good job!

TAG Masters

Anthony Westaway our early leader ahead of Tim Martin, Mick Fisher and pole man Robert Barnes, but Martin to the lead a couple of laps in and Barnes back ahead of Fisher. At the flag Martin and Barnes had pulled well clear, a big gap back to a gaggle of karts led by Westaway, then Fisher, Shane Alabaster and Robert Baldacchino

Again, like the Heat, Martin Barnes and Westaway

The Final begins with Barnes, Westaway, Fisher and Martin the order a few laps in, as some of the  back markers get involved in a messy tangle at JSKC, although all but 1 drive away. A few laps from home and Barnes still leading, Westaway 2nd, but Martin moves through on Fisher at the Grid Hairpin and crosses the line 3rd – however it is decided post-race that the little bump ‘n’ run Martin employed on Fisher is not in the spirit of TAG Masters competition and he and Fisher swap back spots.

KA3 Senior Heavy / KA3 Senior Super Heavy

Bryce Woollard off pole in Senior Heavy followed by John Reynolds and Peter Gigis in Heat 1 and from about Lap 3 there was no change in the order, although Gigis was right on Reynolds at the flag, in Supers it was Aaron Hocking ahead of Nicholas Drew and Henry Zurek.

Woollard leads them around, so again he heads Reynolds and Gigis and leaves them both squabbling over 2nd, which they did for quite some time until Reynolds found himself out of the race at JSKC with 4 to go, so finishing order was Woollard, Gigis and Brenden Jenner, while in Super Heavy it was Hocking, Drew and Martin

Last Final for this bitterly cold Club Day and Woollard leads Gigs and Reynolds around, and gradually the front pair draw clear of Reynolds. What unfolds from there is a very exciting last few laps as Gigis ranges right up on the back of Woollard and nibbles away at him at every opportunity, but in the old bull vs young bull battle, the younger bull prevails and Woollard crosses the line victorious – I was so glad the day was done I forgot to note down the Super Heavy winners – but well done to them whoever they are.

Let’s hope for a heatwave in July for our next Club Day – see you then!